In addition to the Liberty Fairs New York 2013 Tradeshow in July, we were able to join in on the Liberty Fairs Las Vegas 2013 Tradeshow two weeks ago from August 19th – 21st. Though it was the show’s inaugural Las Vegas appearance, the event was a big success and by the numbers, there were 300+ brands, 3,000+ retail buyers, and hundreds of press outlets in attendance.
We were unfortunately unable to cover every nook and cranny on the show floor, but were able to spend time with eleven denim companies; excluding Cone Mills which we covered in greater depth last week.
For part one of our two-post series, we’ll re-cap our visit to five denim brand booths and what they have in the works for the following seasons.
We’ll be covering all of their “Decade Collection” in greater detail very soon (both on Heddels and our sister site, REPOSITORY), but two beautiful pieces the duo had on show were their collaborative projects with Canadian boot specialists, Viberg – the Johan Special and Andrew Special.
While both are a 1950 Service boot and come with leather laces, the Johan Special is made of a Horween Latigo leather and is equipped with metal eyelets, a brown suede heel, and Vibram sole.
The Andrew Special, on the other hand, incorporates Horween Chromepak leather and features brass eyelets and a sturdy dainate sole. If you’re curious to see how the latter ages, check out this pair after 18 months.
They also unveiled several upcoming pieces that also signal somewhat of new territory – a waxed canvas bomber jacket, thick cotton hoody, new shirting, and the ST-44x and SL-55x.
The ST-44x is an 11 Oz. beige chino pant contrasted with a red-line selvedge, while the SL-55x is a 10 Oz. collaborative green chino pant with Japan’s Journal Standard.
The Flat Head
Directly across from 3sixteen‘s booth was the The Flat Head crew and their entire denim lineup. As nice as it was to see all of their wares side-by-side, unfortunately the team just brought out two new models that’s dropping F/W 2013 – the 4002 and 3012.
Compared to The Flat Head‘s 4001, the 4002 is much more fitted and has a slim-taper cut from the knee down. It’s also a touch heavier, coming in at 14.5 oz. (the 4001 is 13.5 Oz.); and interestingly represents their second black denim.
The team wasn’t completely certain on the retail price but said it should be in the $300.00 USD range. Regardless, we’ll be curious to see how these fade over time.
The second upcoming model on display was another 14.5 Oz. denim, the 3012. A regular, straight cut jean that’s slightly tapered below the knee, the first element that drew my attention was the top block. The sheer length of this area creates a longer back-rise and pockets and overall was a unique feature I’d yet to see up-close on a pair of Flat Head denim. This should serve as nice addition to their collection.
As well, given how well this particular denim is known to evolve and fade over time, we’ll be keeping an eye on the 3012. Again the crew couldn’t provide a completely accurate retail price, but gave a ballpark figure of around $370.00 USD.
They might not be the first brand to come up in conversations surrounding raw denim, but Dickies 22 is the child brand and heritage collection of Texan workwear behemoth, Dickies. In a nutshell, they’re focused on producing archival replica workwear garments with selvedge fabric.
Most of their collection was non-denim but we did spot a few related pieces, as well they hinted at several new “projects” in the works for 2014. Definitely worth keeping on the radar for the next few seasons.
First on the docket are the 11.5 Oz. Carpenter Pants – a slim-tapered raw denim jean that gives a hat tip to vintage workers pant. A majority of the denim is constructed with a triple needle stitch and the actual denim is sourced from Cone Denim with a grey weft. The grey filling is important to note as, opposed to a white fabric, this was a much more inexpensive and popular alternative back then, and something Dickies 22 wanted to pay homage to.
As the Carpenter Pants wouldn’t be complete without it’s upper half, Dickies 22 also offers it’s very own Chore Coat. Using the same 11.5 Oz. Cone White Oak selvedge denim, the Chore Coat has a regular fit complete with two large waist pockets and traditional chest pocket.
It’s difficult to convey the fabric quality of the piece in the image above, but they nailed numerous aspects of the coat such as the thick collar, triple stitch seams, chest pocket with pen slot.
Kings of Indigo
Amsterdam’s Kings of Indigo continued their expansion into the United States by following up their first showing at Liberty Fairs New York with a full display in Las Vegas. Most of their offerings erred on the side of non-raw, but they were still sure to not disappoint as we walked away with several memorable highlights (such as the Baby K.O.I.‘s above; an exact down-sized replica of their regular denim).
For instance, one department that separated KOI from others on the floor was in the pocketing department. The coin pocket is marked with a same-tone “wave” stitch that will show with wear, and the front pockets utilize a heavy ~7 Oz. “prisoner twill”. This specific fabric is a nod to the sturdy material used for pillow covers and mattresses in old US State prisons.
The Dutch brand also offers up what they call the KOI Triple R Kit (i.e. “Repair, Reuse, Recycle”) – a circular, golden metal box that open and closes in a simple sliding motion. Some may see this as a tacky marketing ploy, but I found it to be a nifty addition equipping you with all that you need when your denim needs mending.
Fabric-Brand & Co.
The latest creation from Los Angeles’ Simon Miller, Fabric-Brand & Co. is a new brand using 100% Japanese fabrics to create a plethora of denim. The booth was one of the most pared-down at the show too as they chose to lay the entire collection upon an array of thick cardboard boxes. Indeed, what you see is what you get.
The entire lineup of 16 denim models could be simply organized by either washed or raw, and/or “3D”. A trend that was seemingly kickstarted by G-STAR, “3D” refers to the denim’s three dimensional look and feel, and that’s meant to better conform the jean to the wearer’s body.
We were (and are still) skeptical of whether their 3D dry denim is truly raw denim, but the rep at Fabric-Brand tried to convince us otherwise. When the denim is being woven in Japan, they apparently apply a proprietary method to create this effect while not compromising it’s original, unwashed texture.
Regardless of one where stands on the 3D denims though, FB & Co. has included two legitimate raw denim jeans into it’s debut collection – the Rafa and Reef. The Rafa (pictured above) is made with a 15 Oz. 3×1 selvedge denim, while the Reef makes use of a 11 Oz. 2×1 selvedge denim.
As is the case with the entire collection, both boast a slim silhouette and feature an artisanal Japanese fabric inside the yoke.