Profile: Hecklewood Apparel
a detailed story of Hecklewood Apparel: historical background,info and images from the Hecklewood HQ and of course pics of their current apparel.
Info provided by Sam Huff (aka Sam Hecklewood) in the form of a story.
99% of it has been left untouched. I’ve split the info into sections.
Some parts have been left out, slightly edited or rearranged.
HECKLEWOOD, as a company, began as an idea between Sam and a
couple friends about 2 years ago…but the name ‘HECKLEWOOD’
came about much earlier…
//About the name: history & identity
HECKLEWOOD is a combination of two concepts – the first one [HECKLE] is pretty obvious…We all know what that means…but the WOOD stems from subdivision community names.We have this running joke that housing developers have like three prefixes and three suffixes to choose from when naming a suburb…and growing up, we all lived in and drove past the Gatewoods,the RIverdales, and the Hillvalleys…
Back when the idea sprouted for HECKLEWOOD, my friends and I were still in high school living in the most white-bread community in the world.We were always bitching about living in the middle of nowhere,and talking about how we coveted every chance we could get to drive into the city for a punk show or whatever. It was then that we all assumed the surname HECKLEWOOD as our way of saying “fuck the ‘burbs”…but since then, the name HECKLEWOOD as a brand has become our attempt through graphics to subvert the cookie-cutter lifestyle of the suburbs by celebrating urban life and culture…
As with all of our past seasons, our graphics will remain heavily influenced by urban culture. Right now we’ve all been saturating our brains with a lot of music and cult films from the late 70’s and early 80’s….the character icons, colors, and raw aesthetic from back then are fucking classic….lately, our shop’s ipod has had a lot of music from that same era on heavy rotation….a lot of the clash, undertones, dead kennedys, blondie, and the ramones mixed in with some david bowie, roxy music, michael jackson’s thriller [a classic]….some kraftwerk, devo, the replacements….and in addition to the classics we’ve been throwing on some newer hip hop ala mf doom, del tha funky homosapien, the streets….its a pretty mixed bag of genres around here….And that’s the best way to describe our aesthetic – a ‘pop-cultural collage’. I mean, its everything from the music we listen to, to the movies we watch, to the bars we drink at – its really hard to nail down our style to one or two influences….and like a lot of other of other kids from the 90’s, we all grew up skating, snowboarding, and playing punk rock….so there’s always those inspirations
creeping in. As we were finishing high school, that was about the time when Shepard Fairey starting to garner some real attention with his prints and OBEY….we were definitely thinking that stuff was so fresh… So his influence early on definitely got us into stencil art and the whole ‘guerilla’ style of building a brand.
But more than anything, it’s still just those days where we hit the streets in the city that inspire us the most.
Whether it’s Melbourne, Portland, Barcelona, or L.A….all these places we travel to have such a unique aesthetic, but when you distill it all down, they all share a common trait. There’s a whole spectrum of styles in each city that range from the bum sparing for change on the freeway entrance,to the guy in the exspensive suit walking to his office, or the punks drinking in the park….its that cultural diversity and collage of styles that really blows our hair back and inspires our style….
/// January 2004
Sam moves down to Melbourne, OZ to work for a few months and travel for a few more.Wandering around the city, he discovers a virtual goldmine of street art [mostly stencils] in back alleys. His days at work quickly turn into an 8 hour waiting game ’til he can go out to discover more street art around the city. Sam gets sucked into the stencil art scene down there.
It was then that HECKLEWOOD first debuted as a tangible thing – a series of stencil pieces about celebrating the city and the culture it breeds.
/// August 2004
Sam returns back home and quickly becomes frustrated with both the lack of tolerance for street art, and places to stencil.
Around that time that he decides to stencil onto other mediums and spends his free time doing DIY stenciling onto blank shirts bought from Target. These tees are sold to friends for just enough dough to cover the spray paint and blank shirt. After a couple months, realizing that production was a lot slower than the demand, gets together with two good friends (Jevy & Scotty) and starts screenprinting some graphics.
/// Spring of 2005
Hecklewood has scraped up enough cash to get a website designed and have a small run of someselect graphics printed up. From there, they introduce their stuff to shops around the northwest.
/// Not so long ago…
Hecklewood successfully debutes their second season of clothing.
// Current Endeavors & Points of Interest
The last four months have helped HECKLEWOOD as a company grow dramatically, and we were lucky enough to know some people that had an amazing space available for us to turn into our HECKLEWOOD headquarters. We had always kicked around the idea of building a ‘compound’ of sorts where we could run the day-to-day work of shipping out shirts, designing the new line, and selling our product in a storefront….and this space is perfect for that. In addition to the retail space, artist gallery and product storage, we have a fridge stocked to the brim with ice cold beer. So now HECKLEWOOD patrons can enjoy a frosty PBR while shopping “cause after all, its the simple pleasures that make life worth living.”
We are also carrying some selected apparel by other independent companies and designers, like HELLO MINOR, INVICID, SHIPLEY, and YOSHIMI..So right now that’s what we’re focusing on…trying to build a community, or i guess ‘cartel’ would be a more fitting description, of like-minded individuals.
We are curating month-long exhibitions of art that kicked off a couple of weeks ago with our grand opening, and this month we are currently featuring work by Seattle artist Nick Kamuda
Beer Olympics [June 2006] will be a contest of beer-drinking stamina, coordination, and athletic prowess that will help us kick off the 5 months of summer sun we get every year here in Portland…
We also have some other events in the works for this coming year. Among others, HECKLEWOOD is planning on sponsoring an independent film contest and some music-related events.”
//Points of Interest:
-Hecklewood uses quality & sweatshop free products from american apparel.
-Currently their spring/summer 06 line is being designed and this season hecklewood is entering the cut and sew world (to satisfy all the custom fit junkies out there)
-The line will be expanded by adding a couple sub-brands to the mix; one is a line of leather goods and the other is an accessory line of cast resin for women….so stay tuned and watch out for their new shit that drops in early march! Visit: Hecklewood.com
Sammy: went to Arizona State for Industrial Design, and has a broad range of experience across the entire design gamut. Has consulted on designs for NIKE, VISION STREET WEAR, and BMW….he gets to throw the title ‘Creative Director’ on his business cards
Jevan: works full time as a sales rep for a major apparel company, so he knew a lot about approaching new accounts and handling the sales-side of HECKLEWOOD…. is the ‘Sales Director
Scotty: went to Oregon State for finance, was a natural choice to handle the funds. Worked briefly for a company that made promotional products, so he had some experience with sourcing….he got stuck with the ‘Operations Director’ title…
Meggy: attended Washington University as a Fashion Design undergraduate…resume includes design consultancy for COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR and DUB SNOWBOARD APPAREL among others…she is genius behind HECKLEWOOD’S new cut-and-sew line.