Category: DENIM TECHNOLOGY

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen

What’s a sock? If you were to ask Vivek Nagrani, he’d tell you “everything, a sock is an accessory that distinguishes a gentleman from the masses”. I had the opportunity to catch up with my favorite sock whore over a drink and get the dirty details of the Dirty Dozen.

Nagrani — who was born in India, moved to Brooklyn as a young child, and graduated from USC in 1994 with a Business degree but didn’t just toss his hat and dive into the sock business. I mean who are we kidding- in 1994 did denim really matter? To me yes, but the average Joe only thought was his shirt. Times are changing and frankly, if you’re sock drawer still consists of white athletic socks, black dress socks, and random mis-matched grey’s…. Hunnie, it is time to evolve and take life a little less seriously and your sock drawer a little more seriously! It’s the small things in life that can give you the greatest rewards.

Why socks? “because of jeans” with the rise of full-time casual dressing, the high-low concept V found himself uninspired by his sock drawer. We’ve got amazing options for sport jackets, signature shirts, cool jeans, denim belts, and casual shoes made for jeans but then you guys have been left with shitty athletic socks or black dress socks that bunch up in your shoe.

“Why, I ask, can a man be put on the moon, but we cannot make a sock that stays up?”-VK Nagrani… and so it all began…. Vivek designed and produced his first 312 pairs of socks; why 312… it was all he could afford at the time. Today, staying true to his heritage he only creates 312 units of every each color. So, if you like a design you’d better snag it.

VK’s favorite jeans: The Levi’s 501 tweeked by a tailor to trim the leg….

When are you bringing the Casanova Sock back: … HE STILL WON’T TELL ME!

You can find V with a great bottle of wine and an assortment of colored pencils designing the next season’s collections that men will be fighting over to feed their new found addiction. “A man will match his sock to his trousers; a gentleman will match his sock to his mood.” VK Nagrani

 

V is passionate about socks.. and underwear   He is proud to have “changed the way men view a product they never really thought about” and he has changed the way the industry, stylists, and brands view a sock as well. From playing with toys to playing with your style, life should always have a playful touch. There is a reason why it’s called a Lifestyle!  There are two sock collections that he produces. One is part of the VK Nagrani Collection and the other is a brand new Collection that is for the tastefully absurd. Ugly Vix; good style gone bad! When the fear subsides and you feel the power you’ve gained by taking this sartorial adventure and begin buying items that move you and YOU actually like; you’ll enjoy a little bit more of your day. If yu are willing to to sport something more tastefully absurd Ugly Vix is there to carry on; with an assortment of forward designs playfully priced so you don’t kill the bank; playing.  His “basic” socks start at $30.00 and up from there. You and I both know that you need a sartorial kick in the pants.

Did you know that Fred Astair had a thing for orange socks? What is your style? Your wife or g/f shopping for you is not YOUR style and you are doing yourself a huge injustice by letting them choose for you. Find your style and then let them re-fill the closet with YOU in mind, if you must. Finding your style is not an easy task, it take some getting to know yourself and you have to learn what the options are. Everyone is overwhelmed when walking into most stores; thankfully that’s why specialty stores exist. They offer a small assortment of great product with a specific perspective and they come along with a stylist to help guide the way for no extra charge. Vivek is one of the few that have more style than the average Joe, and can get away with wearing a table cloth as a cape because he’s just that…. je ne sais quoi. Thie difference: he owns it and rocks it with a kick in his step and you know he’s not gay. So, I don’t want to hear it. If a man can wear a sock with some personality…still be professional and successful; so can you. I know plenty! There was a day when a man wore a sock up to his knee where it kissed their trousers buttoned just below the knee. Could you imagine what the Aristocrats would have done if they could have gotten a hold of these babies… I’m sure Michelangelo would have had a bit more fun!

The sock trend started by the fashion aristocracy that frequent the menswear shows each year in Milan, Paris, and New York. You guys don’t have as many choices in menswear as women do but your ability to execute flawlessly and express your style and personality through your wardrobe has a higher success rate than it does for women. Socks are in the same category as a tie and pocket square and what makes it so versatile is its heritage among dandies and rebels alike. Socks are a subtle way to add a bit of personality into your wardrobe. They should never be a statement piece; these are accessories not sportswear. If you are just now becoming curious about this steez you should let VK Nagrani sock it to ya; because it is just not the unique design, it’s a better sock; that will actually STAY UP!… and the ladies will always take notice.

Another oldie but goodie, we’ve got V shopping with one of his clients that is open to the idea of taking his boring daily ensemble to the next level. He’s got some great pointers on how to put it all together, choose a sock and take that pink shirt you’ve worn twice and turn it into your favorite. Every day in a blue shirt and navy suit can get mundane, day in and day out without and real accessories. Add a pocket square with a hint of orange, grab a brown, tan textured tie and grab a killer sock that complements the palate and you might just find you have a more productive day. The best thing about V is that he tells you as it is; just like myself when I was working with my clients- we’ll tell you if its bad, absurd, not YOU or a disaster. When we say it’s good- own it! I ain’t shittin’ ya! Our reputations rely’s on the complements you receive!

VK started with 312 socks so you could wear them with jeans, the best underwear so you can wear the right jeans and now has launched a sportswear collection for all the times you’re not sporting your denim. His lounge wear is amazingly soft with a modern style. His suiting is impeccable and travels well.

 SHOP NOW - don’t forget to you the coupon code “Golden Ticket” to make sure you get spoiled, because I’ve got a hook up for you.

 

——————————–The Dirty Dozen: Let VK choose 12 for pairs for you to get your sock drawer dialed in! 

