Monthly Archives: September 2012

Battle of the Toosh

Battle of the Toosh DL 1961: West Coast vs. East Coast from Coffee to Rappers there has always been a rivalry between the two and which coast is doing it better and who did it right; first. Bringing us to the battle of the toosh’s… and a denim brand that stands out.

Remember back in 2008 when creativity was thriving amongst some nasty rumors that the economy was going to tank- rumor turned to truth and creativity turned to financial management. Specialty store doors began closing shop and it was no longer about throwing a “whim” into the market place to see if it would work. Frankly, I feel it was a blessing in disguise to get rid of the riff raff while making the leaders step it up a notch- in an oversaturated apparel market. Let only the strong survive and infuse innovation to allow products to reach new heights. All able to be done by having the passionate creator and passionate banker fight for market share. It was a tough time for entrepreneurs. Being one of them myself  in ‘09 trying to do my part to keep doors open and keep great product in production. A success story worth highlighting is the birth of DL 1961. Most have never heard of the brand and think it is a division of Diesel USA. Let’s address this first. DL 1961 has NOTHING TO DO WITH Diesel USA or 55DSL the juniors Collection of Diesel. I am here to clean your denim palate and introduce you to a brand that has one of the most loyal clientele I’ve ever come across.

Thanks to DL die hards; this denim brand made it through the rough spot and is an established in the denim industry only a mere 4 years later. It all happened in New York City where everyone has a dream and Maliha Almed had a mission to create “the perfect fitting jeans” not so far off from every denim brands mission. Thankfully there are enough body types for several denim brands to live true to their mission. So, you might ask what makes these jeans so different that they have brand loyalty? Well, it all starts with the shape difference of a West Coast and East Coast derriere. Didn’t see that one coming did ya? I’ve been in New York a year now and my body has completely morphed to a new shape. I’m still not sure how I feel about it but for a brand that most likely-unknowingly- tapped a market for the low, tone, heart shape vs. the strong round curve that you’ll find being created in gyms trailing down the Pacific Coast this is a worthy topic of conversation. Daily squats are not part of the NY lifestyle. It’s more like running stairs from platform to platform through the subway tunnels and chasing cabs from Greenwich Village to Mid Town. Different lifestyles lead to different shapes, needs and product specifications are highlighted by some innovator that has the drive or enough frustration to create the solution to a shared problem. You’ve heard it before “it is NEVER a bad time to start a GOOD business”.-Jeff Shafer

Thanks to Maliha; owner and Creative Director or DL 1961 and her husband Faisal developed something pretty special that made the women of The Big Apple clutch their DL 1961 jeans and fueled this dream on to Melrose Avenue from Mercer Street. Both having a soft spot for Pakistan and a love of New York ended up getting sucked into the world of indigo and should be proud that they run their business with strong ethics and stay true to their heritage. To me this is the most powerful and important aspect of any brand. Know who you are. Stay true to your value structure and always be authentic and somewhere along the way make a difference. Maliha wanted great fitting jeans… like most women we are always on the search. Thankfully, she took it a few steps further by creating DL 1961 jeans; and keeping production in her home country. DL 1961 stands for Denim Limited and 1961 is the owner’s birth year now if that is Faisal or Maliha’s birth year I’ll never tell.

Made at home in a denim mill that is renowned for its innovation and technology located in Karachi, Pakistan. One of my dear denim friends, generally referring to me as the Denim Princess is a denim head himself with an astonishing amount of milling knowledge- holding this specific factory to his highest standards and in sharing his expertise also shared many of the most beautiful pictures from around town. Truly, I didn’t know much about the country beyond the tid bits of politics I run across while surfing through landing browsers at 3am researching denim details. Through several mini interviews we went through all the workers compensation, expectations, production processes and safety standards even a little bit about the people making the denim into jeans. Be assured they are very passionate about what they do and are doing a great job making exquisite product. They were one of the 1st organic certified mills, focus on Pakistani grown cotton, they use air jet looms and the Italian rope dying process. Denim heads will always be united with the quest for blue perfection. Don’t you love that passionate people are making  jeans and their love for the art is being woven into the denim.

