First of all, thank you in advance for volunteering to do this interview. That said could you introduce yourself to our readers? What’s your name? How old are you? And, where are you from?
My name is Zoltan, Im 27 years old. Im from Hungary, I’ ve been living abroad for 7 years now. I support DVTK (Diosgyor) my hometown’s football club
This blog, from our point of view, is dedicated to everything involves the casual culture, from clothing to music and of course, football, with all that entails. But, what is the ‘casual culture’ for you? And, what did you awaken interest in it?
First I was involved in football by my father. When I was 10 I started to go alone to the home games. I have been a part of the golden age of ultra scene in Hungary, it gave me some really nice memories. Since I follow my team we haven’t won anything (cup winner in 1977 and 1980) and we even went down to the lowest league (supporters founded a club again, than few years later we went back to the 3rd division as a result of a fusion with a local third division club).
The music came automatically I used to listen to indie. I started to be interested with clothing since I have my own wages. I never been a wanna be person, who want to look older or cooler than I was.
Casual is a kind of complex thing to including everything what I like. This culture gave me friends and great memories. But the end I never put a label on or called myself casual.
During these years, I imagine your wardrobe has been increasing, not only in quantity but also in quality. But, do you remember the first garment that you purchased and where you got it? What kind of clothes can be found in your wardrobe? What is your favorite traditional brand? And, your favorite current brand? Which one is the reason?
The first garment I have bought was a navy Lyle and Scott jacket in Stockholm i still like it, but as a brand not buying anymore clothes from them. Lets talk about jacket is easier. I like to pick from the most of brands like One true saxon(old ones), Garbstore, Marshall Artists, Nemen, CP, 12th man, Esemplare some vintage like Frostline and so on.
Never was committed by any brand, I bought the garment because I felt it belongs to me and it looks good. Im not a label or trend lover. I always trying to scan the “whole market” and hunting for something unique and new pieces.
What brand of shoes do you usually wear? How many pairs are there in your collection? Which is your favorite model?
Its not a big surprise when I say Adidas, My collection is over 70 pairs, mainly Adidas, but you can also find many new balance, trainers from walsh and karhu, For shoes I like Maians, Veras, Folk and Timberland also. I really like the low profile trainers from Adidas.
Following with clothes, there are many expensive brands which are manufactured in ‘low-cost countries’. What importance do you give to the country of manufacturing when buying a garment?
That’s a deep topic and depend which way you look on. Few years back I talked to one of my mate who owned an outdoor company. Organizing expeditions and so on. He told me there is no gore tex factory in Europe only in China. In Europe they are only testing the technology. Is not always easy to find some material or technology in Europe.
When from garlic to TVs nearly everything made in China/Asia Its not a big surprise the clothing industry ended up as well in Asia. In the other hand it is started long time ago for example Adidas went through Europe and ended up in Asia (If im right they only factory they kept is a small factories produce cloths for the national team, Bayern…. The problem is far too many company moved over and not so many of them giving the possibility to buy any products from Asia. Good example is New Balance who kept some factories in the USA and in the U.K. so if is important where your trainer have made you can buy it, but you must be willing to pay double price. These days most of the people are more sensitive about the price than the location of the factory. The quality of the garments what are made in Asia is not as bad as you expected 15 years ago. Not too many people can tell where the product came from. This topic is more like a philosophic question. Some brands are well overpriced, just because they made in Europe. I try to buy European clothes, but sometimes I have to deal with it, when it is made at the other side of the world. Im not too happy also when I give out 350 pounds then i see the made in china label on the product.
Last year I had some trips and decided to buy one really good bag for it. I found a small Hungarian manufactory who’s making some old fashioned backpack (for 120 euro), I sent an email to them with my requests for a duffel bag. Made from the same materials and with similar design. They replied 2 days after, I expected they going to say alright that’s cost 200-300 euro, but they only said: We don’t do other sizes. These days the small businesses must be ready for a challenge in my view. It is not enough to make something “good” in Europe.