Passionately yours,

The Butt Therapist

He’ll have you by the balls…

 

You come to me for your denim dilemmas but I find more often than not it all starts with what you are wearing under your jeans that is complicating matters. So, before we size you up you need and underwear overhaul! You can’t wear the right jeans with the wrong underwear. So, it’s time to discuss that that age old cliché: Boxers or Briefs? You may not find this as entertaining as the last Victoria Secret Fashion Show but I am sure it holds more relevance since VK will change your life.

Starting with the basics let me introduce you to Pima before I introduce you to Vivek Nagrani.   Not all cottons are created equal. Like coffee, cashmere or fine wine, the quality of cotton can vary greatly. Thanks to ideal growing conditions, extra-long staple length and hand harvesting, Peruvian pima cotton is the world’s finest pima, prized for its exceptional softness and brilliant luster, as well as its durability. One touch is all it takes to show you just how luxurious a cotton can be.the World’s Finest Cotton and considered the luxury fiber of choice used to make the softest cotton fabrics that you will find in many of Agave Denim’s t-shirts and VK Nagrani’s undies! 

Now that we know the fabrication and manufacturing process is by far the best in the industry let me tell you about one of my favorite people in the industry. Vivek Nagrani, will make any girls head spin and can leave a man with a bit of jealousy; his passion and charisma makes for an incredible shopping experience and you’ll feel better to know him. Which you should find comforting because he’s gonna have you buy the balls.   Not to make this sound like a eulogy but V is the shit and knows his shit very very well. Interviewing him could never be considered work but only a great pleasure.  This guy’s got style!

“Rather than be something to everybody; I want to be everything to somebody”- VK Nagrani

Starting from the bottom, Vivek was fed-up with his socks falling down and even more frustrated when jeans began taking over as a lifestyle necessity and socks still sucked! When I asked V “why socks” all he said was “because of jeans” naturally we have become great friends as his passion complements my own. From .99 cent toys to the most coveted socks & underwear in the world… he gives “Detail oriented ” a new definition. It all started with 312 pairs of socks and now encompasses the infamous sock collection, unbelievable underwear and a line of ingenious apparel from the sofa to the board room. Curious about these infamous socks read this: The Dirty Dozen because right now we are talking about your briefs!

 

                                 Six Styles

#1 Style for jeans:  “The Woody”

The Woody: The man’s man boxer brief.  Sans designer name on waist band, sans flashy advertisements and sans a fancy box, this is the purest.  We can say that because it is made with the best Peruvian Pima Cotton we could find.  We dyed the fabric in vegetable dye that has no chemicals.  We then treated the fabric with a washing process that makes the cotton feel like silk.  And then, yes, and then we sculpted the garment by hand so that you will feel like you have nothing on yet everything is gently being held in place.  Yes, that is why we can say it is perhaps one of the best undergarments made on this planet.  When deciding on size, if you have larger thighs or a little more in the trunk, choose one size larger.

The Shaft: Designed for those who live an active lifestyle.  The trunq has a built in pouch to keep the boys positioned and the back is cut like a biker short to maximize comfort. Personally, I wear these on flights because it locks everything into place.

The Johnson: Yes, we miss Johnson also, but the 2.0 version is that much better.  It has the same build as the original but now it’s all dressed up with a button fly.  Choose to use it or not, it offers you a great look and incredible fit.  I love the look and the feel of this piece.  Lot of cool details that unfortunately can’t be picked up by a camera.

The Willy: A trim, fitted knit boxer.  Made with pure Pima cotton, this is a great piece to wear as underwear but an incredible piece to wear to sleep.  Put these on and you will not be waiting for the sandman to come.  If you take sleep meds, you can rest assured you will look your best should you be sleep walking through a hotel corridor.

The Wang: Not too slim, not too big, just perfect.  This is by far my all time favorite brief.  It fits on the hip and offers gentle support without leaving any excess fabric around your back side.  The fabric molds to your body and with each wash it gets better and better.  Of course, after two years, we recommend you buy a new pair.

The Classic Woven Boxer: The objective: create the perfect pair of boxer shorts for the man who enjoys only the best. We created the collection using 100% two-ply Pima cotton and then added an “ez-snap” button. We constructed the waist band to sit on the body without even being noticed. As you wash and wear these, you will see how the fabric completely comes to life. Again, reserved for the true clothing enthusiast. Colors are assorted; it is a nice surprise in a world where nothing seems to surprise us anymore. (not pictured, visit the website).

I know you haven’t really thought about cleaning out your underwear drawer lately but I can assure you that if you open that drawer 80% of them are getting thrown in Le Garbagé.

Ya, ya….so, what does a girl know about men’s underwear? It’s defiantly not my experience taking comfort into consideration when lingerie shopping so, naturally, I went to the best and brought it you from some guys that never thought they would be shootin’ the shit and talking underwear over a shot of whiskey.

In the beginning no one believed Vivek created the ultimate underwear; he had to give them away just to prove that you can feel supported all day and that his product was better than anyone else’s on the market, it only starts  with the soft touch of Peruvian Pima Cotton. Today, all the best retailers from Gary’s in Newport Beach, Wilk’s in San Fran, Mario’s in Portland and Seattle, Richards in Connecticut, Bergdorf Goodman in New York and The Independent in Little Rock Arkansas all carry VK Nagrani as their #1 underwear vendor… and frankly I believe their only. So, go to his world on the web and find out what you have been missing because you’re not going to know until you can compare. Use your coupon code “Golden Ticket” at check-out so he knows to spoil you because you’re my friend.

