Editor’s note: Stick around to catch up on the last entry in our Style Q+A series.
Here at your favorite neighborhood menswear blog — The Style Guide, c’mon guys — there’s inspiration to be found everywhere in terms of men’s style. And as we’ve often talked about when it comes to style upgrades, there are a lot of different things, some small and some large, that go into developing and refining great personal style. From how you buy and wear your favorite chambray shirt to the type of classic leather boots you put on every day, style is certainly an ongoing process — and that includes the things that surround you in your daily home life. Whether we’re talking a refined-yet-rugged candle or a neat planter, there are chances to put a bit more thought into nearly every aspect of your routine and the design of the spaces in which you live and work. Not to get all philosophical but… it makes a difference! And the small team at Friday & River approaches its work with all those small details and the process of excellent design in mind — that’s great news for you and me both. And when you learn more about the San Diego-based husband-and-wife brand, you realize that yes, even the unexpected items — like your leather wallet or your everyday belt — can make a big difference in the way you live your life. In discovering the brand and trying out its “Yuzu and the Sea” candle and a lovely white, leather-wrapped planter over the past few weeks, I found that I appreciate having subtly stylish goods around my Brooklyn apartment (small as it might be). And hopefully, you’ll give the brand a try for yourself — shop around at Friday & River, and learn more about what makes co-founder Joe Freitag tick. Without much further ado, check out the latest Style Q+A .
TSG: Tell about the start of the brand and your initial idea for it?
F&R: Friday & River is very much a collaboration between my wife Yumi and I. We have both worked in design or branding for brands like Levis, Burton, Luxottica, to name a few, and discovered the world of high-quality handcrafted leather goods while we were living and working in Tokyo. Inspired by the dedication to craftsmanship, minimalism and attention to detail, we learned the craft of leatherwork and started designing and making our own items as gifts for friends and family. Eventually we began selling our goods under the name Friday &River, which is derived from our last names – Freitag meaning “Friday” in German, and Kawamura meaning “Big River Village” in Japanese.
TSG: You feature a wide range of product categories on your site — why is it important for a guy to take an interest in home design and other areas outside of just menswear?
F&R: I think most guys who pay attention to what they wear also consider their living space as an extension of their personality. Increasingly, when people spend their hard-earned money on something they are seeking items with purpose, or add a sense of joy and warmth to their lives. That way of thinking is one of the cornerstones of Friday & River and why we strive to make meaningful items for different aspects of a person’s life.
TSG: If you had to pick out one item from the Friday & River site for a guy to buy, what might it be?
F&R: I think there’s something very personal about a man’s wallet. It’s the one item that he’ll often carry with him every day for years, reminding him of where he’s been and where he’s headed. A well-made leather wallet can be handed down for generations.
TSG: On the style front, what’s an essential every guy should have in his closet?
F&R: Now that cooler weather has settled in, there’s something very satisfying about putting on your favorite watch cap. (Editor’s note: Head here for a few stylish winter accessories picks from 2016).
TSG: You post studio playlists on your blog — how does music inspire your design work, and what have you been spinning lately?
F&R: Music is a constant in the Friday & River workshop. It is the soundtrack to our work-whether it be design, production or day-to-day tasks, so we like to share that soundtrack on our site once in a while. We have a pretty eclectic taste in music, but you’ll typically hear a lot of classic soul and funk because it keeps the energy flowing, especially when we’re in production.