The Spin Off Magazine
This year I’m celebrating my 10th anniversary with my online denim magazine Long John. To celebrate this The Spin Off magazine (formerly known as Sportswear International) asked me to make a Top 10 list of denim makers that makes a difference in the industry. Of course, during all those years I have met countless interesting brands and craftspeople that makes a difference, but here’s a shortlist of some outstanding denim people.
Wouter Munnichs, also known as Long John, is celebrating his 10th anniversary this year with his online denim magazine Long John. Since 2011, he has highlighted the most outstanding denim stories, brands, retailers, events, and people within the industry. Next to running his daily magazine, the Dutchman is working as a denim specialist for brands, retail, and mills. He’s also part of the Amsterdam Denim Days team.
During the years he met a lot of inspiring people and small brands that are focused on creating one-of-a-kind pairs of jeans. Brands that started to make their denim dream come true by creating their ultimate garments. Some of them were already skilled tailors at the start, and some of them learned tailoring during their denim journey. What they all have in common is that they share a heavy passion for denim. With their brands, these connoisseurs want to keep the denim spirit alive, the craftsmanship, the passion, and the long history of denim. They celebrate denim each day within their lifestyle.
As a celebration of Long John’s 10th anniversary here are 10 of these craftspeople that make a difference within the industry. Of course, there’re way more, but to keep up to date about all of them, keep an eye on long-john.nl and get inspired.
1. Ruttloff Jeans
Johann Ruttloff from Dresden, Germany started Ruttloff in 2010. He offers unique bespoke jeans for women and men. All the denim garments are made by hand and are based on customers’ wishes. The made-to-measure jeans are based on classic fits. Clients can choose their denim fabric and also elements such as yarn colors, embroidery, printing, seaming techniques, reinforcements, rivets, buttons and zippers.
Twin brothers Marcel and Roger Grivec created this denim brand. They make their pairs of jeans in their impressive denim atelier in Chevremont, a small town in the southern part of the Netherlands. The core of the collection is based on unwashed selvedge fabrics from Japan. So, in the end, each pair of Grivec Bros jeans will be different, just like its wearer.
3. Companion Denim
Since 2013 this brand is dedicated to producing high-quality pairs of jeans made in its denim workshop in Sabadell, a town in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, Spain. Next to its collection, its produces made-to-order pairs of jeans that are also available at selected retailers.
This is an Indonesian denim brand that creates unique pairs of jeans in small batches. Now and then it develops a pair that is made with handwoven selvedge fabrics. The threads are colored with natural indigo, guaranteeing beautiful denim fades. It takes around 36 hours to produce one single pair of jeans.
5. Blaumann Jeanshosen
This German denim brand for men produces its garments locally with the best suppliers. It even produces garments with selvedge fabrics that are woven in Germany, so they are 100% produced in Germany. Consumers can recognize these garments by their special labeling with a star.
6. Railcar Fine Goods
Steven Dang is the driving force behind this American denim brand. He started in 2010 to achieve his denim dream. He produces collections in-house at his HQ in El Monte, California and offers denim pieces for women and men in small runs.
7. Ben Viapiana
Viapiana is a denim tailor located in Toronto, Canada who makes custom-made jeans, jackets, and shirts. Customers can select their fabric, trims, and patch to create their ultimate pair of jeans or jacket that will age with time, so it will be nicer with time and wear.
Braves & Company is a brand by Italian denim craftsman Stefano Angelico from Hamburg, Germany. As a denim tailor, he creates small batches of denim goods for men and women. He cooperates with small manufacturers in Europe to produce limited items, which are made with precision and high standards. All items are signed and numbered.
9. Fit & Craft
Fit & Craft is a small-batch clothing company by Konstantinos Michos in Thessaloniki, Greece. As the founder and designer, he creates unique denim garments one piece at a time. They are also designed and assembled under one roof.
Paul Kruize is a one-man company born out of the ongoing search for the ultimate pair of jeans. He is located in Enschede, the Netherlands. In contrast to the mass production that’s common in the fashion world, he likes to keep things simple and small. Just one man, one machine, making one pair of jeans at a time–cut and sewn exclusively for his customer.