“Great clothing should be made to get better with age and be designed to offer a timeless aesthetic; it must function to enhance your life.  It is this philosophy that I bring forth each time I create a new garment.  For those who know me, it is of no surprise that I have come to actually meet and learn from the men who wear our collection on a daily basis. Over a drink or through a casual chat, ideas are often conceived. I do not have to just impress myself, but I have to impress the men who have come to expect the best from me.  Many of our friends have been on this journey with me since the start.  It is humbling but it also drives me to be better with each subsequent collection. Thank you for your support”-VK Nagrani

VK Nagrani ONLINE

“I haven’t worn underwear in 30 years, but after trying these on I’ve never looked back”-Mr. PK *The Woody

Oldie, but a goodie! V is gonna kill me ’cause I found this… :

 

Passionately Yours,

The Butt Therapist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shame on me…

 

““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““By: Casey Golden aKa The Butt Therapist

 

Shuffling to and from work you see a lot of #denim butts in a NYC subway. Not only am I searching out my train route but cataloguing every pocket detail and brand stamp on passing derriere’s. There was a girl holding hands with her bf  walking up the stairs in front of me with great pocket placement and a killer wash. The word Maj was lightly under dyed on the right rear pocket. It went in to my notes of things to research… 3 days later I got a twitter message from Marc Allison Jeans. When I pulled up the website there was the Maj logo. My curiosity got the best of me… as usual;  I had to get them on!

CLICK TO WATCH THE FIT VIDEO

Shame on me… for not searching out Maj Denim before they found me; Thank you twitter! I’ve got radar finding people making jeans in their living room to passionate production on tiny tropical islands. A textile mill in LA turned to denim brand… how could I miss it? I wish working ridiculous hours a week was a good enough excuse! Passionate denim heads have a way of finding each other if not to just talk shop with someone who gets it.

Marc Allison Jeans  introduced a revolution in premium denim. The collection is made of a completely new fabric that no other brand offers – “a four-way X-FIT stretch denim infused with Supima cotton that makes for a stunningly flattering fit, extraordinary movement and comfort with great recovery. Based in Los Angeles, Marc Allison Jeans was co-founded by textile veteran and premium denim expert, Marc Flashberg and his wife Allison.  The duo set out to design classic and sophisticated jeans with an emphasis on fit and comfort that naturally complements every woman’s individuality and sense of style. A 30-year veteran in the textile business, Flashberg developed a driving passion for premium denim at the onset of the denim explosion. After spending years introducing innovative products to top premium denim labels, it became clear to Flashberg that there was a void in the market. Until now, the belief was that fit and comfort was achieved primarily through the pattern. Flashberg realized that the pattern alone cannot offer fit and comfort. Jeans need to be able to move with the body, retain their shape and look good. He concluded that this level of fit and comfort can only truly be achieved through the fabric, which then complements the pattern. Pulling from his early experience in knits, five years ago Flashberg came up with the revolutionary idea of creating a four-way stretch denim to provide the ultimate in fit and comfort for denim aficionados.

Through further exploration of the concept, the mill Marc represented learned that Invista, a global integrated producer of polymers and fibers, had already begun research on the creation of a yarn that would allow denim to stretch in the length as well as the width. Working together with Invista, the XFIT was born and the first generation of fabric that offers fit, comfort and recovery was introduced to the market. Every pair of Marc Allison Jeans features this T400 technology — authentic ring spun yarns containing unique fiber memory that sculpts the body and maintains its shape day after day, wash after wash. Marc Allison jeans have been sold at Theory, Fred Segal Girl, Lisa Kline and other specialty boutiques in the United States, Canada, Dubai, Lebanon, Israel and England.”  BUY NOW

With the rising cost of cotton many brands have been blending synthetic fibers like polyurethane, spandex and elastane to compensate for cost and improve their fit retention in the past 3 years. Fit aside, it doesn’t take a genius or a skilled eye to create a nice dark jean. Wether it’s a mercer wash or saturated in indigo the skill comes in the ability to wash the garment beautifully.  This is what has made Diesel stand out in the market for decades and one of the reasons they use 100%, 99% and 98% cotton blends. It gives them the ability to manipulate the indigo shades and process wash treatments when using a higher natural fiber percentage. In contrast, most Paige Jeans are currently made with 40% polyethylene and focused on pretty basic washes. I dare Mrs. Geller to make the Hidden Hills in a Medium light wash again. xox

Dying synthetic fibers naturally or chemically treating them to look naturally faded is not the easiest task. So, when Marc asked me which pair of their Fall 2012 collection jeans I was most interested in seeing I chose the Selly in the powder wash. Impress me with a stretch fit in a unique shade and killer wash treatment. Impress is just what they did. Having a light washed stretch jeans with a unique wash treatment is not easily accomplished and not many brands are trying these days. When brands are focused on marketing budgets, material costs, production locations vs brand dilution you are seeing a lot of skinny dark jeans trending... p.s Miss Fashionista, this is the most cost-effective to produce. It says a little bit about your brands priorities… get a techy addicted to denim and he’s gonna find a way to re-create the denim not just the pattern. Marc has some major props in my book as he and his wifes initials will be stamped on my ass; because Marc Allison Jeans are sexy… easy as that.

Personally, I am a tough fit. I grew up as a gymnast and have the lower body that still reflects a solid frame. I am a 150 lbs size 4 (27) with a VERY short rise. A high rise jean on me grazes the bottom of my bra; comedy. Since I have been a size 2-14 all in a matter of weeks I have had the opportunity to know first hand how my body changes from a size 6 to a size 10. Living in denim everyday it required weekly purchases as I dropped a large amount of  break-up weight. That’s a whole other story. This is how I was able to use my body as a reference to fit my clients. I’ve been a size 12..I get it and I’ve been a size 2 I understand!  That combined with personally fitting over 5,000 butts effortlessly, men or women continue to come to me for my denim picks- I can save a lot of time and sometimes a few tears.

