Episode 27 - The brand director behind Merrell's latest venture 1TRL, Paul Ruffles is our latest guest for HAL RADIO. Inspiring the brand's new direction, he gives us the behind-the-scenes know how that revitalised the iconic brand into modern fashion. Giving us over 3 hours of modern and classic tracks for his playlist selection, Ruffles designs an ebb and flow between genres to inspire an atmosphere of ideation from connection and creativity. Listen to our latest episode available on Apple Music and Spotify now. Scroll-through to read our special interview below. Please Introduce Yourself...

Hello… I’m Paul Ruffles, currently brand director of Merrell 1 TRL.

How Did Merrell 1 TRL Come About?

I was MD of size? and Footpatrol for over 10 years and in 2017 I left to work more on the brand side and worked freelance and with an agency (shout to Tangent Agency family) on brand strategy/direction for a few varied brands from Reebok to Cordura. Based on that work Merrell approached me to discuss growing their brand presence outside of just the outdoor market but still maintaining their credibility in that world.

After a couple meetings I went to their global HQ in Michigan to look at their full range. I was surprised, almost overwhelmed by the scale of it but also how strong design wise some of their product is. This sparked further thoughts and ideas and I showed them ideas around what a range like 1 TRL could like and how it could be positioned and presented as an additional and credible part of the brand.

They liked the ideas to move forward and fast forward to where we are today in the space of about 2.5 years.

What Are Some Artists That You Would Like to Work With and What Are Some of Your Favourite Partnerships So Far?

I like to work with other partners that are different but where we share a common thread/love/idea that clearly links us. We’re really at the early stages of this to have favourites etc but I am excited about the projects we have coming such as working with Reese Cooper and Dime – but I’ve also really enjoyed connecting and working with others such as Organiclab.zip, Hiking Patrol, Eye-C mag, The New Order Mag, Liam MacRae, so many good people doing their thing out there

How Do You Unwind When You Are Not Working on Merrell 1 TRL?

Drink Tea, the occasional good coffee… I still for the life of me, collect things (maybe hoard might be a better word), books have replaced shoes and toys etc and I’ve rediscovered my records and adding to that – but I spend too much time organising them into manageable spaces as well but I like it. Escaping properly outdoors when the time permits always clears the head, reading (mostly graphic novels) when I can, and my mind isn’t distracted… and always hanging out with my family.

Please Give Us a Little Insight Into Your Selections for the Latest HAL RADIO Playlist.

I started by throwing in some of my favourite songs especially from the last few years right up until the last week or so (the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble track and album I discovered at Honest Jons, shout to them, even though its 5 years old) and some tracks then reminded me of others. It’s a real mixture but I feel they all have a groove in their way and I’ve tried to put them together so the groove ebbs and flows its way through the playlist… it took me weeks haha but I hope you enjoy it.

Thank You for Taking Time to Contribute to Our HAL RADIO Programming!


Available via Apple Music and Spotify now.


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