Tool of the Trade

Knife & Flag promises to make heritage workwear the next big thing.

 

Talk about improving on a classic: With more than a year of business under its belt, Sean Baltzell’s St. Louis-based brand, Knife & Flag, has ushered in a new age of workwear aprons that have united makers from around the world. The straightforward and practical product stands up to even the messiest of tasks: Crafted from the finest canvas, denim and leather, the aprons are as durable as they are stylish, targeting trades like woodworkers, butchers, chefs and hair stylists.

Thanks to loyal clients and a strong social media presence, the brand is ready to continue its rise in the market in 2015. This summer, the Knife & Flag studio will be moving into a larger building that will also serve as a gallery space featuring the work of several local artists and makers. Also on the horizon are exciting brand collaborations with other STL makers (including Strange Donuts and leather-goods company Portenzo), a new line of men’s grooming products, a wipeable nonporous apron, trade-specific aprons and workwear-related accessories.

Baltzell is quick to credit Knife & Flag’s loyal St. Louis fans as a big help in the development of the brand, thanks in part to a wide range of local hotspots (including Old Standard, Seoul Q and Salt + Smoke) that outfit their employees in Knife & Flag aprons. “It has been really nice to see all of the support in St. Louis—people have really taken notice,” says Baltzell. “[An apron] is an intimate thing, something that people use every single day. It’s part of their arsenal, a tool they use to do their work. They become attached to it and attached to the brand. It’s really great to be that to people.”

 

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Photo credit: Attilio DAgostino

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