My personal best fitting jean as a size 27 is Abercrombie & Fitch and Hudson’s Couture Collection (hard to find but retails around $305.00). However, being a denim connoisseur A&F dosen’t offer the quality and details I prefer but damn they fit me like a pair of jeans should. That is until my left leg falls off when I get out of my car. Being addicted to denim I have favorites that I will wear day in and day out purely because my jeans are works of art not because they fit the great or give me the best toosh… I am over what my toosh looks like in a pair of jeans- pocket placement will not detour me if the jeans are badass! We are Replay are coveted in my closet; one day they will be framed. The second I buttoned the Marc Allison Jeans I knew they had done it; they have created the RIGHT fit for me. Finally, I get a pair of jeans that fit the way I want them to while not having to sacrificing on quality and production value structures. I spend all my energy helping other people find their perfect fit and here I was still looking for the perfect mix of quality, passion, and fit for my go to jeans. I know I will not get everything I want for me and you in one collection… but I am getting closer to creating the GOLD BAR my picks for all the attributes that can make a pair of jeans coveted.

Marc Allison Jeans run about a size big. Don’t lie to yourself BUY THE RIGHT SIZE! If you are a STRONG 28 in 7 for all Mankind by a 27. If you are a size 30 go ahead and buy a size 30 in the regular rise and a 29 in the mid-rise; my adjustment should correlate properly. The Selly is a lower rise, with a  curved-waist band that slopes in the front just enough to graze my hip bones and keep my lacy whites under cover when I sit. They look like REAL jeans… and feel like jeans not jeggings! They move with me while keeping my pockets where they are supposed to be- 3/4 of an inch below the bottom of my fanny. With all this stretch in the market place your pockets are dancing behind you moving all over the place while you walk… have a friend video tape it… it’s interesting! I have thighs. Generally they pull jeggings and high stretch jeans down off my toosh and I am continually pulling them back up-giving my pockets placement no permanent home on my toosh.  Maj jeans stay in place while you walk, do not provide Shar pei wrinkled legs or smiley face butt cheeks. They are a winner in my book…

“>

Marc Allison Jeans is made with a unique Supima Cotton (Made in the USA) overlay to create a soft hand. Only a few denim brands use it in their fabric blends because it is more expensive to use. Agave Jeans is another company that supports Supima Cotton “it’s the best!” Your knowledge as a consumer is the key to your closet! Know what you buy, who you are buying it from and make sure you LOVE every piece. You have been shopping for at least a decade for yourself… if you can not grab 12 items in your closet that you LOVE “you’re FIRED!  It is in your best interest to outsource the service. Find a pro, you will find yourself with a better wardrobe, cooler pieces, more style and a lot of saved cash by buying only a few AMAZING pieces a year.  You choose who makes it and who doesn’t in this industry… choose passionately!

All my denim love,

The Butt Therapist

BLUE ALCHEMY: STORIES OF INDIGO

Ever wonder where indigo came from… here’s an aperitif… working on a little blue 101 for you…

BLUE ALCHEMY: STORIES OF INDIGO is a feature-length documentary about indigo, a blue
 dye that has captured the human imagination for millennia. It is also about remarkable people
 around the globe who are reviving indigo in projects that are intended to improve life in their 
communities, preserve cultural integrity, improve the environment, and bring beauty to the world.

“>BLUE ALCHEMY: Stories of Indigo Trailer from 464″>Mary Lance on Vimeo.

Indigo dye is an organic compound with a distinctive blue color (see indigo). Historically, indigo was a natural dye extracted from plants, and this process was important economically because blue dyes were once rare. Nearly all indigo dye produced today — several thousand tons each year — is synthetic.

http://www.newdealfilms.com/documentaries.html

 

 

 

 

Geeked Out

 

 

 The True Denim de Luxe

–135 hours, 16,200 hand stitched, completely customized and personalized exclusive luxury #denim–

 

 

           As an artist and Denim Head…I am geeking out on Nadel & Pen hand sewn jeans that are custom made in France. I had the opportunity to catch up with Tilmann Wröbel, couture fashion designer, blueblood, and total nice guy to talk shop with little ‘ol me across an ocean of blue.  This denim collection is none other than the best pair of jeans you will ever have. The ultimate gift to a denim connoisseur and the final piece to any notable denim collection. Go through the process and you will receive a completely custom pair of jeans made with the finest materials with an unrivaled amount of personalization and detail. One hundred percent hand sewn…16,200 stitches, 135 hours of hand work and 3 months of love bleeds into the indigo with the utmost amount of passion for the art of denim making. <<a story worth telling>>


“Singularity is the new vision of luxury”

“Nadel & Pen is neither a a maison de couture, nor a denim brand. It’s a know how, a style, a single object: A custom hand sewn pair of jeans which takes back for the first time, without any machine assistnce; the codes of the most industrialized garment in the world.”-NP

“Nadel & Pen stands for the privilege of offering yourself an exceptional jean. Made in france, custom tailored, it’s sewn by hand in 135 hours using 16,200 stitches” done by HAND; never any type of machine. It is designed with the most notable raw Japanese or Italian fabrications and rarest of trimmings with finishes reminiscent of haute couture Nadel & Pen implies a blend of dominating values Step one [arrive in Paris and introduce yourself to a denim studio in the heart of the city of love] Step two [Select your luxury materials to create your custom jeans] Step three [Tilmann designs and sketches your jeans to your preferences by the hand that Dior trusted] Step four [impatiently wait three months while your jeans are going though the hand making garment process] Step five [receive your exclusive one of a kind custom jeans in a showcase all its own with serial number and certificate of authenticity.]

Step six [WEAR, LIVE, and LOVE]….

