Q: Why do you think after 200 years jeans are still one of the most popular items of clothing?
Because they are one of the few items of clothing that get better with age and when made with proper fabric and sewing, they can last a really long time.
Q: How many pairs of jeans do you currently own and which are your favorites?
I currently have four pair of jeans — two pairs of edwins and two pairs of tellasons. my favorites are a pair of tellasons that were part of a limited run we made for the pop up flea using a beautiful japanese fabric.
Q: You’ve launched what we and others might consider a close second to a universal fit for most men. How did you approach the design, patterning and cut? Is there an archival piece that was root of your jean? How did you balance your vision for Tellason with function, form, and history?
We took parts of several different jeans that had fit characteristics that we liked. We also made several rounds of prototypes, each time changing/improving one or more aspect of the fit. The key is too work with talented people all along the way — from pattern making to cutting to sewing, etc. We set out to make a fit that would be classic yet modern and that would work for most guys that shop in better denim shops around the world. We’re fans of tradition when it comes to denim, so don’t look for embroidered skulls on our jeans any time soon…
Q: Do you think the lack of certain manufacturing tools (namely wash houses), focused your design? How did constraints play into your design , fabrication and vision?
While it’s true that the lack of wash houses in the bay area can make life a bit more difficult, we set out from day one to make raw denim jeans only. After wearing raw denim for a while, and making your own wallet marks, natural whiskers, etc., i can hardly look at any wash that’s done commercially and prefer it to raw. that’s not to say that their are not excellent laundries out there, it’s just a preference we have to let it happen naturally. We purposely use denim that is not too heavy (usually between 12.5 and 14.75 ounce) so that the wear-in period is not too long and the jeans become really comfortable within a week to ten days.
Q: Are you a “wash your jeans after each wear” person or a “wear your jeans for six months before you wash them” person?
More like a never wash them person. A wear in the shower and air dry in the sun is an option though…
Q: What are the advantages / disadvantages of the Cone Denim line you used with say other Japanese selvedge fabrics or Indian etc. I’ve always been a fan of cone’s fabric — mainly because it is consistently excellent with regard to shade and shrinkage, but also because it is made in america in a mill that has been around since 1905. japanese mills certainly make beautiful fabric too (mainly on machines they bought from US mills in the 50s and 60s) — i’m not opposed to using them, in fact we have used japanese denim for some limited runs, but the shipping costs are high and again, i like the fact that cone is made in north carolina.
Q: Any potential for a women’s line? Highly unlikely. The women’s market is too dependent on trends (for example, the boyfriend fit craze probably started when a paparazzo photographed some random celebrity wearing her husband’s jeans) and because most women’s jeans are made of stretch fabric, you’re limited in the quality of fabrics you can use. Another issue is fits — the average woman tries on twenty pairs before buying one. The men’s market is much less complicated.
Q: What’s next for Tellason? We’d like to expand the range eventually to include a nice assortment of high quality accessories, woven shirts, jackets and maybe a really nice chino. We’re in no hurry though…