In a world where menswear accessories brands are a “bespoke” dime an “artisanal” dozen, Frank Clegg is the constant. What began as a hobby for Frank during the early seventies has now blossomed into one of the last great luxury leather goods companies in America. For over four decades, Frank has worked out of his Fall River, Massachusetts studio to create a line of bags and accessories that recapture the days when a solid leather bag was a man’s trustiest sidekick. I had a chance to speak with Frank about his brand’s past, present, and future.
To start off, how did Frank Clegg as a business begin, and how did you first get involved with making bags?
I started in the business in 1970 when I was given a few tools as a gift. I realized early on that I was able to make just about anything I wanted to without much effort, so I began selling pieces as fast as I could make them. Not just bags and briefcases, but boxes, chest sets, plant hangers, just about anything that could be made from leather. We were all experimenting in those days!
Kevin Burrows was the one I didn’t see coming. When news broke on the identities of the pair that co-created Fuck Yeah Menswear, the National Lampoon meets Naked Lunch meets Aquemini of the menswear world, I wasn’t surprised that Lawrence Schlossman, arguably the loudest voice of this movement, was one of the collaborators on the project, but I can say that I never would have guessed that Kevin Burrows would be the other half of the duo.
Kevin works as a production coordinator for Dreamworks animation by day, but on the side he runs The Windmill Club, an L.A. based label that began as a tie company but is now branching out into other designs. I’ve never met Kevin before, but as any blogger in this day and age I was certainly familiar with The Windmill Club, and with the Fuck Yeah Menswear book launch just about a week away, I was quite intrigued by the chance to interview Kevin about not only his endeavors, but menswear in general. In our two hour conversation I realized that Kevin is one of the most intelligent and opinionated minds I have come across so far in this world, but it’s no wonder that he was he’s part of the team behind the wit and snark that made FYMW famous.