Two brothers, two cities taking a leap of faith to do what their heart desires. Creating, running their own company and having freedom doing it. Daniel and Jon are the faces behind Feltraiger, LLC a clothing company born in Brooklyn City, NY. They aim to create classic American garments with updated details. Inspired by the idea of American rebellion which they call " New American Classic."
Where did the name "Feltraiger" come from? This is what they told; " Its our family name. When our ancestors came to the US from Russia they changed our last name from FELTRAIGER to Feldman. The original name is spelled differently but the pronunciation is the same. The name really lends to the American Made aspect of the brand and american style inspiration. Feltraiger is pronounced FEL-TRAY-GER.
Where are you located?
Daniel: Recently moved to Los Angeles, CA from Brooklyn, NY
Jon: I live in Brooklyn, just a few blocks from our shop, Feltraiger.
What is it that you do?
Daniel: I am the Founder, Owner, and Creative Director of Feltraiger, LLC
Jon: I am the Brand Manager, Head of Marketing & Asst. Creative Director at Feltraiger.
When did you realize that this is what you wanted to pursue?
Daniel: I grew up in a band and music was my life. The band broke up and I moved to New York to work for a booking agency booking bands and hated it. I knew I needed to be doing something creative with my life and I wanted something of my own. I was always into personal style and realized I wanted to create my own brand.
Jon: I have always been more of a creative. After attending school for Interior design and getting into photography I knew I had to do something with creative freedom. My brother, Dan approached me and told me he was really getting serious about starting the brand Feltraiger so I decided this was the time to focus on creating something new, especially when it came to starting a brand with my brother!
Describe a few steps you took to make this happen.
Daniel: I decided to quit my job and go back to school for Fashion Design at Parsons. I was not really seeking a degree, but taking classes that I wanted to take and that would teach me the practical things I wanted to know, like how production works. At the same time I was interning with a number of companies before finally dropping out of school to take a job as a production assistant with a small New York menswear brand.
Jon: I had to commit 110%. I packed my bags and moved from south Florida up to New York City. Dan and I began to work on a business plan and discuss what exactly it was that we were aiming to create. From the start we agreed we would both work our ass off, 24/7; dedication to planning, designing, building the brand – and that’s what we did!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Daniel: A lot of the time is movies and media that I take in. Style wise I think a lot of it is vintage and classic inspired mixed with some biker and some rock and roll. Almost modern day greaser. That vibe to me is what I think captures American classic cool, which is the vibe we try to push with the brand.
Jon: My inspiration mostly comes from the older movies, photos, etc. Very much inspired by the 50’s and 60’s . I feel like that was one of the coolest times in American History. From older biker dudes to the classic hippies, I always find tons of inspiration.
What are some of the accomplishments as a beard grower?
Daniel: I've never competed in a beard competition if that’s what you mean! I started shaving when I was 13 and always had nice hair and facial hair. I've had a tight beard for most of my life but it wasn't until a few years ago when I had my own company and no one to answer to that I decided to just let the beard go and see what happens. It gets a lot of compliments… only from guys.
Jon: This is a funny question. You can answer this a few ways. I guess there are tons of different stories, good and bad that come from having a beard. Real quick I’ll give you pros and cons, pros: you look like a real fucking man who could win a fight with a bear. Cons- Cream cheese, lighting joints, women pulling it.
What do you believe makes a quality beard?
Daniel: Thick hair and maintenance. Some dudes just cant grow a beard, which is fine, it probably also means they have nice smooth Abercrombie chests, so they should work with that and leave the beard growing to hairy dudes. But maintenance is key. If you just let it grow with out shaping and conditioning you’ll just look like a mess. The difference before and after I clean up my beard is night and day, difference between looking like an adult and looking homeless.
Jon: There are all types of amazing beards, but I have a few tips that I usually keep in mind. I have had my beard for a few years now and I always try to keep the sides tight and even and make sure the bottom doesn't look too crazy. I usually get my beard trimmed every other hair cut, (1x a month)
What advice do you have for aspiring beard growers?
Daniel: Only try it if you can grow it and take care of it! Keep the sides tight and the mustache tame.
Jon: You are going to have that weird stage when growing out your hair, stay strong! Don’t take shit from anyone. Stay dedicated and proud. You’re a man now.
Did you ever think you would be where you are today?
Daniel: I always new I wanted my own thing, whether it was the band, or our brand Feltraiger, LLC. This is what I wanted out of life so it was just a matter of time before I could make it happen.
Jon: I dreamed about it, I wanted to be here! I worked my ass off and now I have made that a reality. Now I have some new goals and dreams I’m working on! –Never not working.
Where can readers find out more about you?