Shockoe Atelier on Someone Else

Someone Else has been my focus for the last year. My original idea was simple: I want to write the stories that I can’t write for my day job. Joining forces with a world-class designer and photographer, we set out to talk about style, clothing, and culture in a new way. As we state on the SE “about” page:

Someone Else goes under the surface of style. We believe that the stories behind clothing are as interesting as the clothes themselves, if not more so.

Someone Else has surprised me. When recently looking over our work thus far, I realized that whether I’m writing about a leather tannery, a family atelier, or a country singer, I’m always writing about branding, without even realizing it. It’s engrained in me somehow.

In the heritage-clothing world, there are a ton of companies—particularly in the denim and leather-goods spaces—that sound incredibly similar in how they talk about themselves. Throughout my career, especially my extensive work for Red Bull, I’ve spent a lot of time differentiating similar entrants in a given field. When I wrote athlete profiles for Red Bull Stomping Ground, instead of 15 interchangeable BMX riders, I presented readers with one elder statesmen, one trick maestro, one emerging rookie, one bad boy, etc. To achieve this kind of differentiation, I find “one true thing” about a person, team, or company and build around that standout quality, making sure it holds up to scrutiny. In my work there are no marketing smokescreens or snow jobs. I’ve built my career on selective truth-telling.

With Someone Else, I’m looking forward to doing more truth-finding / -telling on behalf of clothing brands. And I’m looking forward to the project continuing to surprise me.