Concluding our mini-series based around the Converse One Star Mid is Mike Holmes, designer and creator of The Longshot Experiment – a bespoke headwear company based in Manchester. Mike works out of his home/studio in Flixton, creating limited runs of handmade hats and apparel that draw influence from his wide range of interests. A deep interest in the worlds of music, graffiti and skateboarding inform his products, taking a sprinkling of the magic found within each culture and adding his own viewpoint into the mix. An amalgamation of reference points that have helped him form a following for his brand, with items selling out with pace as soon as they’re completed by his steady hand. We visited Mike’s studio for the day to see what he gets up to week to week, in preparation for a new seasons line to drop.
As we arrive at Mike’s studio we notice his attention to detail isn’t just limited to his designs and creations; everything in the room is curated perfectly – Shelves bursting with style, fashion, design and art books, all inspirations and reference points for the brand. After a coffee, Mike invites us to take a look around his atelier – more books, mood boards, interesting trinkets and working materials are perfectly positioned.
After we finish our refreshments and tour, we head out to Leon’s fabric warehouse to pick up some fabrics for new designs. On arrival Mike, heads straight over to the denim section, where he finds a roll of white selvage denim; perfect for a client’s order.
At the end of our encounter we pick up an array of fabrics and head back to the studio to start the design process. Mike sets about preparing some client orders. Brisbane moss corduroy fabric being used to create a military style ball-shaped bucket hat; created using his Singer sewing machine. As Mike cuts away at his roll of fabric we talk about his previous brand ‘Militia’ – which boasted seminal London store ‘Bond’ as a stockist – and his transition from apparel to headwear and plans for The Long Shot Experiment.