When you arrive in Paris, you will have a selection of the finest selvage denim available in the world to choose from. The shank button engraved with your initials or coat of arms if you prefer. Your initials able to be embroidered on the coin or rear pocket… no “brand squiggle on the butt” this is your piece of art made by the artist. Much like commissioning a painting, your canvas is selected raw and the artist creates a piece that is unique to your own tastes. The pocket sacks and lining is made from couture quality silk dupion while the buttons on the fly are made from either horn or mother of pearl. “Horsehair and glaced cotton make up the multi-layered hand-stiched inner lining making it tear proof.” There is nothing common or ordinary about this piece of denim… Haute couture still exists… not found on the runways ie:”ready to wear (RTW)” you may be so familiar with in the pages of Vogue. There are still artisans that create art with a few tools and their hands much like a painter using a brush and a few drops of colored paste to create a perception of reality. When you are able to take the best materials and mold them into an object that has a style and attitude all its own you have created life.  Well, I hope you heard it here first about this new denim loving project that may just be the most coveted pair of jeans in the world.

There are still plenty of secrets so keep your eye on Tilmann Wröbel and check out

Nadel & Pen    +++++++   Monsieur T

for a personal introduction to his creative spaces

Love, The Butt Therapist 10.20.2011

Lauren returns to Agave Nectar

Lauren Shafer, head designer for Agave Nectar Collection has put together a Fall 2011 collection that has all the elements that make the seasonal transition exciting. This is Lauren’s first full collection after returning from her 16 year “stay at home mom” hiatus. Now that the kids are older Jeff persuaded her to return designing together as the denim duo has been unstoppable. Lauren is as fanatical about fit as I am. She is an expert pattern maker and this season she made all of her own first samples. The fall 2011 collection consists of over 17 different styles of both denim and denim alternatives that are made of the finest Italian fabrics. Leather jackets have been added to the collection this fall to layer over an assortment of Supima cotton knits and sweaters.

I had the opportunity to meet Lauren a few months back while I tried on a pair of killer pink skinny’s. It was my first fit test since the original launch of Nectar in 2007. Her pattern making skills are nothing to be taken lightly. She has managed to translate a fit that directly affects our first instance in a fitting room; when you twist your hips and look over your shoulder in the mirror. The curved waistband and pocket placement is one of my ultimate favorites across the board. The Nectar denim collection is strong in value, integrity, quality and design. The sizes run true and the fabrics feel absolutely amazing. While the colors are rich and vibrant I have found that the dye is holding up in the wash and my jeans have worn in nicely; exceeding my initial expectations. So, if 7 for all Mankind’s pockets are too low for you,  if Paige Premium Denim’s are to high or if AG’s are too large than you just might find that Agave Nectar is the perfect fit. I must have a pair of White Oak Selvage this year as a souvenir from my tour of the denim mill in Greensboro, NC earlier this year.

 

Lauren’s top picks for fall are:

 

Dark Denim in supersoft & superstetch fabrics that go through an “Ozone washing” process that uses less water in production.

The Gothic grape colored denim

Italian vintage cords are a season must in wine or soft blue

The Chica jegging  in black Italian velvet is perfect for the Holiday’s

Supima cotton sweaters in rich color tones make fall just a little bit warmer

 

“New Fall fits “Listo” and “Fortuna” slim fit in a medium higher rise trouser and the Fusta riding jegging is one of my favorites!”- Lauren

“Lauren has a thorough understanding of the essence of the Agave brand and lifestyle. She embodies the same passion for design as her husband, but had chosen not to work outside the home because of her commitment to her family, a struggle every mother faces. This new move will enable the husband and wife team to work together and build a stronger women’s and men’s product offering in the coming seasons.  

Lauren Shafer has been sewing since she was thirteen, designing and making her own clothes through high school and graduating from FIDM in 1982.  Before deciding to park her career to become a full time mom, Lauren racked up over 12 years as pattern maker and designer in both the women’s and men’s sides of the business. She co-founded BC Ethic with Jeff Shafer and Ty Bowers in the early 90’s. When the couples’ first son Jacob was born, Lauren cut back working until replacements could be found. However she never gave up her passion for design and kept busy with design projects both inside and outside the home.

“The time is right for me take this on and work with Jeff and the rest of the team. My boys are very independent and so far are not being affected by my absence after school, as they are so busy themselves.  I am enjoying letting my creativity and passion grow now that I have the time to design again. Jeff and I work as a great team together and I have always understood and shared the passion for the brand that he does,” says Lauren Shafer.

 Fall 2011 will be Lauren’s first full collection as designer and it encompasses many categories including denim, corduroy, cotton twills, knitwear, sweaters and leather pieces. She has experimented with the design and production team for this first season to create a collection that is choc-a- bloc full of luxury fabrics and color as well as style.  A woman who enjoys quality and looks for the confidence and effortless elegance in design will love all the Fall 2011 collection brings.  “My collection consists of wonderful pieces that I would love to wear.”- Agave Denim Press Release 9/2011 By: Zoe Campbell

View the entire fall collection at www.agavedenim.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for showing the love… Supima Cotton

@supima #denim Thank you for showing the love… I have more for you! New site is being built and you will be able to see when I mention you! xox

 

 

Supima Cotton called me out to NEW YORK

WOW! I am a Google girl; in fact I have been impatiently waiting my Google Plus invite (achieved yesterday). Tonight, I randomly visited BING… what did I find? My first SHOUT OUT from www.Supima.com/ Who are they? “Founded in 1954, Supima is the promotional organization of the American Pima cotton growers. The Board of Directors of this non-profit organization is composed of Pima growers from the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. All members pay a voluntary per bale assessment to support Supima’s marketing and promotional activities”

 

Thank you so much for the recognition; I’ve got your back! 

