Top 5: The Owners Favorite Pieces of 2020
For 2020 we set out to create a variety of products, and this year became my favorite thus far from a quality and design perspective. Picking five items out of dozens that you really love can be challenging but below is my attempt to do so.
Gary's Top 5
- Rose Chore Jacket - This piece was the culmination of many stop and start attempts at further cut and sew for the brand. To truly do cut and sew pieces it requires a lot of failures, different iterations, and most importantly time. We've had skeletons of different items for years and getting to the finish line seemed impossible at moments. Fast forward to our collaboration with CMBD and insert the WDRFA Chore Jacket. This collection highlighted different items from both brands that had not been released yet. We combined different aspects to make it work by infusing special colorways. I wear jackets a lot and specifically Chore Coats, so to have ours sell out almost instantly was a huge deal to me. For all of these reasons this is my favorite Piece of the year.
- Brown Adapt Hat - Hats have always been a consistent accessory for me and with us doing over 10 ebbets hats, it's only right for this one to make the list. Our Brown Wool Ebbets Field 6 Panel cap from our Tinker Holiday collection may be my favorite we’ve done so far. The word ‘Adapt’ means so much to our brand due to the personal adversities we’ve both had to face. In cream letters the word become the focal point on a subdued colorway, it’s a perfect match. Additionally, the concept/colorway was based on coffee beans and the WDRFA roast we were creating for the collection. The details on this cap include the Pin color being black as a representation of super dark beans and a vintage green satin underbill. Brown hats are not always readily available, thus creating one that was so heavily influenced by this collection puts this high on my list.
- Two-Tone Tote Bag - The Tote bag from the collection we released with James Dant has made it to my list for a very unique reason. Besides this one, all of the other items on the list are ones that I frequently use. Though I don't currently use the Tote bag, its importance to our brand and from my perspective it ranks high. There are a lot of women supporters of WDRFA but we don’t always make items that are specifically marketed to them. Our Tote is obviously unisex, but the majority of people who purchased the Tote were women. It was incredibly cool to see close family and longtime women customers so excited about a release. The excitement led to the Tote selling out immediately, earning it third place on the list.
- Classic Arched Logo Hoodie - Our Classic Arched logo design is generally the most sought after item we release. It will probably always make my top 5 (if released in that year). We have refined the sizing of it over the last couple years and I love where we landed. I have never owned a white or cream hoodie and wouldn't normally go for them, however, the navy and cream combination seemed to fit effortlessly and ironically it's become one of my favorite items that continues to get worn.
- WDRFA We Don't Run Roast - Rounding out my list is our We Don't Run coffee blend. We were originally supposed to host our WDRFA Market Place at Tinker last April. The event was shaping up to be our largest production to date and unfortunately like everyone else we were put on hold for an entire year. To end 2020, we felt it was best to close just like we intended to open and collaborated with Tinker. Although the collection had a lot of great items, the coffee blend is the most unique for me. While Mike is an avid coffee drinker, I generally go for coffee based drinks. The blend of coffees from Malawi and Ethiopia created the perfect subtleness that allowed me to really appreciate the roast. WDRFA having our own roast is just a further example of how we are more than just a clothing brand, we are a lifestyle. We will continue try to incorporate all aspects of our lives within our brand.
Mike's Top 5
Releasing nearly 50 items last year makes it difficult to cut it all the way down to five. In the process of choosing my Top 5 of 2020, I managed to develop the criteria for my list; What did I wear the most? What was the most impactful? And what most represented everything we were aiming to accomplish as a brand this year?
With that said, in no particular order this is my Top 5 and the reason for each item.
- Washington High School Tee– Out of the 3 pieces we did, the black, the white and the “Newspaper” tee as we called, this was my favorite. Why? Because this was a history lesson we wanted to teach our consumers about where we are from, East Chicago, Indiana. The arguably greatest basketball player to ever play the game, played his first ever “home” game at East Chicago Washington High School and it is something notable for us, for everyone from The Region and from Indiana for that matter.
- WDRFA x James Dant Weekender Backpack– Having a second chance to create a one-of-a-kind bag (the first time since 2017), was an opportunity to design something like no one has ever had in their closet. The ‘weekender bag’ as we named it, is made with waxed camouflage and a heavy-duty grey canvas. It is detailed with leather accents, equipped with a front pocket, hidden pocket, and padded laptop holder. It works as a backpack or briefcase and fits the essentials for a quick weekend trip.
- Shades of Green WDRFA x CMBD Chore Jacket– A long time coming. For years we have worked to get into the cut and sew game and by working on this collaboration with CMBD we were finally able to make it come to fruition. Our early designs always included the foundation of this jacket (different shades of green), so to see it come to life was amazing. This pick was a close call between the Rose Chore Jacket but with its significance and how much I wear the green it had to be Top 5.
- WDRFA x Tinker Miir Canister– I love coffee. I love art. I love history. To have one item embody those three things meant a lot to me. The functionality of the canister is dope because you can store coffee (or other things) and the design includes the use of a valve to block out oxygen, which keeps what you are storing fresh. Most importantly, the outside design is a visual history of both businesses – the artwork details both of our origins and interests, plus it looks super dope. Not only is this the perfect canister, but it becomes a notable piece of art wherever you put it at.
- Ripstop Race Cap– I wear a hat nearly every day and to create our first true cut and sew cap was a monumental moment for me. As a brand that is starting to go in the direction of creating items from scratch, being minimalist with our approach is something I truly believe will help us display our true creativity. This hat is so simple yet so complex, as it has great detail and minimal branding. I’ve worn the hat at least once a week since it’s dropped.