ONE recently spoke with BulletPrufe Denim owner Will Fisher.
Hey Will, thanks for taking some time to talk with us about Bulletprufe. How’s everything going?
Everything’s going great. I appreciate you taking the time to do this interview.
You know, I can’t remember when you guys launched the brand. When was the official release?
We started Bulletprufe in the winter of 2011, and our denim went on sale right after the NY Invitation in the fall of 2011.
What kinda stuff have you guys learned about the needs of your customers in that time?
Ha ha. That’s a good one, because everyone wants something different. Half the people want ’em tighter, half looser, but they all want quality denim that doesn’t fall apart.
On some of the early jeans you guys had sewn in that extra seat protector — the kind that combat fatigues tend to have. Then at BCSD last year it seemed like that was absent from the pairs I saw. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Yeah, when we started BP, we went through everyoness closets and took a look at their old ripped jeans. Most of them had split at the crotch and torn on the ass, so we figured we’d reinforce it. But I think we may have overdone it. Some people weren’t too crazy about it, so we tested them without the double layer and, with the upgraded fabric and stitching that we used on the 2.0s, they held up great without it. Now that it was unnecessary, we tossed it.
Speaking of Bittercold, that was huge for us — like our formal intro to the blade world as a company. The booth was packed and we sold out in about an hour. So expect to see us there this winter, and we’re also planning on hitting up a lot of other comps this spring and summer.
Sort’ve the same note, what’s going on with the new line? Am I correct in understanding you guys are going in a “premium” direction?
We’ve been working on the new line for a few months, since we sold out this summer, and everything is just about finished. Hope to get them into shops in January. Perfect timing, we know, missing Christmas and all, but we’d rather wait and do it right than rush a new product to market. Not exactly sure what you mean by premium, but we have no intention of entering the “fashion-only” side of denim. If you can’t gap to pavement without them getting destroyed, we’re not interested. You need both, but form without function is worthless.
Who represents you guys right now on “dem blades”?
On the blade side, we’ve got Casey Wilson and Phil Gripper here in Charlotte. Stefan Brandow was here but he’s moving to Nashville. And Simon Johns, our streetboarder buddy, had his visa expire and had to head back to the UK for a bit. Daniel Nielsen is a real good dude and is our man on the ground in Denmark. On the pro side, we’ve got Dre, who’s also from Charlotte, and Demetrios holding it down in Cali, Julian is right down the road in Atlanta, Daniel Prell reps us in Germany, Adrien and Roman in France, and CJ in Australia. Kareem Sheehab is on board as well, repping us in the Seattle area in both the blade and fixed gear scenes.
How do you get connected with those guys?
I got connected with them all sorts of different ways. My guys here in town were down with BP before it even really formally existed. Others, like Demetrios and Roman, I met at comps. If I don’t know someone but think they just crush it, it’s usually as easy as just picking up the phone, see if they’d fit in with rest of the crew, then send ’em some jeans and see what they think.
How involved are the team riders with design/marketing input?
We have a private Facebook group and we talk constantly, so it’s daily input. Everyone just throws out ideas — “Hey, what do you think about X?” — and they’re brutally honest if they don’t like something. “Shitty idea, next!” But nothing goes into production without their input and approval.
And before we close this out, is there anything else you want to add or make sure we know about? Any holiday specials on offer?
We’d just like to thank everyone for the support and let them know that we have big things planned for 2013. I know everyone says that but, like with any new company, it’s taken us the past year to work out the kinks and hit our stride. As for holiday specials, if only we had the damn jeans in stock already! We may do some kind of discounted preorder so if you want some Bulletprufes for Christmas, you can get them and we’ll just ship a week or two later. We also set up gift certificates for Christmas. ust get your parents or girlfriend or whomever to grab a gift certificate on our website and it can be used for anything at anytime.
Also, if anyone ever has any suggestions as to what we can do to improve, please either email or message us/post on our wall on Facebook. We read and respond to every single message; we want and need the feedback so we can keep improving.
And don’t forget to check this new edit of Bulletprufe Team Rider Phil Gripper. Dude lives the life, and everytime I hang out with him I remember why we started BP, and why people skate in the first place.
Thanks again for doing the interview! We’ll see you guys soon.
Well thanks again, Will. And good luck with everything!