Recently we had the privilege of interviewing Caesy Oney – founder & designer behind Montana-based label Draught Dry Goods – about the rapid success of his brand, the products that led to it, & his no bullshit approach to design. Through a combination of above-average design & materials, Draught Dry Goods has quickly become a brand to watch in the coming years. Check out the interview below as Caesy sheds some light on his past design experiences, his dream collaborations, & the bag every man should have in his arsenal.
EveryGuyed: Do you remember the first bag you ever designed? What was it? Did it hold any significant meaning to you?
Caesy Oney: The first significant bag I cut was a messenger bag, shortly after I had settled on working under the name Draught. As an avid cyclist, I had been making cycling accessories and selling them to bicycle shops and friends. Once I cut that first messenger bag, I think I recognized some level of potential in my ability to problem solve and design something to be carried. The bag wasn’t perfect, but it was an amalgamation of the best features of the bags I owned at the time, as well as (seemingly) smart features of my own. The best part about making the bag was that it required that I break into a junk yard at night and cut old GM seatbelt buckles out of cars.
EG: Are there any pieces that you’d like to craft but haven’t yet had the chance to actually produce?
Caesy: There are countless projects that I’m interested in investigating with Draught; smart workwear pieces, furniture, more feminine accessories and carries. I’ve worked hard, thus far, to keep the creative direction of Draught fluid enough to move in and out of various compartments of fashion, or different movements in design. Ultimately, I have so much to learn still, and intend to keep pushing my capabilities outside of what is comfortable, and to keep pursuing projects that are fun and that I can learn from. For example, next season l just produce tank tops, motorcycle jackets, and custom rifle stocks.
It is important that Draught maintains some level of accessibility, or sincerity, and feels personal.
EG: Do you have any dream companies you’d love to collaborate with that you haven’t had a chance to work with yet? If so, who?
Caesy: So many fashion studios are killing it right now, I love what is happening in street and high fashion. I am crazy about Head Porter, Visvim, COMME des GARÇONS. Would love to do a capsule with a company like A.P.C., and develop a couple clean luggage pieces, and some men’s or women’s clothing. Actually, I just want to do a shoe with Rachel Comey, because everything she touches turns to gold.
EG: What do you think appeals to your customers the most about your products? Do you think that’s what sets you apart from similar brands?
Caesy: I don’t know, honestly. I design and produce everything, so I would imagine that my customers are like-minded. We probably respond to the same types of fashion, design, or art. I think there is a strangeness to Draught that is confusing to some people. I probably have the most experience as a photographer, so all lookbooks and images of Draught product, or images that I populate the blog with need to be well-considered, and people seem to respond to that. It is important that Draught maintains some level of accessibility, or sincerity, and feels personal. I want to start a gang, but with an open membership.
EG: What’s the best compliment you’ve received from the owner of one of your products?
Caesy: I think the biggest compliment someone could ever give me is to purchase something that I have designed and produced. I feel completely blessed to do this for a living, and overwhelmed with all the support I received this first year.
EG: Outside of the US, where have you noticed the largest following of your company? Were you surprised by it? Why do you think your goods found a following there?
Caesy: I pull a lot of orders from Australia, Japan, and around Europe. I sell at Kapok in Hong Kong, so I think Draught is starting to build a presence there. I don’t have a good answer for why they buy the stuff, but the internet, or pot, is likely responsible.
I think the biggest compliment someone could ever give me is to purchase something that I have designed and produced.
EG: What, in your opinion, is one bag that every man should have?
Caesy: I think every man (or woman) should have a go-to bag to travel with. Donate the shitty luggage set you got for college graduation, and spend some money on an appropriately sized weekender; something that will age well, and last a long time. It is frustrating to wait at baggage claim, and see dozens of carousels spinning, showcasing the ugliest, dirtiest bags in history. A smart travel bag makes traveling easier, and pleasant.
EG: What do you think you achieved at this year’s Content fashion installation at the Ace Hotel? What do you hope people took away from your room’s display?
Caesy: I had a great time at the event, met a lot of nice folks, and did my best to promote Draught as a new creative platform here in Portland. However, the biggest obstacle for me was finishing this second collection and launching it at the event. I worked extraordinarily hard on it, and basically doubled the number of pieces in my spring collection. It was also the first time that I was able to incorporate collaborative projects, and work with a lot of talented designers and friends. As I am solely responsible for every facet of Draught; all design and production, creative direction, correspondence, photography, and my website I do by myself, out of a workshop and an office. I do not have partners or employees, and run it only with the money it makes. I suppose it feels like an achievement to have gotten this far, having produced and learned as much as I have, and to get to do this as my full time job.
EG: Where would you like to see the company in the next 5 years?
In five years I intend to be on Permanent Vacation with all of my friends and family, while Draught Dry Goods floods the carousels of every airport from America to Australia.