DR&DR Profiles is a new article field that will feature new friends, life long friends, and colleagues all the same. Each having a hold on a specific interesting life as well as having something to say. To start, Steve Monaghan from Sane Communications as well as being a Selectism Columnist agreed to sit down and talk about everything from the market, fashion, consumerism, partying, and football.
Steve – Hey Mr C, I’m pretty good, working really hard at the moment. 14 hour day world here in the Sane asylum ha ha. Lots of pots on the boil as it were … exciting times mixed with living on the proverbial edge I guess.
Brandon – So for those who don’t know you, or what it is that you do, let’s get the basic questions out of the way. Where do you live? What do you do for a living? What do you want to be when you grow up?
Steve – I live in London, just off the Fulham road to be precise next to the mighty Thames River. For years, I lived in East London around the Shoreditch area, which I am sure most are aware is London’s Williamsburg, if one was to make a comparison to similar aesthetics and sensibilities with regards to scenes and age groups in one post / zip code.
Following years of fun and getting to know so many great people and doing clubs, being in a band, running a record label and generally living life to its fullest and having mind blowing experiences…I knew it was time to ‘grow up’ for want of a better phrase. So after meeting my now wife and getting married (my greatest experience to date), I decided that it was time to fly the post-codal nest and set up more of a home environment with less distractions where I could knuckle down, clear my head and start on a new journey …
For a living, wow, what is it that I do ?? I have never really been sure. Basically, for years I have immersed myself in culture from fashion, to media, to art, and music across many spheres. I seem to be drawn to it; it’s mainly been about being surrounded by incredible people who constantly inspire me, and that has helped me to understand and grow all at the same time.
It is the understanding of varying facets of lifestyle and culture that have led me to be able to turn my hand to many areas from writing, consulting, creating, talking, listening, and making shit happen. I guess I’m a man about town with a voice and mind that people like to utilise to get their vision out there in front of other folk. I am a right hand in a fight for people on any given day and a conduit for their ethos. I respect them and they trust me … so PR, Marketing, and Brand Communications with my company sanecommunications is where I have kind of found myself, making the 13 years I have spent in this industry that I both understand and respect what has brought me to my knees on occasion, actually count !!
“when i grow up” ? what does that mean ; ) ha ha
Brandon – I’ve always been very deeply immersed in marketing, sales, and of course culture so I think your description of what you do for a living is terrific, and probably one of the more interesting ways of getting along in the ‘work place’. Doing something you love for living is a must, and it looks like you’re living what you love. Can’t argue with that.
One thing I’ve always been interested in as far as conversing with those involved with blogging (how dare I say something so dastardly!), marketing, and fashion is how you relate it to your everyday life. Since beginning your column on Selectism.com as well as working along side extraordinary companies…do you feel it has been a way to let loose on the subjects and objects that float around your brain as it has for so many others?
Steve – I think that you kind of hit the nail on the head there Mr C, the blogging ethos is, in my eyes a way to give insight into the daily grind and what is sat in the grey matter but not being addressed. The industry that we are all working in and around has the potential to give yet has a greater potential to take. I’m not being funny here, but so many people that I know have migrated away from this fashion industry due to its ‘suck you dry’ mentality. It races along at such a speed swallowing up and spitting out, that it leaves casualties along the way disillusioned and lost. I hate it for that yet I love it for its verve and drive, and for the passion it brings out in so many amazing protagonists. Maybe it’s an oxymoron, and I’m digressing from the initial question, but hey I rant … so thers a mini one (did i mention that I firmly believe that I have 4% tourettes ?)
Back to the original Q … working on Selectism is basically one of my greatest privileges, every time I log on I look at the other columnists, and I just feel privileged and honoured. I mean, come on, I get to chat next to Michael Williams, Ben Ferencz, The Bray brothers (makes em sound like gangsters … cool), etc etc. Those guys are awesome and kind of sum up the passionate, amazing people that keep me in this mad world that I mentioned in the previous rant . I like to include the things that make me and mine smile and hope it has the same effect on a reader. I’m just stoked to know that the odd person drops by to check what my ass ha been up to !!
