I have always been of the idea that the little things add up to big things. When I started making clothes and designing, I really didn’t know a lot about it but was eager and hungry to learn. Even now, 10 years after leaving fashion school, I am still eager to learn more and improve my products.
The way that I’ve seen success is by developing something out in the marketplace. I think perfectionism is just a nice way of saying procrastination. I much prefer speed of product to the customers. The social media age has a short attention span and is constantly on the look out for the next thing. That is why it's important to always be developing and improving, whether it be the product, fit, packaging or even just the organization within our company. Don’t get me wrong; I am a perfectionist, so to speak, but I prefer to continually perfect by putting out product. You see this with a company like Apple; they put out a product and soon after bring out the ‘S’ model and then the 2, the 3, the 4 etc etc. With my own line, the bomber jacket is a good example of this. My first iteration of the hero bomber was not anywhere near what the current hero bomber is. I’ve developed the fit, the hardware, fabrication and feel that each new one is better and can continue to get better.
My attitude is that something can never be ‘perfect’ and there are always those little one percenters that add up to a lot down the line. Continually searching for these one percenters rather than being complacent has seen my product improve over the last 12 months to new levels of quality and execution. But I’m still searching for more with which to improve upon. And I believe there are always more to be found. Don’t get me wrong I still believe in putting out an amazing product first up, like our shoes for example; I’m just saying that with more time, knowledge and research I can improve on something that was the best I could do then. I seek the one percenters and am always thinking ahead to the next thing, whether it be new colors or new tweaks to classics, or the next store location or expanding a current location. I like to be as dynamic as possible in making my vision and that of the company even stronger.
When I was playing rugby, at training, I would always look at the one percenters and these were areas I was strongest in. I think that I did have some talent for the game to a degree, but where I picked up the most gain was working harder than the guy next to me. If we were doing a workout I wouldn’t cut corners. I’d stay back and do extra: I’d practice little parts of my game, I made sure that I was eating correctly and taking vitamins, I stayed away from partying, drugs and alcohol and really worked at my weight training. These added up to results on the field. I didn’t end up making it as a pro player, as I switched career paths at age 20 and went into fashion. Honestly it was the best decision I have made because it was something that had been with me from a young age, even if I didn’t consciously know it at the time.
Observing, improving and doing have worked for me and I’ll continue to do so as this is what gets me up in the morning. I feel very fortunate that I have created a situation where everyday I get to create something new. This is what makes me look forward to Monday as opposed to dreading it. I get excited about the little things!