Maliha didn’t just wake up one morning and deiced she liked jeans enough to make them she is quite the denim industry veteran in love withal the fine details that go into the production process. She finds great pleasure in discovering new technologies like X-fit; I wonder what she’ll be up to next. It all started by believing jeans do not have to have an age limit but should always be mindful to your shape.

It all starts with the fabrication… not your typical 98-2 cotton/spandex blend. A little cream in your coffee? “DL1961 Premium Denim is the only brand in the market to exclusively feature jeans made with the innovative 4-WAY stretch XFIT LYCRA® fabric. A fabric that not only molds to each individual’s body but boasts 90% shape retention. XFIT LYCRA® means the end to jeans that sag, bag of” the fabric on your butt.. “It is crafted from a cross-weave technology and this patented stretch formula creates 90 percent less pressure at the joints, inseam and back rise. Resulting in a high performance denim with 360 degrees of movement that will never lose its shape. DL1961 Premium Denim is a vertically integrated brand that is family owned and operated; producing garments for over three generations. It is because of their expertise in denim, their passion for cutting-edge technology and their massive global network of production facilities that they were able to create what is now fittingly called the most revolutionary brand on the market”- DL 1961. Like every good brand they are trying to save the world in their free time; I know I am!


DL1961 Premium Denim has partnered with Pencils of Promise in an effort to educate the 61 million children without access to education around the world. “We vow to donate a portion of online sales to Pencils of Promise for every pair of denim sold between June 1st and August 31st, 2012.” “Pencils of Promise believe every child should have access to quality education. They create schools, programs, and global communities around the common goal of education for all. Believing education creates opportunity and the expansion to every child across the globe. This is the greatest tool for societal development. Right now, there are 61 million children without access to education. Their Promise: 100 Schools in 2012, because it only takes $25 to provide one year of sustainable education to one child. To learn more about PoP’s work, click on the following link: http://www.pencilsofpromise.org”-PoP So the battle of the toosh will continue just as any high school rivalry and through the competition of bringing new technologies to market, more jeans to add to our collection and hopefully it will inspire more denim addicts to become entrepreneurs to express their perception in a few shades of blue and help a few hands along the way. Thank you to all the denim heads, Indigo addicts and loyal denim consumers that keep doors open, looms weaving and the passion for jeans thriving. It is only because of you any of us exist!

Always devoted to denim,

Your Butt Therapist

DL 1961 Glossary:

XFIT LYCRA® (n): 1. the patented 4-way stretch material that provides the perfect fit 2. the only known cure to the fashion condition commonly known as saggijeanitis (see below)

Saggijeanitis (n): the condition of having, owning and/or wearing ill-fitting jeans; may result in extreme fashion emergencies and unflattering outfits. Cross-weave technology (n): the unique formula by which XFIT LYCRA® is woven within the denim fabric to provide 360 degrees of comfort.

90% Retention (n): the ability of DL1961 denim to maintain its original shape after multiple wear X-FITism (n): the state, activity or complete obsession with the DL1961 fit.

DL-ed (v): the act of exclusive conversion to the DL1961 brand and refusal to wear any other denim.

The Denim Movement (n): the revolutionary movement inspired by the loyal DL1961 fans (pretty fricking COOL- check it out!

 Spring 2013 a peak inside…. and what is Modal?

I think it’s best if I let them do the talking here! Modal is a natural fiber that is 50% more absorbent than cotton making is perfect for the spring/summer 2013 season.

