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Report from Dappertude Seminar 2019

This last weekend, Trimly and The Thomas George Collection (TGC) attended The 2019 Dappertude Seminar in Sydney. The Dappertude Seminar is about bringing people, vendors and experts together to talk about the ‘Dapper attitude’, a philosophy that is focussed on self-improvement in areas that include attitude, communication and presentation. I feel it was a successful day and hats off to Mr. Dappertude himself, Johnny Li, for organising a great event.

James Seaford, Ringo Mok and Ben Atkinson attend Dappertude Seminar 2019The lads arrived at Dappertude excited to get the day underway

The event was hosted by the poised yet charismatic Jeff Lack – editor, stylist, Australian fashion industry veteren – at the Jackalberry located near Darling Harbour in Sydney. Jackalberry is attached to the Hyatt hotel and located within a lovely-old heritage-listed building on Sussex Street. The rattan furniture melded so well with Jackalberry’s botanical theme and the building’s old Hawkesberry limestone just made it feel warm and welcoming. 

Jack LackJeff Lack provided some very useful style tips and wardrobe advice

We were attracted to the seminar by Dappertude's focus on educating and learning. Part of our journey as a shoe care and (new) shoe brand is tapping into a broader market whose exposure to shoe care and welted shoes may be limited or non-existent. 

Team TGC happy to be together and talking about a topic we love. Photo @Joe Cheng

Encouragingly, attendees were genuinely interested in what we had to say and seemed to want to know more about our footwear, their origin and about the brand more generally. So, it was also an excellent exercise in getting our messages across and, of course, in branding, especially for TGC and our Fugashin line, which is re-launching early 2020.

 The set up on the day

The seminar gave us the opportunity to showcase our new and work-in-progress designs. Ever-present was the stitchdown Service Boots, a crowd pleasers where ever they go. But with sticky season fast approaching there was also a renewed interest in our Penny Loafers. On display was our Brooke, a new cap-toe service boot, featuring black and chestnut leather and a leather sole. We also had out a new semi-brogue oxford and cap-toe oxford shoes that we're still working on a little, but plan to release the cap toe oxford (with a minor change to the cap toe stitching) in our Jan 2020 release.
  Loafers got a lot of attention, given the season we're coming into.

Ben & Ringo offer a complimentary shine to attendees using Boot Black product from Trimly. Photo @Joe Cheng

The seminar was attended by eight vendors from around Australia showcasing their products and services. Next door to us was the Older Angler, a leather goods purveyor that offers some exquisite leather bags and other leather accessories. Also in attendance was the world's oldest barber Truefitt & Hill (open in Sydney and Canberra), bespoke and MTM suiter Mr. A Taylor, Pacifico opticals and essentially a vendor for every item of clothing one requires. The venue allowed attendees to walk around all the vendors with easy and added to the positive atmosphere. 

Truefitt & Hill had some wonderful grooming products. Photo Joe Cheng

Before we knew it, it was time for the educational piece of the event, a series of talks and discussions on styling, mental health, skincare and of course shoes to name but a few. 

 Guest Speaker Topic Key Takeaway
Jeff Lack Live Styling Show Muted tones are in for men this season.
We were introduced to Suit Supply (not in Melbourne yet) ensembles. Seersucker looked.. wow! 
Truefitt & Hill Grooming What resonated with me was the discussion on facial care. So many Australian men don't do it, but it's just the fast lane to ageing under our sun. 
Ju Van Langford Mental Health Ju Van shared his deeply personal story and how it has led him to help others improve their mental health and wellness. A very important topic and one we have plans to help raise awareness in. 
Mr. A Taylor Suiting We were provided insight into the suit making the process.  We learned that a bespoke suit is a way for men to express themselves. A tailor must understand this get to the heart of his customers' needs to make the right suit for the right man.


Mr. A Taylor provided some good insights into the suit-making process. Photo Joe Cheng

Then it was my turn to talk. *Gulp. I wanted to convey that shoes have a positive impact on the image we seek to project. I spoke about the importance of shoe care and shared a story about when I first discovered this as part of my in-illustrious military career. I spoke about the importance of buying quality shoes, what to look for and the difficulties in finding them in Australia. This part of the discussion was more about function than form, for the simple reason that a quality pair lasts longer and is better value over their lifespan i.e. cost per wear. 

My talk - besides losing my place a few times I think people appreciated it

The talk ended and the Q&A was skipped. It went ok. It could have been better but I managed to get all my key messages out there. Public speaking is never easy but it's something I look to work on in the coming months as I hone my message and speaking style.  Five names were pulled out of a hat and I presented five Trimly shoe care kits to the lucky recipients. 

Photo: Joe Chung   

That evening, the three of us joined Johnny Li, Steve Tilly, Nathan Leung (two great fellows whose IG accounts you want to follow if you're looking for inspiration) and a few of the event attendees for a well-deserved meal. Some of us then got a tour of Sydney nightlife and unwound a bit with a brew...or two..possibly three.  

To sum it all up, the Dappertude Seminar 2019 was a success. The venue was very well chosen, the attendees were a good mix of people, the vendors all had something special to add and the attendees walked away with a bit more of that 'dapper attitude' than what they arrived with. It allowed us to talk to people who hadn't thought too hard about their footwear in the past and we hope we got them thinking about it. We also met and connected with some great people who we are keen to collaborate with in the future. 

Dappertude Seminar 2019A Big Thanks to Johnni Li and Elizabeth Walker from Maven PR for an amazing day. Photo Joe Cheng

For those interested, Dappertude Seminar 2020 will be heading to Melbourne. It was a great day and for those who still need convincing... the goodies bag was ridiculously good! Subscribe to Dappertude and be the first to know. 

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