Inspirational Denim Stories

The current Covid situation hit everyone worldwide, so also the entire denim industry. Now, even after 1,5 years, the situation is still not under control and is still challenging for many of us. Therefore Amy Leverton, founder of Denim Dudes, came with a brilliant idea to create a video series where she’s sharing LA-based denim creatives to hear how 2020 impacted their lives and businesses. The outcome is a series of five must see inspirational denim stories.

  • Loren Cronk – BLKSMTH

At the beginning of 2020 Loren Cronk had a Greenpoint store, a denim brand called BLKSMTH and was renovating a new home in the Topanga hills. He also had plans to open an LA outpost or pop-up, expanding his business but the universe had other plans.

  • Ashley Countee – American Rag Store

Last year, just before stores tentatively opened their doors to the public once again, Denim Dudes sat down with Ashley Countee, women’s collection buyer at the infamous and much loved American Rag in LA. They discussed her thoughts on the future of retail, the trust and relationship between consumer and store, how American Rag was fairing and what they had had to do to pivot during this time of extreme uncertainty and flux.

  • Saku – Niche Garment Co

Amy Leverton was so excited to learn he was her neighbour last year; his amazing vintage space Niche Garment Co was a block away from Denim Dudes HQ in DTLA. Saku has the most positive, humble and considerate outlook on life. He is sensitive to people’s energies and struggles and we spoke in great depth about how hard 2020 was for so many people. He grew his business during a time when others were in crises and thats testament to his tenacity.

  • Jemma Swatek – Lykke Wullf

At the beginning of 2020 Jemma Swatek of Lykke Wullf had big plans for a successful year of growth. When Covid hit she had to relocate out of her building, set up work from home, halt production on garments that were no longer relevant, re-design and make a collection that was relevant, all whilst trying to keep herself, her small staff and her local supply chain in business and financially protected.

  • Amy Leverton – Founder Denim Dudes

In the final video of the Covid Impact series, Amy Leverton, founder of Denim Dudes, made a round-up where she discusses the trials, lessons, and hope gleaned from this series.

Videographer:Lauren Steur

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Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.