If you’re not yet acquainted with Anchor Division, then, well… you can thank us later. AD, helmed by Jamison Aweau, began as a project in aesthetics and has evolved into a pitch-perfect source of up-to-the-minute menswear news and helpful tips. And it’s not done evolving, either— with several collaborations under his belt and a new shop on the way, we can’t stress enough that Jamison is definitely one to watch.
RYE & RIVET: You recently put out a Frank Clegg Leatherworks x Anchor Division collaboration duffel, which has some very rich military-inspired details. This is obviously something that’s uniquely personal to you— can you tell us more about why those details felt right for this project?
JAMISON AWEAU: You are very much right. This duffel was personal to me for many reasons—first and foremost, working with a talented person such as Frank Clegg, it wasn’t just about throwing a bag together. It was about getting involved and seeing how he really crafted things. It was a pleasure working with him and I have some upcoming designs that people should look out for. Secondly, the whole colorway was important to me. I’ve always been a fan of the dark, chocolate-colored leather, and I thought we could accent it with natural tan leather so that, when the bags wear with heavy use, the color will darken and mature. The most personal thing to me was the inside fabric, which is the Desert Camo from The Gulf War. It was important because I grew up wanting to be a soldier—after high school, I enlisted in the United States Army. Although my camo was ACU pattern, the Gulf War-era pattern is one of my favorites and I think it adds great depth and color to the bag itself.
R&R: The weekender duffel, however, wasn’t your first collaboration— getting more involved with the products themselves seems to be what Anchor Division is progressing toward. What was it like making the transition from menswear critic to menswear innovator? Did it feel like a different way of thinking, or was it just the natural next step?
JA: It is definitely a different way of thinking, but I try to maintain my own personal aesthetic in all the collaborations I do. There will always be people who dislike a given product, but I think it’s important to maintain your own idea. Some people will share the same interests and mindsets as you, and those are the people that you want to consistently work with and do business with. I have more collaborations coming up consisting of both accessories and menswear.
R&R: Anchor Division is such a great mix of laid-back and edgy attitudes. How would you describe what catches your eye when you’re looking for new content? What would you name your aesthetic?
JA: Oh geez, I couldn’t technically name my style or aesthetic. A lot of it, however, is derived from the 1930’s and 1940’s lifestyle as well as numerous military pieces that have provide me with inspiration. I love a worn look on a lot of things, but on the other side of the spectrum, I also love futuristic gear and minimalism. Putting those two together usually makes quite a nice look.
R&R: It seems like everyone has their own unique reasoning as to why USA-Made or Heritage appeals to them. What’s yours?
JA: I’m all about supporting our factories and the hard workers in the USA. I grew up as a blue collared worker, working in a factory and getting a sense of how genuine people are. There are a lot of people out there working harder than most, working for little money but putting out a beautiful product. USA-Made has always been very close to me. And Heritage is coming back, so it’s nice to see many of the old models and designs working their way back onto the shelves.
R&R: Who’s an icon that’s inspiring you at the moment?
JA: I don’t think I have a specific icon, really. I’d say I draw more inspiration from forms of photography and art in general. It makes more sense to me.
R&R: What’s your drink of choice?
JA: My alcoholic drink of choice would be any type of beer, really. Much like coffee, I enjoy the actual taste of many beers and it’s always nice to sit back and enjoy them."