IT'S ALL TOO TRENDY to decorate one's home, office, or business with taxidermy, but the buck that oversees the office of Draught Dry Goods' Caesy Oney has the distinction of authenticity: Oney shot it himself. When he was 12. Yes, he's from Montana.
Having bounced between the land of family hunting trips and Portland, where he studied photography at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Oney's work at Draught Dry Goods bears the influence of both environments. A collection of sturdy, bike-ready bags in leather and waxed canvas, plus assorted small leather goods, Oney is synthesizing what's valuable in the current interest in heritage products with the kind of modern urbanity that's reflected in Pendleton's ongoing reboot and the philosophically likeminded Tanner Goods—neighborly competition since Oney's return to Portland this summer.
While the bubble on heritage brand excitement will eventually burst, its founding principles are signaling the way into the future. "There's an understanding that 'US made' means well considered," says Oney, who uses the phrase "well considered" often when describing Draught Dry Goods, the name for which he conjured out of a meditation on Montana history and draft horses. His pieces are put to field test for about a year before becoming available. "You can generally see my hand in it. Quality control is really high."
Beyond craftsmanship, it's the obsession with high-quality materials that set Draught and its contemporaries apart. Oney sources canvas from a New Jersey firm that's been in business for over a century, and knows just where to find the tautest weave of tackle rope. With roots in bicycle culture, Oney is busily diversifying his company with wearables like crewneck sweatshirts just going into production, which he hopes to join with workwear and shoes over the next few seasons.
Fashion merits its share of criticism for frivolity, but when it lights on a movement like the one Draught Dry Goods represents, valuing history, quality, and the return of American manufacturing, it feels more like an opportunity than a trend. Draught Dry Goods, draughtdrygoods.com