Report by Matthew Beard
In the past, a fashion show featuring Builders Work wear clothing might be thought of as a somewhat cumbersome affair. However, when the ToolBUSINESS team made the trip to Shoreditch for the Snickers Next Generation Press Launch and Fashion Show, their choice of up-market venue in the White Rabbit Studio proved it was anything but.
Along with Snickers launching their ‘Next Generation’ of Trousers, it was also an opportunity to look back at the previous forty years of the brand innovation. The show began with ‘Stone Age Man’ (and woman!) wielding tools and wearing ‘basic protection’ clothing, also described as prehistoric loincloths. As two dancers gyrated down the runaway, with dub step booming from the speakers, everyone could see we were in for a show.
We were then given a brief history of the creation of the Snickers brand, which came to existence after electrician Matti Viio felt his safety was being compromised by the poor quality of workwear.
This was then followed by homage to Viio and Snickers’ first products. As this was back in the swinging sixties, two models, clad in overalls stepped onto stage flanked by four disco dancers, demonstrating that even at its inception, Snickers products were both durable, and aesthetically pleasing. The show continued at an upbeat pace, detailing a wide range of Snickers’ tough yet fashionable work gear throughout the years.
It would be wrong to say the audience were ever bored, but in terms of fireworks, all this was mere procession to what was coming up. As two of the more ripped models stormed the runaway clothed in Snickers’ ‘Next Generation Trousers’ and not much else, the show was turned up from seven, to eleven. The trousers, known respectively as RUFF Work and RUFF Work Denim, were put through the paces as dancers moved, grooved, bounced and spun down the runway, with backflips, break dancing and various displays of head and hand stands on display.
The men cheered, the ladies swooned, I thought about joining a gym! Soon the stripped-to-waist models were joined on stage by their fellow dancers and they continued to dance the afternoon away. Two at a time the models would venture into the audience, climbing the two podiums set out either side, giving the audience a better look at both the products on show, and of course, their dance moves. Visit our video showcase at www.toolbusiness.co.uk to see them in full swing.
No sooner had the show come to close; then we were taken into a room for a particularly excellent artisan lunchtime buffet. With a selection of delicious sandwiches, lasagne and goats cheese salad; it was a spread Matti Viio himself would have applauded.
Peter Brett was also given the opportunity to speak with David Clark, Managing Director of Snickers Workwear UK;
‘David was keen to emphasize just how much work and research was done in order to make this Next Generation Snickers clothing range a success. While lots of end users had some input, new fabrics and designs were used in the designs of the New Generation trousers that really made a difference.
David was quick to point out that although the Snickers range encompasses trousers made especially for women, the new designs are so flexible, both literally and figuratively, that many women have adopted standard mens’ trousers for workwear.
He also gave me some information about other Snickers clothing ranges that were designed for site use, but for roles in which the number and design of pockets, for example, is less important than perhaps the “corporate” and smart look needed for people in contact with other professionals and the public.
Clearly, Snickers has tried to cover as many bases as possible and can enjoy their 40 years of market and design success providing tradespeople with practical, comfortable and appealing clothing, wherever they might work.’
With that, the day was over, and we were making the journey back from East London to Haywards Heath. Many thanks to Snickers and everyone at the White Rabbit Studios for an excellent afternoon.