“Not only does it have gorgeous silk sheen but molds the body better than any other fiber. Modal + XFIT Denim DL1961 is known for being pioneers in XFIT technology. We have now taken denim a step further by combining the XFIT fibers with the modal fibers. This creates the ultimate fit, shape and feel; making it the most superior product on the market today. In past seasons, XFIT is what gave us an advantage over our competitors. With the introduction of Modal+XFIT Denim we blow all of them out of the water. There is really nothing else like this on the market, period. The Ethic For our spring twills we have crafted a fabric using Dual Flex Technology and Modal. This ensures that the DL Spring/Summer twills have 99% shape retention all while still being extremely breathable and lightweight. The Dual Flex Technology gives the garment a power stretch making our twills one of the most”- DL1961

And now what you’ve been waiting for….MY PICKS

Ladies

1914 Amanda in Ruby

$168.00

DL 1961 Editor’s notes: The perfect skinny! With a 31” inseam and a variety of denim washes and colors to choose from, this is fast becoming are best sellers of all time.
  • Zip Fly
  • Front Rise 8.25″
  • Leg Opening 11″
  • Inseam 31 “
  • 55% Cotton, 45% Polyester
  • *PLEASE IGNORE THE NASTY SHOES SHE’S WEARING!
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and for the Gents:….. the best wash of all!
55106-Vince in Boxer wash
$168.00
 
Zip Fly
  • Front Rise 10.5″
  • Leg Opening 17″
  • Inseam 34.5 “
  • 55% Cotton, 45% Polyester

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Now- go find  your new jeans! 

FNO in the NW

You all know my ol’ stomping ground is P-town. Mario and Jeff are like family not a random post; I don’t post random so enjoy a Kai Vodka coacktail, some Agave denim and hang out with my peeps that I desperately miss kickin’ it with!  This is one event I am bumbed to be missing for FNO and I am in NYC so I am making sure I share it with you, so you’ll be able to make it for me! 

Portland OR, Aug 2012 – Agave Denim, the “Pure West Coast Luxury” company, headquartered on the outskirts of Portland, is celebrating its 10 year anniversary by partnering with Portland’s high profile, luxury retailer, Mario’s, for the nation’s biggest retail event night of the year, Fashion Night Out. The event will take place on Thursday, September 6th.

 Agave Denim has much to celebrate like the fact that the company is still independently owned operated and designed by husband and wife team, Jeff and Lauren Shafer. Agave is “Designed in Portland and Handcrafted in California” as the Shafer’s are committed to manufacture in the USA whatever they can.

 It was in August 2002 when Jeff hosted a launch party in Las Vegas during the trade show to celebrate the birth of a new premium men’s denim line that it all began. (The word “premium“ had not been coined yet) The Agave niche was the untapped luxury men’s denim market. For the first few months Jeff designed and worked from his living room in Topanga Canyon, California where the Shafers lived at the time.  During first years Shafer did everything himself, designed, sold from the trunk of his car and did both production and customer service.  The goal then was, and still is, to design, craft and produce beautiful authentic denim products using the best materials and produce everything possible here in the USA.  As the brand grew Jeff moved to offices in Santa Monica. Then in 2006 he moved his family and most of the Agave operations from Los Angeles to Ridgefield, WA as he felt it was a better place for his two teenage sons to grow up. In 2007, women’s jeans were added to the collection.  It was only when Lauren chose to end her job as stay-at-home mom and return to work full-time designing Agave women’s that the women’s business blossomed.  The Shafer’s truly are the perfect partners and design duo, Jeff is a “denim head” focused on fabrics and color and Lauren masters fits, shapes and tailoring.      

 The Agave Anniversary celebrations at Mario’s will be part of the national event Fashion Night Out, or FNO as its now referred to amongst fashion insiders. FNO has become one of the fashion calendars sought after date, a retail night of fun across the country & the world when customers join with editors, celebrities, models, “fashionistas” and designers to celebrate and shop of course! Last year FNO featured over 4500 events in the US alone and events in eighteen countries.  

Agave & Mario’s will celebrate the 10-year Anniversary with an extensive presentation of Agave Fall collection and new preview styles, a live DJ, tapas and more. The Shafer’s also have surprises up their sleeve for the night’s event as some of their special friends and local partners stop by to hello to give a hand in celebrating. More announcements to be made. The celebrations will run from 4-7.00pm at Mario’s downtown Portland store located at 833 Southwest Broadway.

