Quality Craftsmen

Jon Mortimer's latest portrait series captures his favourite craftsmen from around the world

Around 10 years ago, photographer and Jocks & Nerds contributor Jon Mortimer fell in love with well-crafted clothes.

“I began to understand and live by the idea of buying fewer pieces,” he says, “but making sure those pieces are beautifully crafted and made from materials that last and carry your story with them.”

Although he was a photographer of style and youth cultures, Mortimer’s interests in denim and workwear went beyond how the clothes looked and into how they were made.

“I got really interested in the culture of raw denim, the love and time put into leather accessories such as wallets and lanyards,” he says. “The craft fascinates me as much as the look.”

Mortimer is based in Berlin and likes to attend Selvedge Run, “a trade show for quality menswear and crafted goods”. While at the fair last June, he documented some of the craftsmen exhibiting their products.

Mark Fogwell, Worn Over Time worn-over-time.com
“He’s a wonderful character – an ex model and now a modern day cool Californian dude. Mark and his partner Lorraine source ‘storied objects’ and jewellery and sell them on to clients ranging from individuals to big brands. They travel the world to find them and also have a stall at The Rose Bowl Flea Market.”

Theodoros Pampoukas, Thedi Leathers thedileathers.com
“Thedi is a legend at the Selvedge Run. Fom his base in Thessaloniki, Greece he makes amazing belts and jackets. Always makes me smile when I see him and he wore this shirt especially for me for the portrait. I love that shirt, it is so Thedi.”

Shane Brandenburg, Selvedge Run selvedgerun.com burgundschild.com
“Shane and his partner Maria along with a few others set up Selvedge Run. He is also one of the co­‐founders of the best denim, heritage and menswear shops in Berlin, Burg Und Schild. A big favourite of mine to pop in and have a browse around. Especially on a Friday afternoon. A great place to end the week. The Selvedge Run runs as part of Berlin Fashion Week and is for high quality crafted menswear.”

Atsu Tagayaa, Stevenson Overall soc-la.com
“Stevenson Overall is one of Japan’s finest RAW Denim makers. Amazing jeans and denim wear at the high end of the RAW denim world. The company originated in Portland in the 1920s but was relaunched in 2005 and is now based in Tokyo, Japan.”

Nick Clements, Men’s File mensfile.com
“Nick is one of the most respected denim and workwear fashion photographers. His magazine Men’s File is at the top of the workwear and historic clothing scene.”

Yoshikatsu Yamazaki, High Large Leathers highlargeleathers.com
“Yoshikatsu and his business partner Yasuhito are two of the nicest guys on the scene and they make incredible Leather jackets only from Horse Hide. The quality of the hide is so good that the ageing process is worth the price of the jackets alone. Amazing craftsmanship.”

Paul Black, filmmaker paulblackfilms.com
“Paul is a Londoner now living in Berlin and a regular visitor to The Selvedge Run. A good friend and always nice to see him badgering around the stalls.”

Yuya Nakagawa, IregulaR by Zip Stevenson
“The hat Yuya is wearing is one of a line of vintage Native American hats that he gives to a Japanese artist who then decorates them with hand drawn imagery. Each one is unique and they are totally stunning.”

SFK & Life woo-life.com
“I unfortunately don’t know these lovely people’s names but their leather products are amazing. All hand made from their workshop in Taiwan. I love the guy’s apron.”