• SumoMe

The Windmill Club makes unique modern ties that appeal to the modern man. Intrigued about the company, I reached out to Kevin, the founder of The Windmill Club, in order to learn more about the brand and his inspiration behind the idea of creating unique ties.

Electrogent: Who are you? Where are you from? What is The Windmill Club?

Kevin of The Windmill Club

Kevin: My name is Kevin Burrows. I run and design The Windmill Club. I grew up in Southern California, spent some time back east, and now I’m living in Los Angeles. The Windmill Club is my interpretation of classic American sportswear, specifically neckties.

E: What inspired you to start The Windmill Club?
K: I became obsessed with menswear during college after being inspired by reading blogs and from walking by shops like J. Press and Andover Shop every day on my way to class. At a certain point I got fed up with the monotony of the stuff that I was seeing from other brands and wanted to create something that felt more personal and that I wanted to wear.

E: What makes The Windmill Club unique and sets it apart from other tie makers?

K: Our ties are handmade in New York at a shop that has been crafting neckwear for generations. That detail in the construction is something that you can really feel when you knot up a four-in-hand with one of our ties. One of the main things that sets us apart though are the dead stock silks that we use. I love the idea of finding something that has a history and giving it life again. There’s a meticulousness to the process of finding these old silks that I truly enjoy. I’m always on the hunt for the perfect old fabrics.

E: How did you get into the tie business?

K: I knew I wanted to work in menswear, so summer after Junior year of college I cold-called the brothers at Apolis and somehow tricked them into letting me intern for them. From the moment I arrived on the first day for an early morning coffee at their studio I was completely inspired. The Apolis team are are hands down some of the best guys around and I learned so much about the entire process front to back of running a top menswear brand. After an epic summer I knew that I wanted to create my own line of sportswear, and following some great advice from the Partons I put together a small batch of neckwear during my Senior year at school.

E: What advice would you tell someone who wants to do what you do?

K: Talk to people. Ask a lot of questions. Be prepared to look like a complete idiot. Ask more questions. Be nice to people. Make something that you love and let people discover that passion in your work.

E: One of the more interesting facets of The Windmill Club is the great videos you guys produce. What is the story behind those? Do you have a favorite behind-the-scenes moment?

Video to me is the most compelling way to capture and present ideas. I love using video to introduce people to TWC and bring them into the world of the brand. Basically all the video shoots are just big hang outs with friends. My buddy Brandon of Buffalo Picture House is a phenomenal DP and the models are usually close friends as well. I edit the videos and then work with another friend from college who creates the music. My favorite behind-the-scenes so far would be how epic we looked running around with our improvised snorricam rig for the most recent video. It took a good half hour to get someone strapped into it with all the copper tubing, velcro, and stitching.

E: How much experimenting went into the creation of The Windmill Club? In what ways did you fail and learn from those failures?
K: About a year or so before the first neckwear collection I did a small run of t-shirts. It worked as kind of a beta-test for the brand. I wanted to push ideas in different directions until I finally found something that really clicked with my sensibilities. If you’re not experimenting and failing you’re never going to find those great ideas or breakthrough moments.

E: One of my favorite aspects of your ties is the great patterns on the fabric. Do you make these patterns yourself? (If yes: how do you do it, and how do you think of the patterns? If no: where do you get the fabric?)

Look for The Windmill Club's upcoming bow ties this summer.

K: The fabrics are all sourced in LA. There’s a good deal of dead stock silk from British mills that has piled up in various places over the years. It’s a lot of digging and a lot of editing to find that perfect roll of silk.

E: How old is your oldest tie, and what does it look like?

K: My oldest tie I still have is a red and yellow repp stripe for members of my improv club in college. It’s utterly ragged from numerous late night escapades.

E: The Windmill Club is an intriguing name. What’s the story behind it?

K: It’s a mixture of a few things. My heritage is Dutch and I also wanted something that had a very East coast feel. I also liked the idea of playing with that whole history of repp stripe and emblematic ties signifying different clubs. It’s very much “quixotic sportswear”.

E: Can you divulge any secrets about what’s next for The Windmill Club?

There are a number of things in development that I’m excited about. In the near future, we’re shooting our new video and campaign in a few weeks and we’ll be releasing a full new collection of ties up on the shop later this June.
I’d like to thank Kevin for taking the time to answer my questions and bring some insight into the brand. The Windmill Club is a unique company that has great subtle tie patterns that are sure to please the modern man.
What questions do you have for Kevin about The Windmill Club? Ask him in the comments below.