Sergeant Pepper Clothing Company is a proudly South African denim brand that believes simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
Sergeant Pepper Clothing Company ( S . P . C . C ) is a South African menswear denim lifestyle brand with a global reach, who believe that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. By removing all excess clutter, there's a focus on quality, craftsmanship and design, offering customers on trend understated garments with an extended life span due to selective styling, quality and detail.
We spoke to founder Zak Venter about his jeans journey, and how he preserves the past by making it work in the present.
What inspired you to start a South African denim brand?
I saw an opportunity in the market to launch a strong denim brand in South Africa, that could challenge the international brands in terms of aesthetic, design and quality. It was actually bred out of a frustration of not being able to find those particular type of brands and designs locally, so decided to take all the money I had saved up and kickstart the collection. From the outset it had to be full lifestyle collection, and encompass all the components that make up your everyday daily uniform. The rest is, as they say, is history
This was six years ago, what's changed since then and how has your denim got even better?
Well, since launch we've managed to build up an incredible team locally and internationally that run the business across all sectors: design, procurement, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing. We have also managed to increase the nationwide local footprint as well as big box retailers in Mexico and the United States. Our denim division has expanded in terms of offering and number of styles and fits, we have also managed to source top manufacturers of premium denim who understand the "branded" business and collaborate on design and development aspects. We have some very exciting things lined up and about to launch.
Simplicity is at the core of what you do, please explain the brand ethos and how you're able to say more by doing less?
Whilst SPCC was still only an idea in my mind I was inspired and intrigued by the quote from Nicholas Burroughs that states "Minimalism is not a lack of something. It's simply the perfect amount of something." For me it spoke to a simpler way of designing, in a sense removing all excess and clutter and focusing in on making it simple yet significant. Over the years the process of scaling the brand commercially and considering the different geographical environments required us to transform and pivot slightly from the extremely clean almost Scandinavian aesthetic into more of a workwear denim lifestyle brand. Which components and key wardrobe pieces make up the everyday man's uniform was a very important question that we set out to answer as a team
How do you ensure you stay on trend while ensuring quality?
We spend a lot of time observing both local and international trends and cultural shifts, yet don't ever feel the pressure to jump onto any specific "fast fashion" movements that don't align with us as a brand, it allows us to be a bit more strategic with what we decide to adopt into our design fold. Inevitably when you chase trends and fads, your process and supply chain gets compromised due to time constrains, we try to be a bit more strategic, and intentional and ensure that everything we include in the end collection is on brand in terms of "look and feel" and quality.
Who is the man that SPCC would appeal to?
We appeal to the discerning, aspirational man, someone who appreciates the process and time it takes to release well crafted, carefully considered denim pieces. We ensure that we are in step with global trends but definitely appeal to the customers who has a desire to build timeless pieces that is worn as a daily uniform. We appeal to men who wish to buy less, but better, understanding that quality will always trump inferior cheaper products in terms of investment and return over the long run. Comfort and wearability is a massive factor for us, and we always endeavour to include this into every item.
As men we're all about the brand, but if one was to strip away the branding patch on a pair of SPCC jeans what distinctive qualities would make it easy to distinguish as strictly SPCC?
The quality, fit and durability of our gear is in many ways what sets us apart. It's a quality and value discussion ultimately. Being a denim lifestyle brand we had to ensure that the value equation made sense in the consumers mind. We have built very serious and loyal brand advocates over the last five years, due to the level of product execution and competitive pricing architecture and will continue to release well made, considered collections into the market.
Who are some of the men of influence who wear SPCC jeans and why do you think the brand is a fit?
We have had the privilege of working with some incredible local role models and influencers, and it has always been very organic and collaborative process. We are naturally very entrenched into the local DJ, music and creative industries, having worked with the likes of Black Coffee, Black Motion, Tresor, Proverb , I See a Different You, and more. The young kids growing up have seen their heroes dressed in SPCC and in many ways have attached success to that look and feel and way of dressing. We want to continue to unite people and bring them together around a collective mindset of purpose and destiny, trusting that when they wear our clothing they can become and do anything they aspire to.