Outdoor lifestyle brand Best Made Co. has tapped legendary Argentine chef Francis Mallmann as its new creative advisor. The New York-based brand — known for its tasteful collection of axes, clothing and goods for the home and camp — has always sought to inspire customers to live the best lives possible. Its products have always enabled exploration and adventure, so it made sense when the brand teamed up with Mallmann.
Known for open-fire cooking, Mallmann owns restaurants in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, France and the United States. He authored numerous books and hosted a handful of cooking shows. After appearing on the inaugural season of acclaimed Netflix documentary Chef’s Table in 2015, Mallmann has received increasing interest from media in the States. But it’s no surprise. He lives in rural Patagonia and he’s a world traveler. He appreciates time outdoors as much as he loves fine wine. He’s equal parts bon vivant, historian and romantic. Along with being profiled by publications like The New York Times, Esquire and Food and Wine, he also was featured in one of Best Made Co.’s lookbooks in 2017.
As creative advisor for the brand, Mallmann will cultivate a group of global brand ambassadors that best embody Best Made Co.’s spirit of adventure along with lending his expertise and taste to developing new products. To celebrate his appointment, Best Made Co. collaborated with Mallmann on a capsule collection of 10 new products. The range aptly reflects his lifestyle and includes outdoor necessities like a knife and an ax along with stylish accessories like a beret and a bandana. Nothing seems out of place next to Best Made Co.’s current offerings — the brand and the man are a perfect fit.
The collection starts at $98 for the bandana and tops out at $2,298 for a towering steel grill. To learn more about how the collaboration came about and the importance of well-made products, we reached out to Mallmann in Argentina. Though you may not need everything in the latest release, it’s Mallmann’s hope that the products will inspire you to live a bountiful life.
Q: What aspects of Best Made Co. resonate with you?
A: Long ago I met Peter Buchanan-Smith at his Best Made Co. shop in New York while buying half a dozen of his axes. We immediately created a bond over the primal and beautiful tool that grew and ended up taking us on many adventures together in South America over the years. In any partner I look for a connection, and from the start I knew that Peter, Best Made Co. and I all share the belief in the quality of life that comes from being outside, and that a tool or accessory can be a symbol of exploration meant to take you out of your routine and experience this extraordinary life of work and adventure.
Q: What is most important for you to bring to the brand as the Creative Advisor?
A: As Creative Advisor, I will be cultivating a group of brand ambassadors for the company’s first influencer program, as well as supporting creative direction of product design. To me, this role and partnership are a way to deepen our shared belief in the quality of life that comes from being in the wild and enjoying the pleasures of rest, food and friendship, and create products that allow people to start a dialogue with the elements of the outdoors.
Q: How do using well-made products inform a life well-lived?
A: Products that combine craftsmanship and technicality with passion for an outdoor life are what help create a life well-lived. They allow us to be a part of the remote wilderness and experience the pleasures of the outdoors. For instance, our co-designed chair can bring us to sit outside with a cup of coffee and enjoy the crisp fall air or lounge under a tree in Central Park.
Q: As a man who travels a lot, from the remote areas in Patagonia to major world cities, what is most important to you in the products, clothing and accessories you use daily?
A: Since I’m always traveling to different parts of the world and often outdoors, I’m fascinated by how the simplicity of the natural elements — wind, mountains, snow and clouds — create this common spirit that can be brought to life through the utility and elegance of certain products. Something as small and beautiful as a bandana can not only be an object of comfort but a tool for life, and it all stems back to the simple pleasure of being in the wild.
Q: Do you have any favorites from this first collection with Best Made?
A: The grill is one of the signature pieces in this collection and is inspired by the grill I use on my island in Argentina, mainly as a plancha or fire pit to cook with other elements. I also love the bandana — not only for its simplicity but also for its utility and purpose no matter the occasion.
Q: How do you hope people will use these products to enrich their lives?
A: Each piece in the collection is not only an accessory or tool, but also a symbol of exploration meant to take people out of their routine to experience adventure. The collection is meant to give people the tools to start, or continue, this dialogue with the natural elements that’s part of being in the remote wilderness.