It is a dream come true to launch our first book - A Decade of Howler Brothers. It is a celebration of our creative output in our first 10 years and all of the blood, sweat and tears we put into creating Howler Brothers. We have an endless list of people to thank and bear hug for their help, guidance and friendship along the way.
Here is a sneak peek inside the book and a look at the introduction written by Howler Founders Chase Heard and Andy Stepanian. This thing is going to look good on your coffee table.
Putting this book together has been a fun ride for both of us. We spent a lot of time digging through old photos, blog posts, emails and catalogs looking back on the last decade. The process evoked huge smiles, a few humbling “what were we thinking?” moments and a mountain of gratitude for the incredible community which has grown around our tiny dream. In these first ten years, we made countless new friends and worked with amazing and dedicated employees, Ambassadors, retailers, designers, photographers, filmmakers and creatives of all sorts who helped us build Howler Brothers.
To be honest, when the idea for Howler Brothers first came to us, we had absolutely no idea where the path would lead. We started the whole thing out of Chase’s garage in Austin without any real road map. We had zero experience in the apparel business and no formal clothing design experience. On the day we “launched” the brand, we had two years worth of clothes stuffed into the garage with little notion of how to sell them. At first, our parents and a few benevolent friends were our only customers. We packed every order ourselves and Chase’s wife, Helen, dutifully wrote ‘thank you’ notes to go in every package.
So how did we make it beyond those shaky early days and actually thrive in our first ten years? The answer is multi-faceted. What we lacked in practical experience we made up for with a conviction for endless creativity and a dedication to a very particular design ethos. In other words, we knew what we wanted to make and how we wanted everything coming from Howler Brothers to look. If we told you, or tried to tell you, what this mythical ethos was in an elevator speech you would would have left scratching your head. The ingredients are all over the map. Classic surf culture mixed with vintage western wear mixed with streetwear mixed with tiki gods mixed with fly fishing all set to the soundtrack of a dub reggae mariachi country band. In fact, the recipe is so unique and hard to articulate we often just use the expression “Howlery” to describe it. “Make it more Howlery!” is a common comment in our design meetings. We all know what it means.
This book is the articulation of that ethos - a visual statement of what “Howlery” means, what Howler Brothers is and what Heed the Call conveys. The truth is, it cannot be contained in an elevator speech or snappy mission statement. It’s a living, breathing thing the celebrates good people, friendship, music, adventure, food, heritage, geography and, above all, creativity.
We cannot express our gratitude enough to anyone reading this for being a part of the first Decade of Howler. We hope you enjoy the book as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Heed the Call.
Chase & Andy
Austin, Texas - May 2021