At some stage of many folks immersion in the denim scene they get the crazy idea in their head that they should have a go at designing or making their own jeans, without realising perhaps how much work this actually is. Creating jeans, designing a pattern and seeing that through to manufacture whilst using high grade materials and ensuring the ethical nature of supply and making is a colossal and expensive task, I have seen close at hand the process through brands both major and minor, and also from individuals, and I admire each and every one of them for their efforts and the fruits of their labours. Such is the enormity of the task that I have managed to avoid the urge to step into the game myself, until now.
To summarise the total of my experience in this field, I have helped out with certain design tweaks and specifications on the Iron Heart Mega Beatle Buster, I have been involved with amending the cut of a certain other Japanese brand (which I can’t talk about yet 😉 ), and I have given advice to numerous start ups about what I think works and does not in a pair of jeans (some listen, most don’t), so my experience is not extensive but is pertinent. Nevertheless, whilst talking to a brand a few days ago I found myself setting out the framework to a new brand, a line of jeans, and an entire concept behind it which I genuinely liked and believe would be extremely popular, needless to say my ideas were met with less than 100% enthusiasm from a brand already on their way to finding their market niche, and not really looking re-invent the wheel. Undeterred I resolved to have a go at this myself and seek a willing partner to help me.
To many China may not seem like the ideal place to base a new brand, it’s synonyms with poor ethical sourcing and manufacture are many, but not all encompassing. China is a in the midst of realising its quality market potential, putting use to the myriad of skills at its disposal and most importantly the lack of ethics, which was once the standard, is slowly being driven out and replaced with fair pay and conditions for skilled craftsmen. Traditionally and historically China has played a role in the world with prominence which few countries can claim, it has been a centre for learning, a battleground and more recently been cast in the role of adversarial deterrent, it’s history is rich and colourful on a level without many peers and the saturation of Chinese culture into international and modern culture is almost total due to Chinese immigration and workers being prevalent in almost every corner of the globe. In short, China is culturally cool and probably always has been, political opinions aside.
We are starting to see some beautiful Chinese made denims and other fabrics, milled in ethical ways from Chinese cottons which makes me think that the time has never been more right for China to turn its considerable resources to the denim market in the way which Japan has done so successfully. I have been extremely impressed from what I have seen of the Chinese brand Red Cloud, and recently I reviewed some jeans made by SLHT which featured a very interesting, tightly woven 12.5oz raw denim, if this kind of denim can be produced in China then we should all be excited by the potential of the brands there.
Coupled with this, I have a brand concept which would work uniquely for a Chinese brand as it draws inspiration and imagery from aspects of the rich culture and history which have world wide appeal. I am absolutely eager to share this concept with a Chinese jeans maker and denim producer with the infrastructure, ethics and capability to join me in doing this, and I am publicly asking any Chinese company out there with the will and the means to do this to get in touch and hear what I have to say. Does anyone want to make some jeans with Megatron?