Creatives Interview Featuring Arran Cross

November 06, 2017

We are lucky enough to work in a field which is full of diverse creatives, and we decided to take a moment to interview some of our favourites. We had the pleasure of interviewing the very talented Arran Cross who is the founder and editor in chief of the curated blog The All Night Listening Post. But that's not all; he has taken his passion and built his very own business, Department Two. We asked him about his thoughts on menswear, blogging, ethical fashion, and more. Go on and grab yourself a cup of tea and enjoy this creative interview!

Alright, Arran thanks so much for joining us today! Let’s start by having you tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Sheffield with my partner Fern and our dog George. I started The All Night Listening Post as a place to share ideas and thoughts about one of my great passions - well made, honest goods. It’s since evolved into a platform for telling stories about those goods and the people who make them. Before I started my own creative content and consulting business, Department Two,  I worked in the premium menswear industry for over 10 years so style has always played a big part in my life.
40 Colori Melange Wool Tie & Ancient Paisley Pocket Square
When was the moment you found your passion for blogging, photography, and menswear?

I have always been a creative person, I studied film production and photography when I was younger and worked as a freelance photographer for a while. The passion for blogging came later when I discovered blogs like A Continuous Lean, WM Brown Project the Hand & Eye and even Thousand Yard Style. It feels surreal now to call these people contemporaries and in some cases friends. Eventually, I combined all my passions into one project and the blog was born.

What does artisanal mean to you? And is it important to you?
Craft and Artisanal products are very on trend right now and have been for some time. Bigger companies are picking up on this trend and using it to sell their products - many of which aren't artisan made goods at all. To me, artisanal means something made with skill, passion, and purpose. It’s very important to me that products are well made and honest about what they are - whether that’s a physical product, food or drink.

40 Colori Mosaic Organic Cotton Socks
What do you look for when looking for a new brand to trust?

Heritage, quality and reputation are everything. Many established brands still fail to realise this though. Over the last ten years I’ve built up a roster of brands I trust and it’s  difficult for me to justify shifting away from them when I know they are consistently excellent at what they do.

What does ethical clothing mean to you? Is ethics something you think about when purchasing goods such as clothing?

Ethics are paramount. From the sourcing of the fabric, to the welfare of the workforce and the environmental cost of production, the way a business conducts itself should be a badge of honour, not something to hide. I want to know that the company that made my shirt is doing their utmost for their workers and the world, both ethically and fiscally.

40 Colori Grey Herringbone Leather Card Holder
What in your opinion makes a product great in quality terms? Where it is crafted, how it is crafted, or anything else?

More than where or how, I always want to know why - Why were these shoes made? Why did it take 3 people 5 days to make them? Why did they make them this way? Were they made just to make a profit or a statement about the maker’s dedication to their craft?

Despite the traditional notions of quality, I find it’s almost always an intangible thing that sets quality product apart.

What does a Made in Italy brand mean to you?

I love Italy and I’ve visited many times. I can see myself living there one day - maybe in an apartment in Trastevere or an old house down on Ischia. Brand Italy is synonymous with style and quality and I think there is a strong basis for the connection people make there. It’s a well earned reputation.

Do you appreciate family businesses?

Family businesses are an incredible thing. There is always a special kind of pride found in family businesses and the skills and knowledge passed down through generations of artisans help to keep the story of a brand alive.

If you had to choose five staple pieces for a gentleman’s wardrobe what would you recommend?

At this time of year - a great pair of selvedge denim, a slim fitting blue oxford shirt, a well cut tweed blazer, a waxed jacket and some sturdy boots. Simple but effective.

Last but not least, what is one tip you wish someone had given you when you first started your adventure in menswear and blogging?

Failure is the most productive outcome. If you try and fail, you’ll learn more about yourself than if you succeed. You’ll be better prepared next time you try.

Grazie Mille Arran for taking the time for this interview!  We hope you enjoyed this interview and be sure to explore Arran's work on The All Night Listening Post and Department Two. All photos were provided by Department Two & Bombinate.


Do you have someone in mind we should interview? Or more questions to ask Arran? Be sure to comment below with any ideas. 

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