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Behind The Scenes

The Baron Wells Surf Day Essentials

Dominick Volini and Mads Madsen grew up together in “the wonderful state of New Jersey,” as Mads puts it, where the duo spent a solid amount of time skateboarding, camping, snowboarding, surfing, and getting well-acquainted with the kind of gear that comes with being able-bodied young dudes. So, in 2010, when they hit upon the idea to launch their own clothing line, they drew from both a classic East Coast menswear realm and the outdoorsy board-sport aesthetic that had influenced them through the years. Here, Dominick shares the essentials of the stylized sensibility they now bring to the surf—which they hit whenever they can find the time. “I wear Miltzen sunglasses from Moscot. I used to have old-school black ones, but now I have these. Everyone comes up to me and wants to try them on them and asks me where I got them.” “I recently made these six wooden surfboards called Alaias. I had never shaped a board before, but I grew up surfing and skateboarding, so I kind of knew the basic principles of it. I got a template from a surfer in Australia and this colonial wood from North Carolina. I sold a few at Saturdays in New York, a few to a couple stores out in Japan, and I kept one—I made six total. This board [pictured] is a Fish. It’s spray-painted black—it’s my subway board that I take out to the Rockaways. The other board we use a lot is called a Velzy. It’s older than Mads is and has been in his family a long time. It’s just a great, classic long board that he has been using more often now.” “I have this beautiful beach blanket from Saint-Tropez—I actually got it two weeks ago. You can use it as a towel or a blanket because it’s made of a thicker, oxford-like cotton.” “We both use the Farm Ruck Sack by Makr. We put all of our gear—wetsuits, towels, books—in it. We know Jason [the man behind Makr]. He bought something from us, and he came up to New York about a month ago—we hung out and talked about local manufacturing and the products we make.” Don’t miss out on the edition Dominick and Mads made for us! It’s one of the raddest T-shirts we’ve ever seen.
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Why the Baron Wells Guys Decided to Paint Us a T-Shirt

There are a lot of creative juices flowing over at Baron Wells HQ. The menswear line’s founders, Dominick Volini and Mads Madsen, bounce between the worlds of sport and art, tracking down the sort of inspiration and source materials that make their line as carefree as it is thoughtful. To give you a sense of their process, the two share the origin story behind the hand-painted tees they created for Of a Kind. Want one of your own? The T-shirts—an edition of 40—can be had right over here. Mads: The hand-painted T-shirts were Dominick’s idea. We have this larger line that keeps evolving each season, and at the same time, we’re doing little tiny creative projects as well that are, you know, all over the place. Mads: We sponsored our first art show last April called “Out East,” and that was a big thing for us as a company. We were working at the time with two emerging artists, Ty Williams and Rob Kulisek. So we did a little show at the West Village townhouse we were working from—which is where we initially painted those tees. Ty had been experimenting with a lot of prints and paintings and mixed-media stuff. He definitely had an influence on us, and he introduced us to his friend who does all the screen-printing for these T-shirts.Dominick: I shot this image for a spread in the launch issue of Maker Magazine on the dunes of Hither Hills in Montauk, New York. I used my Contex G1 camera, which is an out-of-production rangefinder that takes beautiful images. It is also nice because it shoots film—so you don’t have to appease people’s requests to delete an uncomplimentary image. Mads: The paint is our signature color—a kind of 7 AM sunrise yellow. That color represents the vibe that we’re going for. Dominick: I’ve been painting different things in the studio. I pull editorials out of magazines and paint women’s hair yellow. I painted a coffee cup yellow. We have yellow duct tape and these lemons that are always around our office. Mads: I think one thing a lot of people appreciate about Baron Wells is the fact that we’re still small. If you’re going to wear this T-shirt, it’s something that’s unique, and there’s a backstory. Even in the edition of 40, every single one is going to be distinctly different.
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Dominick and Mads on Three of Their Favorite Materials

Why go to a fabric store when you can source (sustainable) supplies in the rainforest? “For the first full line that we sampled, we did products out of banana fiber,” notes Mads Madsen, one-half of the duo behind the just-rugged-enough menswear line Baron Wells. Here, he and his cohort Dominick Volini share a trio of their top finds. 1) Corozo NutsMads: We initially formed the idea for the company on a surf trip in Costa Rica, and we came across these Corozo nuts, which come from a tree in South America that you can’t transplant—as soon as you uproot it, the tree dies. It’s become a very localized natural resource.Dominick: The first product we made was actually a cufflink. We paired this Corozo nut, which is harvested in the rainforest, with a piece of fallen-rack antler horn. 2) Japanese Oxford CottonDominick: The majority of our fabric is from Japan, and season after season we do oxford shirting. The Japanese oxford cotton is just unbelievable— you can wear it in the summer on the beach or to a wedding, and you can also wear it in the winter. 3) WaxwearDominick: We made this waxwear parka two seasons in a row. I went upstate one weekend with my buddy from the Ace Hotel, and the guy we stayed with—turns out he owns a waxwear company. It’s a very organic partnership. He really appreciates everything we do, and we love the fabric he supplies us with. It was one of those interesting industry moments. Score the edition the duo created for us: a hand-painted tee—just 40 of a kind!
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