In following their brand mantra, “Stay inspired and always go after your passion before trend,” The GRO Project have developed their own right hand twill selvedge denim marrying American denim craftsmanship with their drive to create a high quality streetwear garment. The finished product is Cardinal Denim, a one model brand with iterations in the denim as GRO looked around the world to source the best possible mills and manufacturers.
The initial inspiration for the Cardinal Denim was the White Oak 1968 Cone Red Selvedge, a high quality denim made in the USA. This fit nicely within the bounds of a traditional selvedge denim and a vintage look and feel; qualities which were being actively sought after. Having then tweaked the fit, which we will touch on, Cardinal Denim had the choice to either hold firm with their one quality product, or actively push harder and go further abroad.
Clearly, extending the Cardinal to other mills was the right choice. Next up was a trip to Italy, during which the Candiani Mill captured GRO‘s attention due to innovative and sustainable practices. This eco-friendly, 100% organic cotton denim quickly became the second iteration of the Cardinal, providing a denim which harmonizes between comfortable construction and maintained rigidity, all without any synthetic additions.
Finally, the Cardinal took itself to the quality denim hotbed, and streetwear mecca, of Japan, where two further denims were added. Both an aqua and a black speckled denim from the legendary Kuroki mill were given the Cardinal treatment. The Kuroki process is considered widely to be one of the best in the world, having refined their ability to bridge past and present techniques down to an art, making it a natural step for the Denver, Colorado brand to take.
With four high quality international denims behind it, Cardinal is certainly a denim to be reckoned with, but would have been little without a highly designed fit. The fit is, in the most simple terms, a take on the original straight leg cut, with slight tapering at the ankles.
Part of the original goal of the Cardinal was to avoid the slim and skinny denim trends, but still make a jean that would be wearable for just about anyone. The resulting fit seems to accomplish this nicely, creating a streetwear accessible jean that doesn’t conform to the modern slim trend.
A secondary pride point of the jean’s design lies in the storage and drying functionality, specifically in the waistline dry tag and front two belt loops. The dry tag is comprised of a sturdy micro suede material, while GRO incorporated selvedge into the front two belt loops in the form of a holster-loop stitch.
As a result, the wearer has several options of properly hanging the denim for storage or post-wash drying purposes. As well, the denim is strengthened against traditional belt-wear as well as when attaching accessories from the loops.
The Cardinal is available at Blue Jeans Bar for those in the Denver, CO or San Jose, CA area or by phone order (970-429-8028).
- Name: The GRO Project Cardinal Denim
- Weight: 14 Oz. (except the 14.5 Oz. of the Candiani)
- Fit: Slightly tapered straight leg cut
- Denim: Indigo American Cone White Oak, Dark Indigo Italian Candiani, Black Speckled Kuroki, Aqua Kuroki
- Available at: Blue Jeans Bar for $175.00 USD.