Proper Interview: Pete Macnee, Adsum

Adsum are one of the brands that we’ve loved pretty much from day one here at Proper as they have a real knack for making the type of perfect gear that feels like it had only ever existed in our minds previously. Despite bing separated by a massive sea we’re good mates with the brand especially Pete who shares our love of football, Massimo Osti, corduroy and vintage European motors. So obviously we interviewed him….

Proper: So what’s it like having a baby in the middle of a global crisis? Stressful?

Pete: Having a baby is an adventure you can’t really prepare.. I’m realizing this now. Everything gets flipped upside down. Theres an insanity about it that I appreciate. Long story short it’s stressful because of the lack of sleep and new responsibility but I’m more grateful than I can explain to have a healthy son who makes me smile every day.

And what about running Adsum, how has that been during lockdown?

I’m lucky that my relationships with partners and colleagues at Adsum have some miles on them. We know how to dance together, I trust them and we’re all collectively working hard to push through the set of circumstances COVID has given us. Adsum has more on its plate than it ever has. Working remotely with a new kid is tough and time management is where I need to scruff up a bit. I took my family to the west coast of the US to live with my in-laws (thank you Rob, Mary and Sarah) to get some support. It’s hard to concentrate when the burnt rolling hills of NorCal are outside the window i’m sitting in front of.

Which is cooler: a vintage Volvo estate or a vintage Saab convertible?

To me, the Volvo. There’s less hype around them and arguably a better car (certain years they were produced) when lined up next to a Saab. Sad to see Saab fold. Consider where Volvo is today. I’ve got to sit in a new Volvo and I think they’re one of the best looking cars on the road today.

There’s a strong university/collegiate vibe in this season’s collection, did you go to University? If so, what did you study and was it in any way like Animal House?

I barely made it in and out of University but I did. Queens University in Kingston ON Canada. It’s actually where I met Christian my partner and Art Director. Its not good to glorify binge drinking etc but yes it was like animal house. There was a chicken coop in the back yard of a buds house and more time was spent throwing and concealing house parties from the Police than going to school.  There was a funnel called the Suez Funnal that was run out of a third flow window to the back yard. 

Living in Brooklyn how often do you see a famous rapper (pre-lockdown)?

I saw the rapper 6ix 9ine in a tmobile down the street from where I live. He’s in prison now for snitching on his brothers.

Why are you so bloody good at making clothes?

I still don’t think I am. I’ve got a long way to go but I can recognize that I’ve come a long way. It’s only because of the people I have around me and grit.

How are the rest of the Adsum crew coping with the crisis? Is Christian still listening to a lot of Rusted Root?

I laughed pretty hard at this one. As you know, Christian is extremely smart and has a wide range of hobbies including listening to Rusted Root. I think he’s down in DC right now taking a small break from BK but Matt and Tommy are around Greenpoint working towards getting the shop open for in store pick up. Tommy lives in Downtown Manhattan and it’s been a tough couple months for him with COVID and the recent protests and rioting. He hasn’t complained once and I gave him my bike to get around town while I’m gone. Matt P has been doing his thing up in Queens. We chat a lot daily because he’s knee deep in product development and production with me.

You guys have excellent taste in music as well as clothes, which tunes have been providing the soundtrack to the pandemic for you?

It’s a bad question for me because i’m least into crate digging and obscure music. To be honest, I’ve been listening to a lot of Styles P, Jadakiss, Lox, Paul Simon, The Temptations and some Strut music that Pat put me on. We’ve got a new Dusty Fingers coming this week. Stay tuned.

Looking ahead, what kind of influences/eras/items have been helping to develop future Adsum collections? 

You said it above. There’s going to be a good dose of collegiate influence in SS21. Without giving too much up, another element of the creative direction of SS21 is traveling.  I’d say that collectively, the upcoming FW20 collection is the finest tuned collection Adsum will have delivered. We’ve got intarsia knit wool sweaters, garment dyed cord button downs with metal buttons, pop plaid lined crew jackets, dusty green three layer outerwear and zip placket rugby shirts. I hope you enjoy it and the lookbook as well. 

Where do you see yourself in five minutes time?

Second cup of coffee, chirping the group on Slack.

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