 

Passionately yours,

 

The Butt Therapist

This one if for the guys

 

Men let’s talk about your jeans. This is relevant to you if any of the following statements are true:

 

a) You have not bought new jeans since 1994

 

b) You are wearing jeans that a 21 year old wears to Vegas

 

c) They are carpenter pants from GAP, LEE, WRANGLER, or Levi

 

d) You’ve never worn jeans

 

e) You are sportin’ the exact same jeans your father is wearing today

 

 

 Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.- Mark Twain

 

 

 

…………………………………………..it is time to go shopping. I am here to help!

 

Listen to the PodCast Thursday 7/27/2011. Antonio from Real Men Real Style invited my for a denim chat for professional men over 30 to run through the denim options you have.  You will be going shopping so, here are a few notes to PRINT and TAKE with you. Just hand them to the sales associate and say “I need new jeans” what ever size you think you are- try on one size smaller FIRST; most likely all of your clothing in your closet is a size too large.

 

 

*Drop 10 lbs instantly by having your shirts tailored: add darts .

 

 

*Increase your height by hemming your denim right!

 

Casual Denim: Your jeans should be 1/8 of an inch above the ground IN CASUAL SHOES!

 

Professional Denim: Your jeans should be 3/4 -1 inch above the ground IN DRESS SHOES.

 

 Okay, so you just celebrated your 30th birthday…cool- you can still get away with your True Religion, Affliction, MEK and Rock & Republic jeans but you are going to need an understated masculine jean because you are growing up and might find yourself wanting to be taken seriously. If you are over 30 then you need to exude a certain confidence by embracing the world of denim properly.

 

Let you mouth do all the talking; your jeans should not scream too young or too old.

 

______________________________

 

 

The denim fits like this: The brand – style name (they are listed in order from lowest waisted to highest rise)

 

 

Relaxed Fit: 7 for all Mankind-Relaxed boot (8.5 inch rise), Diesel-Larkee Relaxed (10 inch rise) , AG Jeans-Hero relaxed straight (10.25 inch rise), Agave-Waterman (11 inch rise), Mavi-Matt (11 inch rise) 

 

Full Thigh Straight Leg: 7FAM-Austin (8), AG Jeans- Protege (9.75) Diesel- Larkee (10),  Mavi-Zach (10.5), Agave-Spitfire (11), Ermengeilo Zegna- Classic (12)

 

Classic Fit:  7FAM-The Standard (8.5), Diesel-Viker (10),Mavi-Martin (10), AG Jeans-Matchbox (10), Agave-The Gringo (10.5),

 

Slim: Diesel-Darron (10), , Agave-The Pragmatist (10), AG Jeans-The Geffen (10), 7FAM-Aiden (10), Mavi-Jake (10.5), Diesel- The Safado (10.5)

 

______________________________

 

*SLIM is NOT a skinny tight fitting jean.  This is a fit guide by a woman for the best fitting masculine jeans based on your body type across $80.00-$225.00.

 

If you have not spent more than $50.00 on a pair of jeans and not comfortable with premium denim prices please wait for a sale; you can snag a killer deal. Great jeans are worth the price and worth the wait.

 

 

All it takes are a few simple outfits; and there’s one secret – The Simpler The Better. -Cary Grant

 

 

 

* If you are wearing True Religion, Affliction, or MEK and can’t imagine wearing a straight leg jean; I will compromise with you and get the Diesel Zathan; one day you will graduate to the The Viker.

 

*If you are more rugged and want an Americana jean: RRL, Jean Shop, Levi (go to an actual Levi Strauss Store).

 

 

Need help with decoding your body type

 

 

Questions?- Listen our POD CAST tomorrow with Antonio Centeno from Real Men Real StyleA Tailored Suit then “Ask me” and stick around The Butt Therapist for more.

 

Keep on bustin’ it,

 

The Butt Therapist

Jeff Shafer: Bluer than Indigo

 

It’s not just an expose on some company that makes jeans. It’s a story every entrepreneur should read because all great success stories have a lesson that will remind you your life is not in need of toilet paper. Stuff goes wrong, everything will completely fall apart and it’s right then- when your world seems to be in cardiac arrest; that success happens! I had the chance to sit down with Jeff Shafer, Designer/ CEO and founder of Agave Denim to talk some denim & blues.

 

Q: How did you build a successful international denim company? A:This was not the plan!

 

Jeff took me for a tour through Agave’s headquarters located in Ridgefield, Washington. This is the place where he is proud to call home and takes an active role in his community personally and through his business. I was a bit nervous to conduct my first in-person interview until I walked through the door and stopped dead in my tracks. The most beautiful surfboard I have ever seen was propped on the staircase; made of pure Agave wood shaped by none other than Gary Linden. The ice was broken and I was chattin’ it up.

 

 

Jeff’s career as a designer started in 1992 as the founder turned designer for a workwear line BC Ethic. “At BC Ethic I was the CEO that was generally found in the design room because I enjoyed the creative process. When our head designer left, Lauren, my wife, who was also designer and patternmaker for us told me that I was going to be taking over as head designer of the collection and she would teach me how. The 1st collection we created was okay but the 2nd brought in 400K of business at our first trade show.” Jeff spent over 10 years with BC Ethic until he stepped down. The day he left Lauren asked him a simple question “what are you going to wear now?” When you work in the apparel industry you find yourself a walking billboard for the brand you represent; nonchalantly,  it devours your entire closet. So the story begins, Jeff bagged up every piece of clothing he owned and gave it a new home. Proud and excited he hit the streets to spend the day shopping for items he felt would exude his own personal style while fitting his new lifestyle. Expecting to need all the empty hangers that lie in his closet; he came home without making a single purchase. When it down to it he was unable to find a pair of jeans that fit right or a single shirt that he liked enough to buy. Empty handed, Jeff stood in the kitchen, looked at his wife, and said “I am going to start a menswear company.” Supportively or maybe with a hint of sarcasm she asked who was going to design it… “I am” and with that, a vision was born to create the world best jeans.

