The Menswear Style Podcast

Jan Juelicher, Co-Founder of Dalgado

February 04, 2021 Menswear Style Episode 113
The Menswear Style Podcast
Jan Juelicher, Co-Founder of Dalgado
Chapters
The Menswear Style Podcast
Jan Juelicher, Co-Founder of Dalgado
Feb 04, 2021 Episode 113
Menswear Style

Dalgado is a German design studio obsessed with sourcing the finest materials and crafting them into premium-quality accessories without the luxury markup. Integrating minimalist aesthetics, rigorous attention to detail, and sustainable local production, they create accessories of muted elegance designed to withstand the test of time. Premium quality belts and gloves are made to last and offered at honest prices. Ethically and environmentally-friendly handcrafted by revered German and Italian artisans, these products are designed to withstand the test of time.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview Jan Juelicher, Co-Founder of Dalgado about the founding story of the DTC brand he started with his brother in 2017 without any prior experience working within the fashion industry. They started with woven belts which proved to be very popular, and then moved onto other categories such as trainers, socks, gloves, and belts. Our host Peter Brooker and Jan also talk about sourcing the best suppliers, minimalist design philosophy, transparent pricing, and sustainability.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Show Notes Transcript

Dalgado is a German design studio obsessed with sourcing the finest materials and crafting them into premium-quality accessories without the luxury markup. Integrating minimalist aesthetics, rigorous attention to detail, and sustainable local production, they create accessories of muted elegance designed to withstand the test of time. Premium quality belts and gloves are made to last and offered at honest prices. Ethically and environmentally-friendly handcrafted by revered German and Italian artisans, these products are designed to withstand the test of time.

In this episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interview Jan Juelicher, Co-Founder of Dalgado about the founding story of the DTC brand he started with his brother in 2017 without any prior experience working within the fashion industry. They started with woven belts which proved to be very popular, and then moved onto other categories such as trainers, socks, gloves, and belts. Our host Peter Brooker and Jan also talk about sourcing the best suppliers, minimalist design philosophy, transparent pricing, and sustainability.

Whilst we have your attention, be sure to sign up to our daily MenswearStyle newsletter here. We promise to only send you the good stuff.

Unknown:

