We recently had the chance to review belts from Napper Tandy's ntandy. Napper will tell you that he decided to make belts because he desired to make something highly functional and simple. And his belts live up that promise. We recently had the chance to review his belts and also learn more about Napper.
First, the belts. The belts come in bright colors - red, blue, orange, green, and yellow. The belts are made in Los Angeles, CA and are extremely sturdy. The belts are stitched in white thread twice on top and the bottom and feel as they could withstand most nearly anything. The buckle itself also feels very sturdy. In short, the belt has become our favorite to wear with jeans ands a great pop of colour to whatever you're wearing. On a recent outing, a friend upon seeing the red belt remarked: "are you Superman?" Enough said.
Our conversation with Napper follows below:
LC: How'd you get started in doing this?
NT: I have had the immense pleasure of working in the advertising industry for over a decade as a writer and now creative director. I've had the honor of collaborating with very talented people on everything from automotive documentaries on the infamous Baja 1000 offroad race, to Super Bowl commercials featuring giant sock monkeys riding jet-skis. That said, in advertising the gamete an idea has to suffer through before it is actually made is painfully daunting. To be honest, it's amazing anything is produced considering the long drawn out approval process. There are too many cooks in the kitchen, and too many hands in the stew. So, one day it dawned on me that I really needed to make something in which I represented the entire approval process. I have always enjoyed building things and I've always dug clothing, so why not make some clothing? Lastly, disturbed by the growing strangle hold technology has not only on gizmos, but in outrageously excessive and expensive outdoor clothing, I wanted to create some simple, highly-functional analog stuff that was well made - and easy to understand. Done and done.
LC: And why belts?
I started with belts because I really wanted to create something that was not only useful but an object people would take notice of. I saw belts as an opportunity to create an accessory and piece of equipment with personality. I work hard to make sure the ntandy brand represents what I cherish the most about life, which is recreation. I believe in work and play, but ntandy is all about play. So, as I've written on my website, "And so it begins with a belt. A belt so bold and handsome, so simple and functional, that it fits the bill whether heli-boarding the Himalayas or hammering back highballs. One belt to rule them all." This is also why the brand's tagline is; The Art of Recreation
LC: Any plans of expanding into other products? What brands inspire you?
Yes indeed. I have a new line of more winter vibed belts coming, some watch bands designs I'm experimenting with as well as some killer, highly durable and water resistant waxed canvas pouches.
As for brands that inspire me? I am inspired by everything from free ride ski apparel brands like Flylow, who nod at the past while charging forward, to a highly functional, technical and progressive brand like Outlier, who question the boundary lines of fashion and function. I also really appreciate the simplicity and focus on the out of doors a brand like Topo Designs champions, as well as the fun and sense of humor a brand like Poler embraces. I like brands with a strong personalities who make things that embody their battle cries, and have fun doing it.