When we started 18 East, we gave a lot of thought to denim. The importance of blue jeans in our own wardrobes can't be overstated, and we have always been drawn to the look and feel of a perfectly worn-in pair. That said, the waste, pollutants and water consumption required to achieve the distressed look of contemporary denim is undeniable. Further, there's an overabundance of perfectly good vintage jeans all over the world. Our end conclusion was to pass on wasting resources to make something new that looked old, and to work with a friend to make something old look new.
Enter my former Ralph Lauren colleague Maurizio Donadi and his vintage upcycling brand, Atelier & Repairs. Maurizio's Vernon, CA-based outfit reinvigorates vintage garments by individually patching, mending and embellishing them one pair at a time so that no two are the same. For drop three, we asked Mr. Donadi to select fifty pairs of aged, original fit Levi's 501s from his massive archive and mend them with our own collection of deadstock and vintage textiles hailing from the Black Hmong tribes of Vietnam and Thailand. We could not be happier with how these colorful, handcrafted fabrics breathed new life into perfectly good jeans, potentially forgotten.
Shop our collaboration with Atelier and Repairs here.