To help launch the brand in the fall of 2009, khaki outfitter Grown & Sewn opened a temporary shop in an art gallery on one of the best looking blocks of TriBeCa. With a few seasons under its belt and a good following with American-made khaki loving gents, the New York based label recently took up a more permanent residence on Franklin Street (again in TriBeCa) catty-corner from Steven Alan’s Annex shop and not far from the Liquor Store.
Every single stitch, button, thread and piece of fabric is Grown & Sewn in the United States of America. That was half of Rob Magness’s concept, to source everything domestically. The Ralph Lauren alum’s other idea was to combine denim fits with khaki cotton twill fabrics. The result are some very nice looking, wearable, washable goods.
I first heard about Rob’s collection at the second Pop Up Flea in November. A very nice young lady told me about their new store in TriBeCa, but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago in Las Vegas that I could meet the designer and see the collection. I’ll be honest, at first pass I wasn’t sold on everything (and there are a few pieces that are definitely not for me) but on the whole, the line is excellent. There are three fits to choose from, and just like with denim, there are varying wash options — everything from raw to distressed. (Note the top photo, distressed on the left, medium in the middle and raw on the right.)
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.
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.