Denim | A Continuous Lean. - Page 3

Men’s Journal Guide to Jeans

Aug 18th, 2010 | Categories: Denim, Housekeeping | by Michael Williams

The gents at Men’s Journal tapped me to write a nice, big, front-of-book denim package for their September issue. If there is anything I love to write about it is denim, and this story was a lot of fun. May I suggest you go analog and pick up a copy, it’s on newsstands now.


Jul 4th, 2010 | Categories: Denim, San Francisco | by Michael Williams

Launching today — for all you denim loving patriots — at the Levi Strauss & Co. flagship store in San Francisco (Union Square) is the Levi’s Tailor Shop, a one-of-a-kind customization area with special goods and services. The LS&CO folks have outfitted the Tailor Shop with a chain stitch machine, an embroidery machine and a darning machine (for repairs or maybe just to get the repaired look). At the tailor shop you can also make your own buttons, choose vintage patches, screen print to fully customize your jeans.

Wearing & Tearing

May 2nd, 2010 | Categories: Denim | by Michael Williams

Generally, I buy about two pairs of jeans a year and price is usually not an issue. I don’t have a problem spending up to $300+ per pair. I justify that sort of expenditure by the ridiculous measure of cost-per-wear. The way I figure, I’m going to wear these jeans at least 300 times. So I don’t mind spending $1 per wear on them. Denim is the workhorse of my wardrobe and accounts for 95% of my daily attire (pants). For the past 5 years I have mostly stuck to wearing jeans from Jean Shop, RRL, and previously, jeans from a french brand who’s name sounds like ABC (a company who will remain nameless on ACL from now until eternity). Spending that kind of money on jeans is just something I do and something I can justify and afford. It is certainly not for everyone.

Shopping London | Cinch

Feb 10th, 2010 | Categories: Denim, London, Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

Jeans and tee shirts. All that you need and nothing more. That seems to be the concept of the recently freshened-up Cinch store in London’s Soho. When you swing open the frosted glass door and step foot into the sparsely merchandised space you are enveloped into the world of Levi’s Vintage Clothing. The funny thing is, there isn’t much to “envelop” you at that store, which is why I liked it.


Shopping Amsterdam | Tenue de Nîmes

Feb 8th, 2010 | Categories: Denim, Retail, Shopping | by Michael Williams

Coffee and denim, that is what consumed my recent Sunday afternoon in Amsterdam — not a bad way to spend a weekend. I’m in town for a quick trip and a few meetings, and one of the stores I absolutely had to check out was the denim-centric shop Tenue de Nîmes. It stocks a great mix of brands, classic jeans companies like Lee (which is actually Lee Europe which is head and shoulders better than Lee in the States), Iron Heart, LVC, Atelier Ladurance (among many more) and other good stuff like Nigel Cabourn, The Hill-Side, etc. I really enjoyed the shop’s product mix, between hardcore Japanese brands and more contemporary lines. I don’t think there is a store in NYC that is even doing it the way Tenue de Nîmes is. Maybe Blue in Green or Self Edge, but both of those are more Japan focused — not that that is bad, just different. Plus, neither of those stores can’t lay claim to such a nice collection of Buddy Lee dolls.


Asked & Answered | Levi Strauss & Co. Part II

Sep 17th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Denim, Khaki | by Michael Williams

It doesn’t get better for me than Levi’s, and meeting with Lynn Downey the Levi Strauss & Co. archivist and historian was an interesting an informative glimpse into the history of one of America’s most iconic companies. The second half of our conversation is below.


A pair of vintage jeans c.1901-1922 from the Levi Strauss & Co. archives

ACL: What was the highest amount you have paid for a pair of Levi’s?

Lynn Downey: The most we have ever paid was $46,532 and that was for the “Nevada Jean” which is — it’s not a 501 — it’s like a carpenter jean from the 1880s. It has a pocket for a folding ruler on the left thigh. Somebody found them in Nevada somewhere, and because we lost everything in 1906 in the earthquake and fire in San Francisco we didn’t know the original name or lot number, so we just decided to call them the Nevada Jeans, because they were found in Nevada.

Made in North Carolina

Sep 10th, 2009 | Categories: Denim, Design, Made in the USA | by Michael Williams

More than an other category, denim inspires people to dizzying madness. Take for instance the North Carolina based Raleigh Denim; the husband and wife team behind the brand — Sarah and Victor Lytvinenko — who over the past year have quietly built a loyal following among denim lovers and retailers like Barneys and Steven Alan. I first learned about Raleigh a few months back when my buddy from Cone sent me a list of new brands for The American List that are using the mill’s denim. I was intrigued, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago when Victor and Sarah stopped by my office to give me a guided tour of the product that I was really convinced. There are a lot of denim brands in this world and I found it amazing that all of the design, development, pattern making, sourcing and even the construction is done by hand by Victor, Sarah and a small staff from their workshop down south. The folks at Raleigh pride themselves on the fact that 98% of what goes into the company’s jeans are from North Carolina. In fact, Victor even seeks out the original machines that are used in the production, traveling around the North Carolina and Tennessee border looking for old factories and needle towns. And he is into it. Victor’s eyes would light up when talking about an old chain stitch machine or another vintage mechanical acquisition. It was like a kid talking about his baseball card collection.