In the world of menswear, particularly denim, we’ve become so accustomed to seeing phrases like “hand-made” or “Made in America“, as well as seeing detailed descriptions of the materials used and process taken. It’s easy to overlook these components and forget what goes on behind the scenes to be able to put those words on a hangtag.
For what it’s worth, I think while it’s never good to take these brands’ hard work for granted; it’s a great indicator that there is a growing focus in the market on creating better made goods. Luckily, there will always be brands like White Horse Trading Co. to remind us of everything that goes into making a high quality pair of jeans.
Consisting of only the owner and founder, Ryan Martin, White Horse Trading Company is a true one-man operation where everything is bench-made in Colorado. This means that the entire process, from cutting the fabric to sewing and finish the product, everything is done by Martin himself. As a sixth generation sewist and pattern maker, he has learned and adopted techniques passed down from generation to generation in his family, and the result of this pedigree is a collection of jeans and jackets that shows his attention to detail in the construction of the jeans as well as the fabrics and hardware used.
White Horse Trading Co. offers two styles of jeans and two jackets all using the same fabric which currently is a 16oz Japanese selvedge denim. The inspiration behind both the jeans and jacket seems to lean more towards vintage western styles with a touch of modern ideas. The jeans sit somewhere in between a slim fit and fuller vintage fit with one model, the R1911, having a slimmer seat and a slight bootcut and the other model, the R1914, having a fuller seat and slight taper at the knee. The jackets are based off of classic western and trucker jackets with modifications such as a rounded club collar.
While it’s not uncommon to to see other jeans and jackets that fit these descriptions of quality materials combined with both vintage and modern fits, where White Horse Trading Co. sets itself apart is in the details. Everything is self enclosed, meaning that there are no exposed raw fabric edges. For the seams, Ryan opts to use riser seams which is a technique that has fallen out of favor as standard machine felled seams became popular in modern clothing. While the technique may seem antiquated, it has been proven to give the construction extra durability.
The leather patch is a branded hair-on-hide patch and all the buttons and rivets are made of pure copper. It’s also worth noting that each jean and jacket is made to order so between when you place an order to when you receive it, there is a bit of a wait time while Ryan makes your order from start to finish.
Outside of the core offerings, White Horse Trading Co. is no stranger to collaborations (some of you may remember the collaborative trucker jacket he did with Topo Designs that sold out within a couple days) and will be releasing a 15oz Kuroki denim utility pant with Old North, a store in North Carolina, and the Bandit Photographer in the fall. To stay in the loop on collaborations and other news and products from Martin and White Horse Trading Co., visit their website and also follow them on Facebook and Instagram.