One thing at a time, as beautiful as possible
Design that is rooted in a sense of place and heritage is something I have a lot of time for here on Design Hunter. Although many companies have attempted to exploit the fashion for heritage brands in recent years, discovering South Yorkshire based menswear brand Mamnick and their manifesto of creating "one thing at a time, as beautiful as possible" it's hard not to be struck by their quiet authenticity.
The company takes its name from a road that leaves the Hope Valley, deep within the Peak District, and ascends to Mam Tor, and with the exception of a small capsule 'Black Label' collection (which was made in Japan), everything is manufactured in South Yorkshire.
In a nod to the industrial heritage of Sheffield, the UK's 'steel city', alongside their clothing range Mamnick have also produced a range of stainless steel accessories - clips and holders (for your cash, credit cards and notes), page markers, tie clips and irresistibly (because let's face it who wouldn't want one of these?), a bottle opener which also doubles as a chip fork.
"Our shirts are made by people only a stone's throw away from the road that my Grandad and I grew up on" says Thomas Barnett, founder of Mamnick. "A family community where every weave and stitch has a story - it's this family of people with their craft and workmanship that make us who we are. It's nice to work so closely with manufacturers that share the same feeling towards Britain's manufacturing heritage and I'm grateful to them - if they weren't willing to help, then Mamnick would be little more than a logo festering in my head."
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Who are you?
Thomas Barnett, founder of Mamnick.
What's behind the name Mamick?
Mam Nick is a road in Derbyshire that leads up to Mam Tor. It's a very challenging climb on the bike, something I thought might be fitting when it came to launching my own clothing brand.
How did it all start?
I studied Fine Art and was working with vintage clothing whilst I did my BA. I was looking to build something for myself, that meant a lot to me and gave me a chance to be creative. I've always had a keen interest in clothing and materials and after sourcing a few factories to manufacture my designs I decided to launch Mamnick and I've just taken it from there really.
What makes you different?
I guess we're living in a culture where there seems to be a lot of 'fake' brand heritage, it's almost become a trend. I've tried to look at my own past and my interests and combine them into Mamnick, which is a real place and in part is inspired by my grandad who worked as a steel worker in Sheffield for over 45 years. The Sheffield steel collection is dedicated to him.
As a keen cyclist, I wanted to make something that shared the places I visit in the Peak District with our audience. Every garment is named after these places, roads and hamlets that are only a stone's throw away from where our manufacturing takes place.
Who wears your clothes?
I think we have a wide-audience as far as men are concerned. I'd like to think that they appeal to both younger men and older gents, probably due to the simple design nature of our garments. I don't see the point in trying to re-invent the wheel. I'd rather focus on the subtle detailing to make a difference.
What are you most proud of?
Probably the first shirt we manufactured named Backtor. It was a real break-through when that first run was complete. It took us nearly 8 months to do it but once we we're over that hurdle everything else just seemed to appear as a lot less of a challenge.
How is your work influenced by the place you grew up?
As said, I spend a lot of my spare time on the bike in the Peak District and Derbyshire and I think that really helps me think about new ideas, getting that space and alone time whilst still travelling feels exiciting. That may sound a little strange but it does usually get my creative juices flowing.
Where can you find Mamnick?
Take the first right when you hit the shops in Hope Valley. It's a long winding road that takes you up to Edale and if you manage to make it to the top, just look around you and soak in the view. Words do not do it justice and the fact that you need to earn it gives it more value.