This year, Pronto held the 2nd Denim Carnival with lofty aims to top last year’s Carnival. Top it they did! There was a large white tent erected next to the most prestigious mall in Bangkok, Siam Paragon, it was extremely hard to miss. I caught sight of it as I made my way from the airport to my hotel in town. Last year some of us feared we’d perish in the heat but this year, they furnished the tents with large Air-conditioners that certainly made the event far more enjoyable!
So right after I checked in to my hotel, I made a call to Pronto’s marketing manager, Sunny, to hook up with him for a bit of lunch plus he was my ride to the pre-carnival dinner party. I’d never have guessed I’d bump into an old online acquaintance most of you would know as Cold Summer from Superfuture and the rest of the popular forums. Cold Summer has recently been known as Kyle from The Flat Head, as he’s accepted a post to work for The Flat Head as their international public relations officer. As a result, he was traveling with The Flat Head crew in Bangkok, specifically for the carnival. It was nice to talk freely with someone I’ve known online for ages.
Into the VIP SUV we went, making a beeline for the surprise dinner location which seemed quite far from the city centre. No matter, I was thoroughly intrigued by the man beside me. Markus Freitag, founder and designer of the widely available and highly publicized brand, Freitag. It was brilliant to talk openly with this man among men who has such a successful brand under his belt. He was animatedly telling his life story, his business strategies and personal tips for me to push forward with all my future endeavors. He was so warm and forthcoming, by the time I got off the SUV at our stop, it was like I just caught up with an old friend.
Dinner was by the side of the river, the other VIPs from Imperial, Iron Heart, Nudies, Naked & Famous, Pure Blue Japan, Japan Blue, Momotaro, Cheap Monday, Lightning, arrive in batches, most by river taxi. It was very nice to see everyone again. We drank, ate, joked (bad jokes on my part) and went out to create some chaos about town before the sun came up and work began. Did I mention that I learnt impromptu Japanese from Brandon Svarc and the Japan Blue group? It wasn’t entirely useful Japanese phrases but I’ll take what I can get!
So onto the Carnival day! Pronto had done me the great honor of furnishing me with a booth this year round! I was very humbled by the gesture! So my booth was in-between the Freitag booth and the Lightning magazine booth, with a great view of everything that went on.
Straight off you can see some upcoming products that will be available on our site soon. Some high quality t-shirts designed by yours truly, as well as a collaboration semi-dress boot with BNV. We received heaps of attention about those and we’re very excited about them.
My lovely translator Kwan.
Thanks to KY for this picture of us at the front of my booth! We’d like to thank all the friends and fans in Thailand for stopping by the booth and saying hi.
When time allowed it, I made my rounds through the other booths to see how things were going for them. Everyone was so busy as well, it seemed like all the denimheads in Thailand came in droves! It was an impressive display of presence to say the least. “We are Thai, We love DENIM!”. In short, it was AWESOME. So when things eased off a bit, I managed to catch some of the brands (read: friends), for a photo at their booth.
Here’s the Imperial Clothing brothers!
This is their collaboration with Pronto Denim. Notice the arcs? It’s different from the standard imperial arc, it looked like golden laurels to me. Yes the threads were gleaming gold.
This is the lovable Sarina from the Iron Heart crew! I didn’t know what that sticker across her chest said, but I went with “No touching the BOOBIES!”
The Iron Heart crew! This was a really good photo! General Giles, The Boss Haraki, Me, Paula. Note it was the Boss’s birthday!
Loving these baby blue arcs as well from the Iron Heart collaboration with Pronto Denim.
The Nudie crew from Sydney Australia. Notably, Bryce and Doug. They’re like celebrities in Asia already. Must be the good looks and the off the wall good times they bring. Looking forward to more brewsters with these guys.
These guys know how to have a good time! Japan Blue and Momotaro’s Hiroki.
Here’s someone I’ve just met. Richard from Thorogood Shoes. Many of you might not have heard of Thorogood Shoes, but I’m sure you’ve heard of Red Wings haven’t you. Thorogood Shoes started long before Red Wings, not pointing fingers, but Red Wing shoes bear a remarkable semblance to the Thorogood Shoes. And if Red Wings started way after Thorogood, what do you think about them now? This might be another of those industry sagas that seem to pop up every now and then.
Mr Iwaya from Pure Blue Japan looking quite exhausted from all the autograph signing I’m sure!
The Cheap Monday girls! One of them has a Hall of Fade “love bite” on the neck, guess which one! My creative use of stamping equipment provided by the thoughtful folks at Pronto Denim.
My man and Pronto Denim’s Marketing Manager/all-round warrior, Sunny! Yes I’m quite short, but he’s quite tall as well.
My Canadian brothers from another mother. Bahzad and Brandon of Naked & Famous!
The Unbranded collaboration with Pronto Denim. It’s an interesting one! Brown Weft Selvage and 18oz to boot. Should have that nice rugged dusty brown high contrast fade. Be sure to upload one to our vault if you’re rocking these now.
Dan the Pronto Man! Thanks for everything!
The Flat Head crew with Kyle just behind me and the Boss Kobayashi right next to me! Look forward to an exclusive interview with this legend real soon!
Markus Freitag! Needs no further introduction.
The Freitag booth had something intriguing going on all day. Fans could make their very own card case with tarpaulin. They had to pick the tarp, cut the shape out, glue the seams together, then the CEO of Freitag, Monika, sews the seams up. Markus was stamping bags and autographing them the whole day.
Apart from meeting the people behind these great brands, there were several activities lined up. Nudie jeans had a Ping Pong (table tennis) tournament where the champion won a Lab pair.
There was a high striker game which I failed terribly at, where you could win t-shirts and denim. There was a gigantic mechanical bull as well. See that sharp hump on the back? Well I witness many a ball smacked on that hump! Needless to say, I skipped going on it this year round haha. If you’re on instagram, look for the #prontocarnival tag. You will come across a video of a Carl’s Jr mascot riding the bull. It’s hilarious!
On the stage, there were great bands like Sally and the Kraken, there was a burger eating contest hosted by Carl’s Jr, there were brands coming up to the stage to explain a bit about what their brand stands for and things to come. Like this dynamic duo who didn’t just give a talk, they held a limbo rock challenge on stage.
As the carnival drew to a close, we felt like celebrating. But things never come easy do they? We had a wine bottle with no wine bottle opener. Brandon came up with the brilliant idea to chip away at the cork with my Kershaw knife. Wine never tasted to sweet eh Brandon?
This really was the best carnival yet. Pronto has certainly made a good showing of their dominance in the denim retail industry. I’m humbled and very appreciative to have been included amongst these VVIPs. I’ve learnt much, drank plenty, looking forward to a long extensive career in the denim industry.
Thanks again to all our fans who came out to support us. It meant more than you could imagine!