Dickies is renowned and recognised as the quintessential American workwear brand, and has reserved that notion for the past 100 years. That’s an entire century. With this heritage in mind, Dickies has launched a premium capsule collection that draws upon the Dickies craftsmanship history this summer season. Aptly named the Dickies 1922 Heritage Collection, the range features limited edition pieces that have been crafted and created in the same authentic way that Dickies merchandise was produced when Dickies was birthed in 1922.
The collection makes use of the construction techniques and same quality fabrics of Dickies archival garments in a way that has been updated for the customer of today. All fabrics are made in the USA and all garments are manufactured in the original Dickies factory in Texas.
Dickies has partnered with four hardworking ambassadors to bring the collection to life with a video series that personifies the 1922 collection through each ambassador’s personal story. Two of these ambassadors are butcher and business owner, Andy Fenner, and chef and restaurateur, Liam Tomlin (Andy’s personal mentor).
We caught up with Andy to discuss the links between him and Liam as well as the links between what they do and what Dickies stands for…
Tell us about one particular Dickies item that you’re sentimental about?
Dickies did a customised worker shirt for us at the butchery. It was black, with our logo and a few words detailed in white. They were/are super cool and it enabled us to wear one shirt in the actual butchery, as well as retail environments.
At what moment did you realise that Liam would be a mentor in your life and where did you first meet, and if it was over a meal, do you remember what you ordered?
I met Liam when I was a freelance food journalist. I was there to interview him and when I arrived he was butchering a chicken. Covered in blood, he looked over at me with these crazy, piercing eyes and asked me to take a seat. I was fucking terrified. Luckily we hit it off and through a mutual respect we formed a solid relationship. That grew into a friendship and eventually the mentorship that I value so much.
What would you say would be the best lesson you have learnt from Liam and if you were to mentor someone, what would you want them to learn from you?
Liam is never satisfied. He always looks at areas where he can improve. I mean, we’re talking about a guy who has achieved so much. He just never stops pushing. It would be easy for him to kick back and rely on his reputation. Instead, his standards remain impossibly high. And he just keeps chasing them. I’d like to think some of that has rubbed off on me, in the sense that i just think you can never stop learning. You can never, ever think “cool, I’ve got this now.” Because you don’t. There’s always ways to be better.
Is it always business/serious with you guys?
I think the other thing I learnt from Liam is how to always appear pissed off! People always tell me I never smile, which is exactly what I used to think of Liam. In truth, behind that intensity, Liam is one of the funniest, coolest guys I’ve met. We do talk about food and running a business, sure, but most of the time we are drinking a lot of wine and laughing.
How would you say the core values of Dickies aligns with your lifestyle and personal brand?
It’s proper workwear. The job I do is brutal and it needs hard, tough gear to be able to stand up to knives, bones and saws. The fact that the stuff looks cool is a bonus.
Have you ever eaten at any of Liam’s restaurants and if so what stood out about it?
I have eaten at Liam’s two new restaurants in the past week and Chef’s Warehouse is my single best restaurant in Cape Town so, yeah, I’m very familiar with his style of cooking. He has a philosophy of looking at a dish and seeing what he can remove, instead of what he can add. Which I love. Less is more with Liam but, with food, that’s really tough because there’s nowhere to hide.
Dickies 1922 Heritage pieces are exclusively available for purchase at BlackWood Brother in Cape Town.
Visit the Dickies website at www.dickies.co.za.