Blogs and sites like these are a zeitgeist right now, they are the window to the souls of a lot of fascinating people out there who hitherto may have gone unnoticed, yet they can also mirror content with one another and leave people confused, so basically it’s in no way disimilar to the magazine world of say 10-15 years ago when the likes of The Face , Dazed, and i-D were all creating their own path. People and sites are all juggling for position and I see an emergence occurring where in my eyes they may be a zillion blogs but there around 30 that I love. They fulfill my needs as a reader and consumer to an extent except I don’t have to part with money, they also help my business model. I can promote my clients and projects on line quicker and more effectively, saying that there will NEVER be a replacement for the physical…magazines feel nice and they age nice. It’s like the wax and the CD argument, ha ha.
Brandon – Can’t agree more. When I first started this blog, it came simply as a way to get ideas, loves, and overall interests off my chest because too often I would find myself not having an outlet. After speaking with many of the same degree, it looks like a community of like-minded individuals who in one hand could, for instance, have a back ground in menswear/fashion or some that have absolutely no connection whatsoever, but both have the same mind blowing ideas and interests. That’s what makes it all so great in my eyes, and it seems that you definitely get that. A blog not only about one avenue, but about so many that ends up coming into one major conglomerate of what’s best in life.
Brandon – What is your idea of a great night out?
Steve – It depends on mood … sometimes I want company, my wife, friends, a bar, a house, some dinner and some wine … sometimes i just wanna get wrecked and hook up with the boys, and go on a mission. I love gigs too, and I am lucky to be able to get to go to see a lot of awesome bands. Music is the greatest art form so I like to say I’m an art lover !!!
Where there are people that I love and respect, there is a good night. You cant fail if you have good folk around you. I guess that can be applied to most things …
Brandon – When good people are involved, it’s certainly hard to have a bad time so your great night out is right up my alley. Some nights you need a quiet dinner with some wine, and sometimes you need to drink way too much whiskey with your friends and make an ass out of yourself. A delicate balance is always the best way.
Brandon – As someone who absolutely loves football, and is constantly trying to find someone to speak about it with. Seeing as you are from one of the greatest football countries on earth, England…What club if any do you support, and what do you have to say about the current state of the league and your team?
Steve – Oh god, the dreaded question, well .. yes i love football, always have always will , I grew up in Newcastle (well just outside in the burbs) and it’s religion up there, back home in the North, and now you can probably guess who I have been afflicted with , sorry, support … NEWCASTLE UNITED. The greatest underachieving team in football history is my team, we have THE MOST LOYAL SUPPORTERS in the land. I don’t think that many would argue aside from Man United Fans because they argue about everything in their pomposity (saying that they have reason ha ha ha )!!! The league is in it’s usual shape really as in there are what we call The Big Four – Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. Who every season, pretty much race away from the mortals and become almost a myth on the horizon by two thirds of a way through the season … it’s like greek olympians competing against a Sunday league pub team on occasion. This season there are a few teams trying to crack the BIG FOUR which is good to see. My team as per, is mid to lower table with board room unrest, dressing room spats and fan based turmoil at the helm of the good ship N.U.F.C … nothing new there then ..
Brandon – It’s funny you say afflicted, haha. New Castle is definitely one with some of the most loyal and die hard fans I have seen. It seems like they always have something great going for them, and for whatever reason don’t get it done. The big four are always unfortunately a problem, and really the only way I could ever see it not being is if they implemented some sort of salary cap. Otherwise, what’s to say it would never change? Thank God, there are some, like you stated, that can still knock the top seeds out. Chelsea, especially this season has not been up to what they normally are which is fantastic, I think.
Brandon – Say you had the keys to any closet of any designer and/or era? What would it be and why?
Steve – Ralph Lauren from when he started to now … the man’s a god, my hero, and a genius …
Brandon – For sure, very hard to say there’s anything bad that comes from the man. Always has his hand into something marvelous.