Just a short personal example to show the influence of the modern days. At 1989 the political system changed from communism to democracy in Hungary. Many factories closed down which were supported the fashion industry. Also many other clothes came from western Europe and China. The people bought the ready wear products and the classic bespoke went really down. My father doesn’t let me in to learn about tailoring, because he felt It’s got no future anymore. I know also a family business in Budapest. They have made hats from 1870 for 4 generations and now they can close the business (owner who is the only worker in his company) he said, there is no future for that anymore and his son started to learn something else. The talent what they have will just past away.
We know, if you let me, that your ‘obsession’ with clothes has led you to set up your own brand. In principle, I can confirm that it meets the criteria of all items desired by a ‘casual’ person, that is, quality and exclusivity. Tell us a bit of it. How was the idea born? At what point is it? What clothes are there so far? What are your future plans, for instance, collaborations with other brands?
As I’ve already told you about my background in my previous answer, my father is a tailor and my grandfather also was (My great-grandfather was a shoemaker, proper reason to like clothing, haha). I was thinking long time ago to establish a small business and to be independent, most of the ideas weren’t so good or I haven’t got enough background to do it. The idea came last year, you could say it’s a bit late, but I think it’s better to do it now when I have much wider view on fashion then before.
It is called Finest Fabrics. The main concept to keep something good alive from the past and make something different than what the others do. We (My father and me) would like to focus on trousers and pants with many small details, Our products made by a 2nd generation tailor, bespoke and only for orders. Using only organic materials like cotton, wood and metal. I would like to involved the customers from the begining. If someone intrested to buy trousers from us, first he will receive a sample of our fabric selection to choose the desired fabric (not only the colour). we take measurments and give the general design, but in case he has any personal requests we will be able to do it. We would like to give full attention and a good service from the begining till the end. I dont want to make a same trouser/shorts twice. Our philosophy:
We don’t do it for the glory, We do it for You. Later maybe we will make shirts or jackets, but we are not going to be part of the t-shirt industry. haha
About collaborations: Well, im sure there will be some in the future, but to be fair im not so keen about it. We already got a request, You shall see the outcome later.
Could you comment where you usually buy clothes? Do you prefer shops or do you usually buy on-line? What are your favorite shops?
Sometimes im shopping on my travels, but I do most of my shopping online. Size, Flannels, Yoox, Garbstore, Oi polloi, Van milder, Triads, Kafka, Stuarts….
We have heard that one of your hobbies, besides clothes and beer, is travelling, especially around the European continent. Could you explain how the casual scene is in the countries you have visited? Could you say, from the aesthetically point of view, each country has it owns pattern, although they tend to look to England, in one way or another? Or, on the contrary, are they completely different patterns or a mix of them?
I felt slightly difference compare to the English scene: in Holland, they wear mostly like Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger more sportswear. Russia: New Balance is much more popular than Adidas, mostly major brands like SI, CP, Ma, Strum. You can see that if they have spent some money they want it to show. It will change by time. It also depends on when the culture came to each country and how strong it is.
I don’t want to go through all countries where I have been. It was long time ago or not by football. It was a funny experience when I’ve been to Madrid 4 years ago I watched several games then. One of them was Vallecano – Valladolid, I arrived a bit early to the stadium. I was there 10 minutes ago and one local casual already came to me and asked me
who I was (because of my clothes). 20 minutes later 3 others came, they thought Im an away fan who is discovering the locals. I had to show my ticket, but after that they still followed me to see where I am going what im doing, haha.
I went to Moscow last November. The “dress code” was alive there too. As soon as they spotted you are wearing adidas or new balance you got “checked”. One time I asked the direction from a lad who worn an Ma. Strum jacket, before he answered to me, he asked: Are You hooligan?
Linking with the previous question, where have you seen the best dressed people in the stands? Where the worst?
I can’t give an exact answer to this question. Same old story, some people giving more attention to their outfit some people don’t. It is Good when everybody have different taste and don’t want be the same as all the others. The best to me was when i was in Martigny (Small town in South of Switzerland). For several reasons: they supported the local ice hockey team in the second league, dressed well and all of them received a 3 years banning order for a good action at a derby away. They got everything what you need to have in this culture
The worst to me is when someone is wearing the wrong size of jacket just because it’s famous (and probably was cheaper). Another big minus is the hardly worn trainers/shoes.
Do you think globalization of casual culture can enrich it with the inclusion of new brands and looks?