Hello and welcome to another episode of the mens rea style podcast. I'm your host Pete Rocha. On this episode I'm going to talk to Jan juluca. co founder of Delgado. Delgado are a German design studio obsessed with sourcing the finest materials and crafting them into fairly priced, timeless accessories that are made to last. Their philosophy integrates minimalist designs with premium levers brought to life by revered artisans. And you can find out more about the brand and also shop the look through the website at www dot Delgado dot d. And here is Jan, to tell the story of Delgado. So we started the company. So my brother and I started the company in 2017. And it was really a passion project for us. We've always been interested in fashion and design, but we have no background in it. We grew up with design because our father is an agent for Italian designer furniture companies for for many, many years. So we grew up with these beautiful furniture pieces that still look good after 15 years. And we just knew Okay, quality and good design is something that sticks around. This is something we just kept with us. And then one of our really good family friends started a watch company about 16 years ago, it was it was a DTC model, which didn't exist back then especially in the watch watch industry. Now, like with Kickstarter, it has become very commonplace, but back then it wasn't. And he has been extremely successful with it. And that really gave us the idea and also the inspiration to say, Okay, I think this is something that could actually work and something we really want to do and turn this passion to something more tangible. But But it took us a while to actually get there. Cuz my brother, he was travelling quite a bit after high school. So he was Australia. And then he he studied in the UK, and then also South Africa. And I was in the US studying there and will founding a company in two different continents isn't really feasible. So we waited a bit. And all of that changed. Then during my first year working in the IRS, when my visa application got denied, I was working as a financial analyst and was applying for the h1 b visa. And that's a stage below the green card. And that is only distributed by pure chance. I'm not married, I didn't do anything wrong, I sell but I just didn't get lucky. So then I had to move back at 60 days and move back to Germany. And it was like a fresh start. And that is when we decided, hey, this is the perfect time to actually create the bread. I had no other plans. And so I moved up to Dusseldorf we were still located, and we found the company. So that was like the background story of how we, you know, came into being. So how many people are working for the company today. So it's a small team, we we work with web developers who work with a couple of photographers with a freelancer that helps us with the marketing. They're not a firm part of the company, but we work with them, then we have a couple of people helping us with customer support and sending out orders. But most of the work is done by my brother and I Okay, and so what were the I mean on the site, now you have some awesome trainers that we'll get into and from watching the accessories, the gloves and the belts look terrific. What was the very first product in the first line that you launched? The very first were belts, you got classic and braided belts. Right? Correct. And mine took me through those and what makes these belts so special. Right? Sure. So, classic belts is really the belt that customised for everyone. I mean that this is the dress belt that has been around for ages. And we didn't really change much of it, we just made it a really good quality product. for a good price. The brighter better is something that came into being a bit more recently and it is a more casual flair, which ties in really nicely with our approach for casual chic for casual chic wardrobe, because it pairs nicely both with formal wear but also then a more casual wear. And the braided suede belts have been our most popular belts ever since we introduced them. Just because this is what our audience likes to see. The classic belts are made in Hamburg if that's if I'm right and then you got the correct Yeah, and then the braided belts are made in Milan. Oh, is that right? So how did you manage to source the the factories? What was the process of going around and finding the right factory to make these belts for you? That's actually a really good question. Because it was one of the biggest challenges for us in the beginning, when we started out. Without any background in the fashion industry, we had no context. So we were like, okay, we have this idea about how do we go about finding the right kind of suppliers that share our values, and that our came with small order quantities, you know, this is the problem that any small company really faces. So for the classic belt company, we did the good old Google search, we're like, Okay, well, we got to start somewhere. So the problem just is many of these, many of these factories they don't have, let's say, a search engine, my search engine optimised the websites. Yeah, they're pretty bad usually. So it was like on page 10, or so we finally came about this, this traditional belt manufacturer in Germany from 1829, I believe. So we said okay, that sounds great. Let's Let's go meet them. So we drove up there. And they are amazing. Like they have so much now how and it is just pure craftsmanship. And it has been an absolute bliss, working with them. Awesome. I want to talk about the trainer's jam. Let's Let's go. Let's get into that we've had the full plan. Now it's time to get into the Beef Wellington. I mean, the trailers look to me because I say on the podcast all the time, I'm very much into like a minimalist trainer, I'm very much into something stripped back no kind of logo heavy and these just right on the money for me. So maybe you can talk about the design process for these what you had in mind and how you envisage this trainer. Sure, sure. So just like with any product or first approach will be okay, this product needs to look good in 10 or 15 years, and it can't be something that is just installed right now that just doesn't work for us. So we already knew Okay, needs to be very simple, have very, very clean silhouette, not a lot of branding, not a lot of detail and want to be as clean as possible. And you also see that with the stiction turn processor, you have the the stitch going on the inside of the lining leather knot on the outside, that really reduces the silhouette as well. All we have is the wingtip colour on the backside that is like our signature detailing on the shoe also on the on the high tops. So this is something that makes us a little unique, but also no branding is really visible. It's it's a blind embossing, so you can hardly see it. But people will know that God will recognise the sneaker by the wingtip colour. And apart from that the focus is purely on the shape and the material. So the leathers we use are phenomenal. And that is where the focus should be on. Where are these trainers made? They are made in Portugal, you have the area around Portugal, Portugal. Yeah, those are this is the hub for for really good sneakers. And then of course, you have the marquee area in Italy. We also have really good sneakers coming from and what was it like when you first got the trainer delivered to yourself and you opened up the box and you got it in your hand? Oh my god, it was like the best Christmas present ever. Cuz again, like we didn't know the how the process worked and, and we found this super nice Portuguese manufacturer and, and he helped us every step of the way. And he allowed us to do every little bit that we wanted all the small specialties you want to include. And now we ordered our first prototypes. And when they arrived, we were so excited and so happy with the result. It's now brand awareness, I imagine for you guys and getting it out to the public. Is that is that the plan? That is the plan. Yeah. So with the belts, it's it's now easier to be found on Google first, just because they're not that many brands that really focused on on the belts and also the gloves. Gloves is something that hardly anyone does, especially the peccary in the car pincher gloves. With belts, it's a bit more tricky. Obviously, there are a lot of players in the market. And we won't be found just in a Google search. So it's something where the built in sneaker combination comes in because it is becoming a trend. You know, the people now are okay with wearing sneakers to the office. But the the age old rule of thumb to match shoes