 

He began developing Agave Denim immediately. All it took was one pattern maker’s epic fail to properly grade and mark the pattern according to denim industry standards to begin a chain of events that would lead him down the path of his success. Trying to save lead time with the initial orders the jeans shipped directly from manufacturing to retail stores. Three days later after the big celebration the phones lit up with 360 degree contradictions of love, hate, and more WTF’s then he knew what to do with! A size 31 had a skinny ankle while a waist size of 38 had a leg opening that would fit an elephants. An entire life savings of jacked up jeans began showing up on the doorstep being returned from retailers all over the country. The showroom in New Mart shut down and he was forced to let his employees go…it was over before it had really begun.

 

Jeff is a very passionate guy… he lights up to the word indigo in an instant. I enjoyed every stitch of time shooting the shit, chatting about denim and learning how he managed to pull this vision into a successful international denim company. This kind of passion allows a person to gracefully bow, exit the stage, and go back to the drawing board… or in this case into the living room and proceed to take over the garage. Jeff used every penny (which was merely pennies) he and Lauren had left to dive into the boxes of random returned jeans to figure out how to make it work. Jeff was confident that if he could just fix the size scale he would be able offer perfect fitting jeans that would have the potential to dominate its intended market. It was 2003 when he wheeled the new Agave Denim collection to the Magic show in Las Vegas to try again with a new fall Men’s collection. Jeff and his wife have worked together for a little bit over 20 years and married for 18 as of this year. Congrats! This is a man with high integrity, devotion and the passion to drive his visions. Get to know Jeff through his blog Bluer than Indigo I like the “fish story” If you need it spelled out, here ya go: http://blog.agavedenim.com 

 

                                                                                                                                                    

 


 

 

  “The product can never be better than the materials you use to create it”- Jeff Shafer

 

 

                                  

 


 

Q: What makes the Agave denim collection stand out from other brands?

 

A: I am a fiber driven designer. Most designers focus on a pocket or silhouette wash or celebrity I believe that the best products start with the best materials. Agave Denim is a fiber leader as evidenced by our partnerships with Supima. T400 Polyurethane, hemp, lines, our cotton. We also have always known that shuttle loom selvage made with plant indigo is the purest form of denim.

 

Now, the collection with its “surf cowboy”, California luxury, adventure lifestyle roots driven by Shafer’s own experiences in the 70’s and 80’s is sold in over 500 specialty boutiques in the US, Canada, England and Ireland with retail prices starting at $165.00 to $255.00, the latter for exclusive White Oak selvage jeans. Agave Denim is a company that is true to its roots and has the integrity to back your values. Exclusively produced in Los Angeles, this double ring spun denim is hand finished and made in the USA. Jeff searches out the best of the best including the choice of companies to do business with. Worried about imported denim and the rivers of indigo that flow through China: Jeff takes the environmental impact into consideration and has a long time relationship with 2 family owned denim manufacturers in Japan where his Japanese denim is custom woven; Kuroki and Kurabo and an Italian family owned denim mill, Gentex. “I’ve seen their children grow up” says Jeff. He supports family-owned businesses; he is one. There is beauty in starting something from your passion that you can pass on to your children. Knowing that their parents or great-grandparents created a business in the art of denim weaving is something to be supported. Agave and Agave Nectar Collections are both made in the USA using domestic and imported fabrics from only his most trusted denim mills.

 

Q: Why is the Made in the USA label important to you?

 

A: It comes down to quality control. If Agave Denim was being made overseas, as a father I am not creating a better future for my children or yours. When it comes to the product; I am in the LA factory on a regular basis ensuring that the process remains clean and the fit stays consistent.

 

He is a “denim freak” looking at over 500 denim swatches twice a year to narrow it down to a qualified 80 per season. Yes, Jeff is the designer for the Agave Denim Collection. Every season he comes out with the denim mix, wash assortment, and innovative fabrications. In any given season they have over 75 different denim styles available. Bet’ch ya didn’t know that.

 

Q: If you design the entire menswear line you can’t possibly do the complete women’s too…can you?

 

A: No, I tried once to wrap my head around the female denim design in 2007; my largest financial failure to date. I leave the women’s designing to Lauren. She has been designing her entire life and turned Agave Nectar into a collection that can make a woman feel better just by wearing it.

 

DENIM DETAILS: FALL/WINTER 2011 MEN’S: The PRAGMATIST Vintage Stretch Cord (Style # 31-742) is a must have for the upcoming season. The Pragmatist is an easy fit, classic straight leg jean. I am advocating denim alternatives this fall for men everywhere. Mixed twills and cords with cashmere sweaters and leather jackets complement each other perfectly and will fill some holes in everyone’s wardrobe. Mid-tones in grey and brown are the most versatile colors that can be incorporated into any closet to freshen up your look whether you lean toward cord or Agave’s Herringbone Tweed Denim, also cut in the Pragmatist (Style # 31-839) is a menswear must. The Gringo fits nearly every guy!  SHOP NOW. As casual Fridays creeping in to the rest of the week including the Holiday season coming up these pants offer a scapegoat to having to wear slacks when it is not required. If you are addicted to denim as much as I am, check out The Purist (Style # 20-620) Cone White Oak 1968 Limited Edition Denim if you need a new treasure.

 

Q: What’s next in the world of Denim?

 

A: Color. If you aren’t doing color you will not be doing business… Right now the market is open to anything as long as it is executed and fits properly.

 

Q: What is the craziest thing you’ve heard lately?

 

A: Two months ago I ran into a guy that said he had 200 vintage selvage machines working 24 hours a day to import the fabric to China.

