“I just wanted to make the most personalized jeans ever! Like, you know… just the way one wants them!”
Sten Martin tried to explain himself to the customer he just fitted a suit for. Why on earth would he – Sten Martin, the classic bespoke tailor – want to go through all that work, just to make a pair of jeans that seemingly looked like those you could easily buy in a store? Why not solely concentrate all efforts on suits and blazers instead – you know, the traditional stuff? Classic things! Exclusive things! The customer was baffled.
“But, you know… I kind of wanted the feeling of these jeans, being all mine. Making them as a part of my own process… Not just accepting how others think, and want things to be. Like… make them fit me.”
Actually, he had made denim garments before in the late 1980’s and 90’s. Not jeans, but jackets. And not in denim fabric – but in a heavy velvet curtain material since the ‘alternative approach’ was considered cool back then – still, the cut and overall look and feel of it all was absolutely and certainly ‘American rural’. Or at least he thought so. Then.
In more recent years he had tweaked this approach somewhat and even bought himself some American ‘heavy duty’ denim, to perfect the look into a more contemporary way. But now, he wanted to make jeans. Of course it was harder to make them and fit them, than those jackets he’d made earlier on, but that didn’t hold him back.
The day before, he had started on a pair. It wasn’t all that easy – but then again, nothing was in bespoke tailoring. Patience was a virtue and complicated shapes and routines was nothing new to him. In this case though, the trick was, to make something to look a certain specific way, without knowing exactly what was giving it that specific look and feel. So he had to discuss his process with others, he thought. And that he did today.
But they didn’t get it. They didn’t understand his point of view. On the question of what made a pair of jeans great, the counter-question of “why?” appeared instead. Why to make it? And on the question on certain cuts and looks, the idea that the trousers had to come from a specific brand was prevalent. A tailor who made jeans, was apparently not the thing. But ‘tailor-made’ jeans from a brand most certainly was. Very confusing indeed…
“Maybe I just have to sort this out for myself?” he thought after testing the idea with a couple of his customers. “Maybe I have to find my own views and ways, within the process itself – and then try to explain it to others?” There it is, he decided. “I’ll make them first, and then maybe start a conversation.”
He went back to the old leather sewing-machine, and started stitching.