Toby Feltwell has been instrumental in some of your most cherished memories within music and clothing and even if you knew it – you probably never fully appreciated it. Starting out as a young kid who hung about Slam City Skates, like so many others who went on to achieve greatness within this small realm of what we consider to be cool, Toby then went on to work with Mowax and Bape. Indeed, he was instrumental in the Japanese brand’s overseas operations and a key cog in the working relationship between Pharrell, Nigo , which spawned Billionaire Boys Club. Yet, he does not command the same levels of adoration of the aforementioned duo, largely due to the fact that he has eschewed the limelight for much of his career. His story, however, is certainly fascinating and recently Sex Magazine caught up with him for a rare interview.
Today, Feltwell is the main driving force behind Cav Empt – arguably the most intriguing brand within streetwear in the past five years. Working alongside his Bape and BBC collaborator and friend, Sk8thing, Cav Empt have fed us the idea that it is ok to be new, rather than pursuing some mawkish 80s or 90s nostalgia for kids who were never there. Cav Empt feels global, founded by the internet and draws upon a host of both high and lowbrow references; juxtaposing them in such a manner that each garment is both thought-provoking and aesthetically pleasing. It was interesting to glean further knowledge about the Japanese brand which has cloaked itself in mystery, save for a handful of interviews.
Here’s an except:
Caveat Emptor means “buyer beware” right?
Yeah. When I told some lawyer friends I was starting a brand called CE for Caveat Emptor, they thought it was a brilliant, because it’s a legal concept really. The basic position of commerce before consumer laws impose more obligations on the seller, meaning if you’re buying something, then it’s up to you to make sure you’re getting what you’re buying. It’s a basic position of common law that’s been modified to protect consumers over the years and has a heap of meanings when you apply it to a brand.
The marking CE is also ubiquitous. It’s on the back of my phone.
That CE mark is a safety standard allows goods to be imported into the European Community. Now that the world is a global marketplace, everybody wants to sell their products in Europe, but they have to comply to certain safety regulations and a CE mark shows that they’re compliant. We like the idea of reverse adopting all these other products that are everywhere. You don’t notice until somebody points it out and then you start seeing it everywhere.