and belts is still prevalent. It still looks good. But they're not that many companies that offer the sneaker belt combination. And this is something where we stand out from many other brands. You know, that's a really good point. I mean, I think I think figured out quite late about the belt and the shoe kind of rule. I mean, you know, rules are quote unquote subjective. But I think the belt and choose the one that you really do need to adhere to, if not, at least getting the colour right, you might not get the exact material or the fabric might not be a leather belt with a leather shoe. But it has to be relatively in the same colour wheel. Right? Right, it just creates a great foundation for an outfit. And I had a friend come over to offices, and he bought our new baertschi sneakers, the light grey one he wanted to build to go with it, and he tried every single grey belt, we have, just to end up with the no bear to classic belts, because it just looks the best. It's as simple as that it's the best option for you to take. And they also the easiest. Yeah, I have to think about it. So I think when you match things like pocket squares and ties, that kind of looks like your auntie bought you a gift set for Christmas with the matching. matching the kettlebell and the and the cool chain is something else altogether, isn't it? I think so too. And the belt is also not so much in your face. Same with the sneakers. If both of them were in Super Bowl colours, then it would just overpower the rescue outfit. But this way, I think it just blends in very nicely with the rest of the outfit. And talk to me about the bow gardo watches please. Jan, what makes these watches so special? And how did you manage to implement these into the brands? Yeah, yeah, that that actually goes back to all inspiration. So they were created with our family friend who has the watch company. And at some point, yeah, he reached out to us and said, Hey, why don't we Why don't we do something. And so it's a very limited numbers series. So there were just like 50 Producer each. Hello, everyone just chiming in here to do a correction. JOHN emailed me afterwards and said he misspoke regarding the quantity of limited watches. He said 50 of each model, they're actually 25 of each model. And what he intended to say was a 50 produce of the two coronagraphs and 50 of the two free hands. And check out the website and have a look at those great watches. Okay, back to Gen. there not a whole lot left, and they won't be back because it was just a one time thing first, because we thought he was a great inspiration for us. So why don't we do something together? Oh, that's nice. Especially if, you know, hoping that the brand goes on and does some great things those watches could be a great timepiece and investment for someone someday, right? I hope so. And another website you have there's a great section or kind of dedicated to climate positive and sustainability. Maybe you can just touch upon that a little bit and why it's so important for you guys. Yeah, for many reasons, we grew up in the in the south of Germany. So right by the Alps, and nature has always been important to us. We were outdoorsy kids, and we love nature and, and we had the good fortune of being able to travel a lot and then also see the band impacts that our production in an industry in general has. So production in general, I'm on the world. And that is when we first realised well this, this is not such a good way to go about things especially for coming generations. So right from the get go when we when he found a dugout or even when we were brainstorming for it, we realised Okay, we really need to focus on creating products that are not only ethically made in the right kind of factories in Europe, but also sustainably made with the right kind of materials. And then going further, we want to make sure that we have no plastic in our packaging, because why there's no need to it is it's only bad for the environment. And then last year, we made the biggest step to becoming a climate positive company with our partner on a mission. So they help us calculate our entire carbon footprint. And that includes you know, the production of the products itself. And then also the shipping the delivery from our suppliers to us shipping from us to our our customers. It's a big calculation, they help us with it. So it's something we're really proud of nice and some good messages. I'm curious what's it like working for your brother now? Have you have you always got along? Do you always see eye to eye? Do you ever lock horns? You know, what's the relationship like working with your brother? We really do see eye to eye on on most subjects you'll see Oh no, no. I am not. No, he's older. Yeah, yeah, he's 33. What is nice is that I have the background in finance and accounting. So I'm really more so the numbers guy and I do all the budgeting And all that good stuff. Now I like the writing part. So everything you see in the websites really written by me. And he's the creative mind, man, he would create the layout of the website, or the social media, the images for the website so that this is his thing. So what is great is that we both have our own competencies, and so we don't get in each other's ways that way. Then just when it comes to the actual design of the products, then we will really work together and figure out what both of us like best I had. I forget the name of the brand, but I did have two brothers on I was vasty headwear. The two gentlemen that were brothers. And I said, it must be easier being brothers in business because you can be more direct with each other. You don't have to kind of float around and go oh, well, what do you think of this? No, yeah, be honest with me. You can because you have that, you know, that foundation of being family, you can just shoot from the hip, I guess a lot of the time. Oh, for sure. For sure. We also have the German directness in us. So if we don't like something, I'm just gonna say it. It just helps along the way. There's no reason to pee around the bush doesn't help you in any way. Yeah, the Instagram looks great. The website looks terrific. People can visit the website, Delgado dot d is where people can have a look and especially with some of the shoes and the trainers. Like I said, I really love the the Lauren fingers really nice one. Thank you. Yeah, the Instagram as well as Delgado underscore official, but we'll put all the links and notes over on the website. Where does the name come from Delgado. Yeah, that's actually a bit of a longer story. We had a very hard time coming up with a name. All we knew is you wanted to be easy to pronounce. And we wanted to him towards like a Portuguese Italian Spanish flag because we knew that that's where we want our products to be made. But we there was no name that came to our mind. We said okay, this is the one. So we started really with the values we want to incorporate in Delgado. So right away we knew Okay, so we want to create minimalist designs, they need to be handmade by really the finest products we can find out there and through a DTC model. We want it to be affordable. So data really is an acronym standing for democratising artists, luxury goods with aesthetic design objectives. So you kind of take out the whiskers that flows so well, but yeah, that's that's how we came up with the name. Yeah, I like it. That's pretty good. It sounds like something that's been around for ages. Like, Oh, thank you. emails were coming through. And I was talking to you guys. I was like, Oh, I know those guys. And then you figure out Oh, I know nothing about them. But I'm glad. Yeah, pretty fresh on the block. Yeah. Well, and I hope you hang around because like I say, I think some of the products you got up there are really cool. And thanks for taking time out. Jan, and all the best with your company. Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure talking to you. Thank you, Dan, and apologies for butchering your names. So many times in the interview. Best of luck with the brand and I do encourage you to check out the products If like me, minimalism is your thing. Thanks for tuning into this episode of The menswear style podcast. If you like what you hear, why not leave a review it does help our egos. Don't forget to check out the show notes for this episode and all content pertaining to fashion watches travel lifestyle over at WWW dot menswear style.uk and on the social app men's wear style. If you want to be a guest on the show, tell us about your brand Tell us about your journey. You can email us here at info at men's wear styled or Koto, UK and until next time