Abut Buster and Punch
Buster and Punch
Buster and Punch, call themselves one of the world's first fashion labels. Basically working on solid metals. Doing everything from custom cycles to door handles, to light switches. They are basically makers with a fun, different angle. Basically, it's just a massive golden workshop.
What's in the name of Buster and Punch? Massimo's middle name is Buster, his brother's middle name is Punch. So there's no magic, probably a little drunk parents, but they're their real names. His brother is not part of the company, though. So it just became Buster and Punch because, basically, Massimo couldn't get Buster.com. So that's the weird name, but it's kind of nice to have an English taste.
But literally, the company started back in 2012. At the time, Massimo was an architect. Working for a major architectural firm. He's kind of getting pretty annoyed at how sluggish the market is. Designing and building houses takes a long time.
So by day an architect and then by night making custom motorbikes. So essentially their sort of first shop was actually a small garage just outside of Hackney and they started making custom motorbikes.
They started selling motorcycles to London's Rock star Glitterati, and fashion designers and interesting people in London, and that's how the company started.
Then they opened another shop in Stockholm in 2014, and they've just opened a new new shop in Shoreditch in East London just off Old Street roundabout. So that's their sort of first proper retail store in London if you're like. It's a lot more gentrified today, but back then it was just off the murder mile and it was exotic is the term to use.
What Buster and Punch do as a company is take ordinary functional home fittings, or things like light bulbs, door handles, light switches, cabinet handles, to try to kind of rethink the way they work, the way they look and most importantly, the way you feel about them traditionally. They know that people see these little details of their home as things they have to buy, just to finish their home. That sort of tells the story of what they make.
The notion of kind of alliances and how they work with a lot of strange and wonderful people outside the inner world is actually how they came from a sub-culture. Starting life by making custom bikes, which was quite an underground scene, and because they did so, Buster and Punch are very much the black sheep of the interior industry today.
Buster and Punch don't do neutral. They are not the guys that do trend led, products. They're the guys that do what they love to do, which is basically heavy solid metals. Check out Buster and Punch door handles here
Massimo says "I suppose I've always come from the impression that the interiors industry is slightly behind the times if you like and it sort of constantly feeds punters or customers or followers what they want to see. So nice pictures of kitchens, a perfect bathroom, and how to make a cozy nook in your home."
Those sorts of things are what you read about in interior magazines full of capturing images of products. Because Buster and Punch come from this sub culture, they always sort of have operated more like a fashion brand in the sense that they kind of like to challenge customers and followers. Give them sort of content and weird products that kind of surprise and also draw them from other parts of society. Be its music, fashion or tattooing or street artists into interiors. Rather than just relying on the people that like interiors.
Buster and Punch worked with people like the Q Awards. They make all the awards for the Q Awards and all the awards for the Brits. They worked with Justin Deakin, who's like an amazing boot maker. They launched a limited edition boot, which is quite odd for a company that also makes light switches. Worked with Michelin starred chefs, Tom Sellers, to do something like a candle holder, that can hold duck fats. Partnered with great brands like Rolls-Royce, so they kind of like to work with young talented people, not in our business. So within the kind of circles that our peers are really in if that kind of thing makes sense.
Massimo says "We're not your traditional interiors company. We're much more of like a, something weirder that's just annoying everyone."
Everyone wants to be a disruptor in the industry. Buster and Punch are doing something very new and come from a very sort of a strange place that magazines can't quite put their finger on. It's never been done before. Taking people from making motorbikes or dealing with musicians or working with film stars to come in and do interior products like boring type products, LED light bulbs, light switches, handles. View Buster and Punch cabinet handles here.
Buster and Punch like to reinvent and make them really exciting, but inject this sort of lifestyle which has to do with London and to do with making motorbikes and this like whole other energy. So in that sort of sense of space and the lifestyle stuff, they are bringing something a bit fresher to the industry. It's done before it's been done in fashion. It's been done in music its just the interiors is a little bit behind. So a more probably loud shouty annoying black sheep rather than disrupters.
When Buster and Punch started, they made lights and some furniture. The aha moment was when they launched their first light switch range. That was four or five years ago and back then coming into their Sockholm store there was a queue around the block of young cool people trying to buy light switches. That summed up kind of what they wanted to do. Before that, no one looked at a light switch and went, "I've got to change my light switches".
Everyone just saw light switches as something that turns on a light, right? Buster and Punch are kind of trying to change a little bit how people see these ordinary things that they probably never thought they needed to change, but now they kind of need to change.
People go through complete lighting designs and think about the materials that they have in their home more and more. They are the things that people touch, you know, 50-100 times a day. So probably more important than most people give them credit.
Buster and Punch don't take inspiration from the interiors world, because if they did their products would look like everyone else's products. They try and draw on everything. They consider themselves a very London brand or label. Taking inspiration from the sub cultures, the people, the talent that make up this city. Keep reading, keep listening, keep hanging out, try and get off your phone, keep speaking to people, that's where you get these sort of bolts of inspiration that become products and weird things.
There are plans on pieces of paper for a Buster and Punch New York and LA Store. Retail's hard. You want to be something that's an experience rather than just the shop. Every one of their stores is very different. The Stockholm store is set up like an apartment. The London store is set up more like a local hardware store where they are trying to sort of take back a bit of power from the big-box diy store. Getting people just kind of shopping more locally, and get into making stuff a little bit more so each store is very different depending on where it sits.
You will find Buster and Punch exclusive to Architectural Design Hardware.
To be continued...