Name: Alexander Ruff
City + Country: Munich, Germany
Instagram ID: @ruff.de.nimes
Can you introduce yourself? Who are you and what are you doing in daily life?
My name is Alexander Ruff, friends usually call me Alex 😊. I work in licensing of entertainment brands as a sales person. Before that I was a product manager in the toys industry and luckily still get to work with toy companies on a daily basis. Keeps me young 😉.
If you take a look at your clothing style, can you describe what you like to wear yourself?
I used to wear almost exclusively sneakers in regards to footwear (and I still wear them a lot still). However about two to three years ago I discovered Red Wing boots for myself which took me down the heritage clothing rabbit hole luckily. I was always into jeans and especially Levi’s and Lee. But, selvedge and raw denim I have only then discovered. Now, I wear a pair of raws almost every single day of the year. Overall my clothing style is certainly a hybrid of Heritage Wear and Streetwear I’d say, always including denim though in any outfit.
What is the first impression of our Chelsea boots so far?
I am blown away by the quick change in appearance of the leather and the quality of the construction overall. The shoe feels great right out of the box and is quite comfy from the get go. Not too crazy of a break in process and softened up already after two to three weeks of wear now. The natural veg tan leather is an absolute beauty and serves as a blank canvas for the stories of our daily lives. I really appreciate that the shoes sit on a crepe rubber sole vs for eyample a dressier sole. This more casual appearance fits my tastes a lot better.
Were you already known about (our) natural vegetable-tanned leather? What makes it so special in your opinion?
I was indeed already aware of Butts and Shoulders through the denim and heritage wear community via instagram and online blogs such as Denimhunters and Long John that I frequent quite regularly. I also soak up all kinds of Podcasts on the topic and have learned a lot about leather over the last couple of years indulging in this hobby. The boots are the second piece of veg tan leather that I experience after wearing a veg tan belt. It is a lot of fun to show people my belt and then the boots and say “The boots will get just as dark as the belt!”. People often can’t believe that the character of the leather will change so drastically. This is exactly what fascinates me so much about veg tan leather.
Where do you like to shop? Can you share some of your favorite store spots (offline/online)?
In Munich, where I live, the prime destination is certainly Statement Store and then right next door the Red Wing Heritage Store. Online I really like Cultizm, Tenue de Nimes and the online shops of denim brands like Benzak Denim Developers directly. Shout out to Edwin from Wear Tear Repair, where I bought a beautiful pre-loved LVC Type II jacket. And shopping straight from Japan I did order from Denimio and also directly from TCB Jeans in their online shop as well. You will really need to have your measurements down exactly when ordering from so far away. I am also lucky to have been able to shop directly on Kojima Jeans Street on a trip to Japan in 2019.
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
I listen mostly to Hip-Hop/Rap music. My big brother passed it on to me for sure, so I grew up listening to 2Pac, Dr. Dre, LL Cool J and later on Eminem and many more. Today I also enjoy classic Rock music like the Rolling Stones and many other bands which means my taste has broadened a little more. The Rolling Stones are my dad’s most favorite band of all time by the way.
If you could add (or design) another footwear style to our collection, which one is on top of your list, and why?
I would love to see your take on a Moc Toe style boot in your collection. The reason is that the Moc Toe is the boot that got me into boots to begin with. My first boot love so to say. What I have never experienced so far is a teacore leather but I am super interested in it and love to see pictures of faded tea core leathers. Would be cool if Butts and Shoulders would explore this space as well.
Why do you think you’re going to win this battle, and be the true Magnificent 5 gentleman?
I am in the beginning stages of a fading competition wearing a still very indigo rich pair of raws. In order to kickstart the patina and for a unique look I started to wear my jeans uncuffed. All with the intention to get as much indigo as possible to rub off onto the leather of the Chelsea boots. I am sure that unique look will be pleasing to the eyes of a few denimheads that will most likely be part of the jury. Also I am a rather competitive person, which means I will use every opprtunity to wear the boots when I step outside. That will probably be the most important thing in order to be victorious in the end. I want to add though that just getting to experience the boots is already quite the prize. Being on this journey together with the other 4 magnificent gentlemen is lot of fun. Regardless of the outcome!
If you could be someone else for just one day, who would you be and why?
That is a tricky one. There are many people that I would like to be for one day. Within the context of heritage clothing and the denim & boots hobby: I would love to be one of the founding fathers of the Osaka Five in Japan for one day. They have put Japanese Selvedge Denim on the map internationally and if it weren’t for them a lot of us wouldn’t be part of this super cool niche. I’d love to just lean back in a chair and experience all the memories these pioneers must have to look back at and reminisce. Then I would go on a long walk and soak up the atmosphere of being in Japan (again) and eat a good bowl of Ramen.