In a way yes, because it’s easier to find new brands. But it’s still important to have your own style and wear what you like. Im also buying the re-issues of the trainers, but sometimes i wait around two years and only start to wear them then. Not so clever to wear it when everyone else does it.
On the Internet, we can find huge number of blogs dedicated to this culture, but perhaps, nowadays the two of reference for many ‘casuals’ are The Casual Connoiseur and Our Culture, not so much for their contents but by the aesthetics of their protagonists. They are trying to break the uniformity, in which they say the casual culture has dropped, at least in England. They are distancing themselves from traditional brands and they are opting for new ones. Personally, I’m not against it, because it has been the general trend since the eighties until now, but, do you agree that this aesthetic can be seen more on the streets than in the stands? Or maybe, is it too early for being reflected in the stands of football stadiums?
TCC gave a new impulse to this culture. They have made many great products (pin sets, heat reactive t-shirt, hats) and you can see how popular they are. That means people awaited something more personal than expensive clothes.
For a smaller brand like they are, it’s easy to make and try new ways, because they working with smaller amounts so it is less risk. Changes in that case can be good. Of course it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, many people saying it is not casual. Look at Adidas they’ve made 11 different colour way from trimm stars, if it pisses you off, right don’t buy any of them. Same case with CC. In my personal opinion, im looking forward to when they will do less t-shirts and more of the serious products. They are talented, I hope more and more great things will come up in the future and giving fresh blood to the culture.
Our Culture is a different story. They are also making product, but in smaller quantity. It is more like they do something for themselves and sell the excess.
It seems that there is a current that detaches itself from the violence in the streets, focusing only on the aesthetic aspect. Can you be casual and renounce the violence? What do you think of the meetups in Eastern Europe?
Violence is also part of the culture. You don’t have to fight all the time on every single match, but you must be ready if someone invites you for a dance. Last year we played with Romania. That’s the most important game for us Hungarians. 30 of us (casuals from different clubs) went there one night before the game, ended up in the center for some drinks. 2 hours later they came and we had a fight with 50-60 romanians, 3 of us and one romanian got arrested. Next morning 300 Hungarian hooligans traveled by the first train (game day) and got escorted by the police to the city centre and after that to the stadium, nothing special happened. If you want to fight, you have to do something for it, not just sitting at the pub.
I don’t expect fight from the older lads, who are having a family or bigger criminal records and risks to go to jail. It Sounds stupid when you are 20 and you’re saying i just dressing, Then you are at the wrong place.
Fair fight (Ustawka), I never been to one, but for some reason it’s better: without weapons/police, same numbers and we know who has won the fight and there is no internet war after.
In other hand a same thing, people say same about casuals and hooligans (ustawka) are losing the connection with football and doing more with fashion and “cage fight”.
Changing the subject, what kind of music do you usually listen to? Do you a have favorite band?
I listen to the classics what everyone else mostly. Out of the them, I like King Krule (Uk), Lescop (Fr), Warpaint (Usa), John Olav Nilsen og Gjengen (N)
In addition to ‘Our Culture’, what other blogs do you usually follow?
A northern soul, One man and his clobber, One up manship, Proper mag, The Hovian.
What places would you recommend to visit in Hungary and in Baltic States?
I would recommend Budapest, in the past 3-4 years many good pubs, restaurants and clubs opened. Also the handcrafted beers and local ciders came up lately. Some good places for Hungarian beers: Rézhasú Bagoly (Horánszky utca 9, 1085 Budapest), Léhűtő (Holló utca 12-14. 1076, Budapest,), Csak a jó sör (Kertész utca 42, Budapest), Sörmanufaktúra (Ganz utca 6, 1027 Budapest).
Budapast famous about their baths too. From middle of February til end of September they are making an outdoor pool party every weekend. For more info: http://www.bathsbudapest.com/budapest-bath-parties
Estonia is a perfect destination if you are looking for beautiful girls. More than 600 brewery (handcrafted) in Latvia its a quiet good reason to go there. Lithuania wasnt so interesting to me.
Thank you for answering the interview, if you want to add anything else….
Thank you for your interest. Keep the quality of the blog and the frequent.