Tom Bonamici From Archival Clothing

Designer Interview:
Archival Clothing's
Tom Bonamici Part 1  Thanks for joining us.  Please, in your own words, give us a brief history of yourself and your designs.

Tom Bonamici:  certainly, i grew up in Eugene, Oregon as a library rat.  My dad worked at the night library, and through that connection I met good friend and business partner, Leslie Larson, who worried at the image services department at the library.  After college at Dartmouth in New Hampshire, we teamed up.  Later, Lynn McGinnis joined us and kind of took control of the business end.  A few years ago, I moved to New York City where I completed graduate program at Pratt.

Who inspires you both as a persona and as a designer?

Sure. Ivan Illich, Bill Coperthwaite - a carpenter and writer from Maine I think is super cool.  Also, my partner, Leslie.  We have a really good dialogue and I’m constantly amazed at her collections of goods and her sense of humor.  I’ve also been influenced by my father.  He's a fly fisherman and a leatherworker and a knife maker.

What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself ?

I'd just say don't sweat it. I think it's easy to get pretty fed up and anxious about what you’re going to do later in life or how you’re doing even on incremental little things. Start to build a life and know that it never really pays off to get too anxious.

How do you think a man should best handle criticism?

What's worked for me is to accept criticism with absolute humility.  Sometimes criticism is useful and sometimes it isn't useful, but sometimes we get criticism that we don't really understand until years later.  Even if its coming from someone who seems abrasive or it's criticism that seems contrary to one's own beliefs, its still valid feedback.

What's your definition of strength?  

Well there's strength in objects and strength in people.  In an object, something that is strong is something that is strong all around that object.  Like a plastic bag.  For it's weight and it's size, it's able to carry a remarkable amount of weight.  But when any part is weak, it all fails at once.

What's the best way to earn respect?  

Tough one; as people set out to be respected by others, they’re really trying to respect themselves.   You can get every accolade possible, if you’re unhappy with yourself, you’re going to be unhappy.  The best way to earn respect both from others and yourself is not to demand respect and don't try to earn it.  Let it come naturally.

Where are your designs best worn, where are they best showcased?

Whether I’m walking around in New York or I’m walking around in the woods I use my designs.  And I like natural materials.  I was a little frustrated to not be able to find a pack that was made out of natural materials but that still functioned well – with a little padding and that stayed upright.

Archival Clothing Small Field Bag in TanArchival Clothing Duffel in Gray
Check Out Dalys 1895's Selection of Archival Clothing's Bags
Learn More About Archival Clothing On Their Website

Look for Part 2 of our interview with Archival Clothing's Tom Bonamici Next week!