Brandon – You are the first of many profiles on the radar, and for good reason. As someone directly related in fashion, menswear, and public relations. How has the climate been in the last year as opposed to when you started in the field?
Steve – The industry is always moving so fast it forgets where it’s coming from and where it’s going. Thus, I think the future is the niche collectives that are making waves slowly lap on the shore of the consumer, as opposed to the tidal waves of the hegemons.
The Blog world funnily enough is bringing this niche world together more whilst also expanding, it if that makes sense. People into workwear, plaid, prep, street-style, etc etc have been unified through blogs like yours, Selectism, A Continuous Lean, A Time To Get, Plaid Out, Secret Forts etc etc. A common ground is found and then built on constructively, and it’s great watching the community emerge. Marshall McLuhan sums it up in his theory of the Global Village …
“The rapidity of communication through electric media echoes the speed of the senses. Through media such as the telephone, television and more recently the personal computer and the ‘Internet’, we are increasingly linked together across the globe and this has enabled us to connect with people at the other side of the world as quickly as it takes us to contact and converse with those who inhabit the same physical space (i.e the people that live in the same village).” We can now hear and see events that take place thousands of miles away in a matter of seconds, often quicker than we hear of events in our own villages or even families, and McLuhan argues that it is the speed of these electronic media that allow us to act and react to global issues at the same speed as normal face to face verbal communication.”
My main concern is how much is becoming disposable as opposed to nurtured, respected and looked after. So much is tailored to greed and consumption that more than ever we are a victim of the bad side of capitalism. When something is £5 you buy, wear and dispose of and then reinvest quick which keeps the capitalist wheels moving at an alarming rate. There is no love. Saving for something to be able to buy it provides a sense of reward and respect … you look after your purchase and make it last. It’s usually the case that buying something that is more expensive will also be something of greater quality, thus it is NOT disposable. Items like these are what we need to be focusing on, otherwise we just keep feeding the machine. I know that there are millions out there who can’t afford the more expensive things, and thats society’s fault a lot of the time, but in turn they are being supplied with goods made by people in such poverty and strife that its now just a vicious circle. The capitalist wheel if you will.
When I first started I was green and naive now I have seen and experienced a lot more. I’m not a warrior, just someone in an industry trying to provide and stay afloat sticking to my guns, and hoping to make a difference somewhere, somehow.
Brandon – Loved your answer, and McLuhan’s quote. Blogs as well as online magazines, email, and just online chats such as what we’re having now brings the mass market world to our fingertips. That’s something that culture has never experienced before, and to a larger degree…seems to be some of the better reasons as to why blogs and colleagues along the same interests and work fields can find such a common ground.
As far as the long lasting nature and short lived life of articles whether it be automobiles, mobile cell phones, and largely in our field…garments. Money, Reason, and Manufacturing are the three aspects that have to be right, if they aren’t…they simply won’t be around very long. Matter of fact, in this time of global down turn. These times are definitely putting a strain on a large degree of the population, and is no secret to many blogs that deal with heritage wear and just fashion overall. It makes sense that long lasting, relevant fashion that spans era after era is what is on the come-up, and why shouldn’t it be?
Which in the end, needs to be our focus on every piece of the puzzle in our life. The way we view our society and mainly the capitalistic aspect we’ve been so adherent year after year needs to take a back seat to what really matters.
Brandon – Last words…any shout outs, loves, hates, or rants?
Steve – There should be more people like Arthur Scargill, standing up throwing down and speaking out … its time also to support your countries forgotten industries … we will thrive when we see how important our own back yards are, when we give credit to those who provided a platform for us to grow on and a country to live in … as westerners we are lucky … aint no doubt about that !!
I also love the fact that sane has grown to the point whereby i can bring the wife on board … husband and wife team . I am loving Talk Talk on the record player as I type, coffee in my pot , my cats fast asleep in their beds and the comfort of being alive and well. I don’t hate. It’s too dangerous to hate. I just choose to be. My mum is recovering so amazingly from cancer that i want to state that she is my ABSOLUTE HERO !!!