 

About Agave Denim

Founded in 2002 by Jeff Shafer, Agave has become a must-have for the denim connoisseur looking for quality, luxury & authenticity. Designed in Portland made in Los Angeles California today Agave has expanded to include selvage denim, luxury knits & wovens, a whole range of non-denim jeans, casual pants and Agave womens collection, a full denim and knitwear collection for women designed by Lauren Shafer, Jeffs wife. The label has built a strong following is now sold in over 600 denim and specialty boutiques Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom’s stores around the USA, Canada and Europe. 

For more information on the company  go to www.agavedenim.com

 

About Mario’s

Mario’s is the leading luxury brand retail store in the Pacific Northwest for men and women, with stores in Portland and Tigard, OR and Seattle, WA. Owned and operated by President Mario Bisio, Mario’s is known for its impeccable customer service and for housing collections from the world’s most upscale, high-quality fashion vendors. As a merchant Mario’s goal is to find just the right balance between providing customers with what they want, and moving them forward to the next level, even in subtle ways. The brands sold at Mario’s have become more sophisticated with the aging of its clientele, but Mario’s philosophy is to always keep moving forward and to try new things in life and with style – inspiring the Mario’s mantra: Live with Passion. Play with Style.

www.Marios.com

Lovely Wives: “they look like workman’s jeans”

Q: Let me first say how impressed I am with your site, helpful yet fun advice…

I’m an almost 58 yo man, and was just told by my lovely wife that the new Levi’s 501s I just so proudly bought, shrunk, and put on weren’t so great for me… (I’m 5-7, 156lbs, pretty fit but with long torso and short legs – the Levi’s were 34-30). Actually the quote was, “they look like workman’s jeans”, which, she felt, weren’t quite appropriate for me. So, what do you suggest? I am pretty small in hips and seat, but DO NOT have anything resembling a 6 pack… Or 4 pack… Or 2 pack….

Thanks!
Jonathan

A: I understand- the 6 pack is in the fridge… you are not alone! Thank you for your kind words.. I love loging into my denim world and look forward to every email! “off the cuff” i’d say the AG Matchbox is going to be your everyday jean unless I can get to to be a little bit more adventurous and I can guarantee you would LOVE RRL by Ralph Lauren but will cost the same as a few pair of your retired Levi’s 501’s.

 

THE MATCHBOX – 2-YEARS DUSK

MSRP: $215.00    Style Number:1131UDK

   Slim straight, clean,  lean jean

 AG-ed denim is handcrafted to replicate a true vintage jean offered in a naturally aged appearance. They use a wash process that is quite revolutionary being the first in the industry and developed her in the US. They are able to achieve an authentic look of natural variations of wear and tear made especially to wear more over time by using lasers; keeping the industry moving GREEN or at least not deadly!

  • Front Rise 9.75″
  • Back Rise 14.5″
  • Hip 40.5″
  • Thigh 23″
  • Knee 16.25″
  • Leg Opening 15″
  • Inseam 33″
  • 11.75 oz Union Dark Stretch Denim
  • 98% Cotton 2% Polyurethane

 

The wife would approve as well; understated, sexy I call them. Comfortable, quality made denim and they fit the way a pair of jeans should. You may need to take them to the tailor and have them hemmed; this is normal- if you swing by Nordstrom they will tailor them for you for a nominal charge. So, now if you are about the story of denim then I have some names to drop like “Jean Shop” and “Prps” just because the story behind the brand is worth reading but to get that “workwear jean for the modern man; “Modern” not “Metro” a very masculine jeans is made by RRl by Ralph Lauren. This is where I have to disclose that “My opinion is of my own”  I started working at Ralph Lauren a couple months back so now I have to say that this has no connection to the company. Only a whole heartily connection to the awesome jeans!

