"Best of British" - Transform Gloves

Posted on Wednesday 5th October, 2011 Times Viewed: 5665
This winter we want to showcase the talent that the UK has to offer, and their are some Rad snowboard brand out there! What better brand to kick this off than Transform Gloves! We had a chat with Tom Kingsnorth about how things started, where his inspiration comes from and the Park Hill freestyle camp project which involves Jamie Nicholls, Gulli Gudmundsson,Danny Larsen and Ethan Morgan!

Words Matt Mathauda Lifestyle photo- Angela Couch
GB: Hi Tom, Tell us a bit about yourself?

Tom: Hi, I’m Tom, 28 years old and originally from London but nowadays spend most of my time travelling around Europe.

GB: Transform Gloves can you tell us how it all began?

Tom: It started because I was doing seasons as a sponsored snowboarder but I knew I wasn’t ever good enough to take that anywhere and I wanted to set up something for myself. I was always returning back from seasons with zero money and just taking random odd jobs to fund seasons. I didn’t want to quit doing seasons but I was fed up of not having much direction so I took matters into my own hands.

GB: What's the ethos of Transform Gloves?

Tom: Not so much of an Ethos but I was tired of always seeing gloves with US influences such as Vegas graphics, US flags etc and I was just confused why there weren’t more European influences in Snowboarding. Just seemed that the states were dominating and I think Europe has a lot to offer. I suppose Transform Gloves offers a European flavour in a US dominated market.

Brick Lane Glove-
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GB: You have a pretty sick line up of pro-riders how did you come about putting the team together?

Tom: They are just friends that I know from riding. They are the kids that are killing it across the world and also the most mellow down to earth people I know. We wont have anyone that thinks they are something special. Just great riders and solid, down to earth people.

GB: The KO mitt was one of our favourites where did the concept come from?

Tom: I actually drew that as a joke, It took me around 5 mins to do a rough sketch and I showed someone and they were hyped on it. To date that has been our best seller. Kind of funny because it seems you can spend ages getting some models 100% perfect and then don’t really sell too well. Mostly the spur of the moment ideas are the bestsellers.

GB: What do you love about snowboarding and UK snowboarding?

Tom: It’s such a tight knit scene. Everyone knows each other and gets along well. I love the banter with the UK scene. There is no place for any attitudes, it just won’t get accepted. We have some riders that are killing it, which is pretty amazing when you think about the resources we have.

GB: Which riders or people do you feel push the sport and the UK scene?

Tom: Jamie Nicholls, Aimee Fuller and Dom Harrington

GB: Which other brands are you stoked about?

Tom: To be honest I don’t really pay that much attention to them, I just do my own thing. I get more influenced now by skate companies.

GB: Which brands or people have inspired you along the way?

Tom: Just anyone that is doing their own thing and making a go of it. That isn’t limited to snowboarding though.

GB: All your products are produced in limited numbers. Do you think this is important for you as a brand?

Tom: It’s important that we are stocked in the correct type of stores, it’s more of a case of us not flooding the market and approaching shops like Intersport, Tkmaxx etc. We just sell to good, core retailers that are passionate about their products. Saying that we tripled on last years sales and by adding Japan, US and Canada to our distribution channels we are growing quickly.

Watson Glove-
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GB: Tell us some more about the Park Hill jam you put together with Marijn Kok?

Tom: The camp runs over 2 weeks from the 15th-30th of October in Hintertux Austria. The whole pro team is coming over to coach the guests and they are really excited to get involved. We tried to make the camp to offer the best possible value for money and get a lot of kids stoked on riding.

GB: What was the main focus of the Park Hill camp?

Tom: The main focus is to make pro snowboarders more accessible. It appears to a lot of people that they are like movie stars whereas in the US kids can book on camps in Mount Hood and get one to one coaching. I want to give something back and get more people hyped on riding in a nutshell.

GB: So which of your riders is the king of BBQ and will be in charge of it at the Park Hill camp?

Tom: Haha great question, will probably be me. I have no idea. Maybe Gulli. Almost certainly wont be Jamie haha

Click to view full image

GB: Which UK snowboard shops are you stoked to be working with this season?

Tom: All of them as Magic Toast are distributing us and I know those guys are as legit as you can get. If they say those stores are right for us then I trust their decision.

GB: Which items are you stoked on from the range?

Tom: Going to sound bigheaded but all of them. We put in so much work to make sure that we can offer the best products available. All gloves are sampled for a year before they are on sale so we can iron out any faults. The warranty has reflected that and pretty much get zero returns. I am stoked because we only put out items that we are 100% happy with. If they don’t make that cut we don’t release them.

Photoincentive Mitt-
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GB: Can you give us some insight into where the design ideas comes from, and the process of choosing designs for the range, through to the end product being manufactured?

Tom: From all over really, mostly travelling around and seeing different sights and sounds. I always return to London at the end of the season and begin the designing phase. This year travelled all around Scandinavia and taking 1000’s of pics and sketches until I had the ammo to create a solid line.

GB: Any other products in the pipeline?

Tom: For 2012 we have added some accessories such as the Corp beanie and the Sugarfool neckwarmer, which has been real popular. To be honest we are not in a rush to produce 100’s of items. Just ones that we can do well and be happy with.

Corp Beanie-
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Sugarfool neckwarmer and soft goods-
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GB: Have you got any collaboration with artists or other brands on the cards?

Tom: We have worked with a few artists in the past. For this season we have worked with El miro an established artist in the skate/ snow world from Amsterdam. He is so creative and all of the stuff he produces blows me away. Check out his site www.elmiro.nl

GB: What can we see in the future for Transform Gloves?

Tom: Exactly what you see now, only better.

GB: Where can we purchase Transform Gloves in the UK?

Tom: From Magic Toast and Boarders Boards.

Thanks for taking the time to give us an insight into the Brand and what we can see in the future!

You can follow Transform Gloves through their website, facebook and twitter
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