 

Being an Agave Denim advocator as I feel that they save hundreds of marriages a year; I was excited in 2007 to try on the original Agave Nectar samples prior to market. To my own dismay, I didn’t feel that the fit was quite there yet and they still had some fine tuning to be done before it could compete in the cut-throat women’s denim industry. We buy our jeans a size small making every curve, seam, wrinkle and measurement; significant. There is no grey area when it comes to the female design, perfect execution is mandatory. Somehow, I missed the re-launch in 2009 and just tried on some of Lauren’s new Agave Nectar while doing this interview and I fell in-love instantly. The fit is there. The design and features are beautifully executed and now I am a proud advocator of both the men’s and women’s collections making me… I guess an Agave groupie. What Nectar has that makes it stand out from the sea of denim available in the market; it’s the fit. They have a curved and split waist band. This is imperative for any woman to obtain a proper fitting jean that she can sit in comfortably without wearing the “high-waisted” or even worse the so-called “mom” jean while also avoiding the dreaded muffin top epidemic. Because the waistband is curved and wraps around the natural shape of a woman’s body we don’t have to pull the waistband as tight to get them buttoned in the right size. A split waist band creates more steps in the manufacturing process while also increasing the cost of production. However, it is the single most important feature that Agave Nectar offers its clients that over 95% on premium denim collections disregard. This alone, is enough of a reason to try them on today ladies!

 

DENIM DETAILS: FALL/WINTER 2011 WOMEN’S Agave Nectar: The FUSTA: Stretch Cord Riding Pant (Style # N28-743-BR). The Fusta is a Newcomb’s Ranch stretch cord mid-rise skinny jegging fit pant that has 4 buttons on the ankle. It is available this season in 2 colors. The black can be punched up with heels easily but I am loving the look in chocolate brown. The DELGADA: Two Tone Stretch Cord (Style # 9N2-741-R). The Delgada is a low rise Cantina stretch skinny jegging fit pant that is available in the deepest red you can imagine. Pumps, Boots or Ballet’s this color will rearrange your wardrobe as the leaves change colors. This fall you will see every shade in-between your classic black and brown as fashion is playing in the grey area and smudging up the palette with olives and taupe’s. Close your eyes and just click to buy shades of red and your friends will follow suit.

 

Q: Agave is more than jeans tell me a little bit about your knitwear collection.

 

A: To construct Agave knitwear, Supima yarn is sent to Design Knit Inc., a Los Angeles-based knitting mill in its third generation of family ownership. There the yarn is transformed into a soft, high-quality knit fabric and then sent out to be dyed and sewn. “Terranova Farms in California known as the “cashmere of cottons” because of its softness, strength and ability to maintain a brilliant color. Pima is often considered superior because it has an extra long staple or fiber length. According to the Supima organization, pima is 45 percent stronger than other types of cotton. Farmers in Madera, Merced, Fresno, Kings and Kern counties grow about 90 percent of the nation’s supply of pima cotton, while the remainder comes from Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In order to carry the Supima trademark, a product must be made of 100 percent U.S. pima cotton.” –TF. The cotton we use is grown in the San Joaquin Valley and generally gets sent to a company in Georgia that spins the cotton into yarn. From there, it can either go back to Los Angeles, where it gets knitted or it can be sent to Japan, where it gets woven into denim.

 

Q: For all the denim Geeks that were unable to attend the Denim Forum in LA last month what was your big “take away” and a few highlights?

 

A: The humbleness and the acknowledgement that it has been a struggle for everyone. Renzo’s son opened the forum with a state of the art MBA presentation- IMPRESSIVE- Then Adriano Goldschmied walks up to the podium and says “well first of all, as good as that presentation was: I wiped your ass not too long ago”. Adriano and Renzo started Diesel with $2,000 of jobber fabric that they couldn’t get rid of and turned it into a global lifestyle brand. We all know that Francois invented stone washing but, who knew that he has dedicated the rest of his life to removing it from the planet. And last but not least, finding out that the Guess brand was named from a McDonald’s billboard “guess what’s in our new big mac”.

 

Q: What advice would you have for a fellow denim geek that was interested in launching a denim collection?

 

A: DON’T DO IT! Work for somebody else first. Learn from your own failures and other people’s success… painful and expensive but if you can: work at a company to learn what they are doing right.

 

Every piece of the Agave collection is warehoused and shipped from the Ridgefield location. Jeff takes a very active role in his business to maintain efficiency and quality. I was introduced to the team that makes this fine tuned indigo engine run and everyone seems like a happy family. I have to admit that there are not very many companies that Apparel guru’s and Fashion junkies can build a life and live their passion outside the Cities of Industry. From one entrepreneur to another the story of Agave Denim is inspiring to those who are up to their neck in vision, over their head in passion or looking to buy products from people that made their love a business. Jeff and Lauren take great pride in creating a family business that operates internationally yet feels just like home. As I walked out of the offices there is a pair of jeans framed behind glass… they are one of the original mis-cut Agave jeans that he ended up selling for $13.00 that cost him $40.00 to make. “I ended up paying $90.00 to buy them back on e-bay.”

 

Thank you Jeff for welcoming me into your world and taking the time to share your epic fail that in turn, created an epic company!

 


 

So, all you entrepreneurs out there,

 

Keep your passions moving you forward. Wipe off your shoe -shit happens- focus on orchestrating your vision into your reality. If starting a business was a cake walk; everyone would do it. If no one gave up when things got hard; well, everyone would make it. If you are at the point where all you see is a truck load of manure being delivered- remind yourself that this is the time when most people stop and where you drive it home!

 

All my luck & love,

 

The Butt Therapist

 

Written by: Casey Golden aKa The Butt Therapist 7/22/2011