 

 

Hand finished, selvage denim with good ol’ American Heritage in the styling, fit and essence of the brand. Part No. 11750062 MSRP $240.00 but you’ll take’em to the grave. This denim is woven on vintage shutttle looms and will break in ovver the first 15 times you wear them. But your sizes true you will likely wear a smaller size in most premium denim than a Levi’s 501. If you shoot me a piture; i can tell you what size to buy. I hope this helps; let me know if you come up with any random questions. I know that they cost a bit more than usual but you wear geans more than usually and they should be one of the favorite things you own- you live your life in them!

 

p.s easy fix: 7 for all Mankind “The Standard” in New York Dark (wash)  can be found on sale anywhere online and is an easy go to jean for you!

 

All my denim LOVE,

The Butt Therapist

Denim in Paradise

Q: Dear Butt Therapist,

Congrats for the great website. I was introduced to it by Real Men Real Style. Wonderful that you put your expertise to help ordinary people look unique. I am 38 and currently my favorite pair of jeans is some Wranglers 33-36 which I wear in the attached pics. I would like a change and was wondering if you can suggest something different. My height is 179 cm and weight around 79 kg.

I should mention that I live in Greece and might have difficulty to acquire some brands. Do you think it is a good idea to order online (ie. without trying ) if I find something that I like very much?
Thanks in advance for the help !
Sakis

Hi Sakis,

Thank you for your email and sending a few pictures; I hope you still have a girlfriend and she is excited to take you denim shopping! I adore the Real Men Real Style BLOG!!!!!
A: Living outside the US does bring up a few denim dilemma’s through procurement options when trying to get Premium denim in your closet. However, living in a blue paradise might be a decent trade off.  So, let’s start with the right fit. I can not gauge your Wranglers because you have the uber cool ones that they don’t sell in the USA. So, your best bet is to try on a pair of 7 for all Mankind jeans and use that size in relationship to every other denim brand. We all know what a size 33 or 36 is in that brand and I can then make a suggestion that is comparable. This way you are able to purchase online, have a great fit upon arrival and not have to worry about hectic online shopping.
I have a couple of options to explore and  a little homework for your girl friend. My first choice is Hudson but I can’t find a retailer near you; you may have better luck that myself. I called the company so I will let you know if I find anything out. The Harper is a easy fit with 2% stretch and comes in my favorite wash “Smithfield”.
 

  • Button fly closure
  • Classic five pocket styling
  • Front rise: 9.75”
  • Inseam: 34.5”
  • Leg opening: 16.5”
  • Fabric Weight: 9.75 oz
  • Fabrication: 98% cotton, 2% Elastane
  • Made in the USA of imported Italian fabric

BRETT MODERN BOOTCUT IN NEW YORK DARK (available in a LONG INSEAM 36″)

  • Italian Denim
  • USA Made
  • Leg Opening: 19 ¼”
Second pick is for your everyday kick around jean: the NEW “Brett” by 7 for all Mankind. We need to slim you out across the hips, get rif of the extra fabric that is causing bunching through the top of the thigh and move the rear pockets up and get them a little big closer together. You may be able to purchase them at Attica or another major department store like the US Nordstrom or Sak’s 5th Avenue. I am 80% sure a size 33 would do you well.
So, when it comes to denim here is a list that you can add to your collection as you are able to find them in your stomping ground: RRL by Ralph Lauren, I noticed there are a few stores that might make this an easy task. Scotch & Soda makes great twill pants- and gives your closet more dimension. They make pretty pretty much everything but the right jean for you. The John Varvados “Bowery” would be a KILLER pair of clean dark, one rinse denim that will come in handy with the changing season.
I hope this is not overwhelming, I am trying to give you a few options with the difficulty to try them on and snag a pair on your day off. PLEASE just shoot me an email with your progress or any additional questions. I can always phone a friend and get some additional insight on retailers.
All my denim Love,
The Butt Therapist