If there ever was a year for denim-related projects on Kickstarter, 2013 would certainly be it. The crowd funding platform has been no stranger to bright raw denim ideas, and we’d be remiss to leave RPMWEST off the list.
Building off the success of other funded denim projects, RPMWEST intends to execute their idea in similar fashion to GUSTIN and Brave Star. In essence, they aim to eliminate the middleman (i.e. the retailer) and bring quality selvedge jeans directly to the customer at wholesale prices.
RPMWEST is the brainchild of New York University graduate and former Google employee, Manuel Rappard. Based in San Francisco, California, Rappard grew tired of how difficult it was to find quality clothing, like raw denim, at a reasonable price.
He believed that there was a divide in the denim industry where consumers had to choose between low quality, factory produced, cheap denim, or more expensive, artisanal selvedge denim. With his brand he is looking to fill the gap, bringing high quality Japanese selvedge denim directly to consumers at a reasonable price.
The main innovations of RPMWEST come from two areas. The first is their pricing structure. By cutting out retail mark-up and selling the jean wholesale, RPMWEST is able to take what would be a jean that costs $200+ and sell it for a modest $95.
The second innovation is in their home try-on system. Purchasing clothing online can be a frustrating and cumbersome process, especially when clothes don’t fit as planned. To cut down on the hassle and increase customer satisfaction, RPMWEST is looking to incorporate a system where they send three pairs of jeans with each order; allowing the customer to try them on in the comfort of their own home and decide which pair fits the best.
Once they decide which pair to keep, the customer will be able to simply attach a prepaid label to the box and return the other pairs.
The jeans themselves are made in the USA from premium Japanese selvedge denim. The denim comes from the Nihon Menpu mill, in a sanforized red selvedge that clocks in at standard 13 Oz. Also in the works for RPMWEST is a heavier 16 Oz. special edition jean, limited to 100 pairs. They are offered in two fits, the “New Classic” and the “Slim Straight”.
Despite costing only $95.00, the denim has seemingly no shortage of quality details, including a chain stitched hem, leather brand patch, metal tack buttons, tucked belt loops, and reinforced front and back pockets. As well, based upon their customer-friendly purchasing model, there’s no denying RPMWEST is a great option for those looking to make the foray into the raw denim world, or even for the veteran denim enthusiast looking to try something new.
Be sure to hop over to their Kickstarter listing to learn more. Though they’ve well surpassed their initial $20,000 goal and $50,000 stretch goal, you still have a chance to back the project and pre-order yourself a pair of their denim.