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Thursday, September 20, 2012

You Learn Something New Everyday - The Bund Strap

Many years ago in Sydney there was a highly dynamic company that started making elastic sided sneakers. The concept for the shoes, so far as I am told, was that two young men were so stoned one day on a holiday, that they couldn't get their shoes back on after sightseeing that one joked to the other 'it would be great if they had elastic sides' - and this was how Royal Elastics was born. In Miami in 2001 I was passing through after a South American adventure from one side to the other on a Tucan yellow bus tour. On a budget I arrived in Miami with very little money to spend but found myself in the company of one of the then directors of the shoe company who took us to their product launch at a place called The Opium Den where we were plonked next to Paul Oakenfold, Naomi Campbell and Boy George. I have often relayed the story to others but I am quite certain that Paul, Naomi, and Boy fail to remember the occasion as fondly as I do. In those days the young dynamic duo from Royal Elastics - Tull Price and Rodney Adler, lived it, as we used to say, 'large', globe trotting from one city to the next as they expanded their operation.

Fast forward 11 years and the pair decided to go separate ways. One of the pair, Tull Price, now owns and runs Feit, which is a very unique business model for leather goods. Feit is an Australian company that specialises in making hand-made shoes with fine leathers but in the most non-traditional manner. They are on the interface of street-fashion and classic artisan manufacturing, making new pieces every month which they then offer out to their members. Although not exactly the style I am accustomed to for my own person, I can see how they are loved by their followers. They take a very rustic, urban approach to make a more modern shoe, not in the least hemmed in by tradition and yet respecting their craftsmanship. What I am interested in is The Bund Band, which I will let them explain below. In the meantime, check out Feit's website.

"The Bund Strap watchband was first used by WWII pilots because of its insulating properties. The leather band would ensure that the watch face would not freeze or burn a pilot’s wrist as they were exposed to extreme conditions.
Later the first man to venture into space - Yuri Gagarin - wore his watch on a Bund Strap. Perhaps its most celebrated wearer was Paul Newman whose signature Rolex Daytona was always worn on a Bund Strap."

The Bund Band, a great watch band for a sports watch
Feit leather boots are entirely hand-made

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