Bringing American working heritage to WITTMORE, is one of our favorite brands, Relwen. Relwen was founded with inspiration from the farming life of rural Ohio and Michigan. To Relwen, function and durability are everything. Each piece is crafted with 100 year lifespan in mind. They want to transcend fashion, and for that, we respect. You can look at each of their pieces and know that you just found your new favorite jacket/shirt/pant that will be used forever. We wanted to get inside the mind of founder Jamie Rupp to get his inspirations and get to know the man behind the brand.
Photo: Snow Camp, N. Michigan
Whom do you admire?
My wife, she’s perfect.
What are your favorite 5 musical artists that you can't live without?
I can live without any as I’m always recycling old with new, rediscovering stuff that I’ve forgotten about, etc.. But the forever “constants” for me are probably Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, and then the 90’s grunge of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden—I love Chris Cornell’s voice. But you could also walk into my space and hear me listening to Beethoven,.. I love all of the classics.
What's the first thing that comes to mind to describe your personal style?
Sounds cliché, but “effortless," due in large part to the fact that I have a specific way of dressing. I’m in shorts until it’s under 50 on a regular basis, and I’m constantly wearing sweaters, even when it’s 80. I love comfort and function, but I definitely dress with a certain style. I’m also big on necklines. I almost always have a bandana tied to my neck once Fall hits. It’s just what makes me feel comfortable and not naked.
What is the biggest inspiration for your line?
I am a rugged prep. I dig super nice things but they’ve got to be classic and built with a mindset of lasting FOREVER. I hate waste and believe we all have a responsibility to avoid short-lived product. It’s not just about the environment and reducing your footprint; it’s about voting for QUALITY and having a deeper experience.
Photo: Winter Cabin, Sheboygan, WI
What's your favorite global city and what's your preferred airline to get there?
I have lot’s of favorites, London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, LA, NY. Airline is the least of the experience [and] usually forgettable. Thank goodness.
Who is your favorite modern artist?
Francis Bacon stands out to me, psychologically thrilling, but I like all kinds of things. Photography of William Eggleston also interests me [by] taking banal subjects and finding fascination in their composition.
What was the first car you ever owned, and what car would you buy right now?
1968 MGB with a black top, pale yellow. It was slow, but I looked pretty cool for a high schooler. I nearly always had the top down. I drove around with the tonneau cover which allowed me to seal the passenger compartment and zip the whole thing closed when parked.
Car I would buy now? Only old collectibles interest me at the moment, and none that I can afford.
Where are you most comfortable?
On Lake Michigan with my family in June or December.
What future tech gadget should be invented?
A device that could void use of smart phones in restaurants. Is there anything more intolerant than seeing someone who can’t go 5 minutes without looking down at their phone and “staying down” during conversation?
Do you have a daily routine?
Walk my 2 dogs (Mack + Iggy) in the morning or take them to the park to run wild. That’s the biggest routine and something that always makes me happy.
Choose a superpower.
Wonder Woman.. but hotter than Linda Carter. I know [that's] not the question, but that’s what came to mind.
What's your beverage of choice (alcoholic or not)?
Bourbon with sparkling lemonade. I’m a big mixed drinks fan and borderline girl when it comes to cocktails (ok, not borderline).
How do you like your guacamole: mild, medium or spicy?
Spicy, of course.
Photo: The Relwen warehouse from the 20's where rail cars were once serviced in Columbus, Ohio