We’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with brands all over the world, hear their stories and find out about upcoming labels that are doing some amazing work. Once in a while, we come across a brand that somehow flew under our radar and quietly launched not only a line of jeans, but also a whole collection of shirts, jackets, and accessories that resemble work by a long-established company. It’s always a pleasant surprise when this happens and we were definitely glad to have caught wind of Dillon Montara.
Started by Robert Patterson and Steven Heard, Dillon Montara is completely based in San Francisco where they are prototyping, cutting and sewing everything in-house. Derived from Dillon Beach and Montara Beach, Dillon Montara may be a new but the founding team are by no means inexperienced in the denim world. For the past 20 years, they have been pattern makers for brands, both big and small, all over the world.
What caught our eye about the brand was the minimalistic aesthetic, reminiscent of fashion brands like Band of Outsiders, but cut in a way which would work for a much larger range of body types. Though their clothes have a more modern look and feel, they still carry the durability and solid construction that workwear is known for.
Dillon Montara currently offers one cut of jean, a slim tapered fit with a medium rise and a roomier top block that makes the jeans easy to wear; especially for those with more athletic thighs. That said, the jeans certainly maintain a slim silhouette.
Additionally, the decision to only have one cut for now was a deliberate one; they wanted to keep the options simple. After experimenting with a variety of cuts, they felt that this particular cut best fit the brand’s aesthetic and their own personal style.
Although the jean may look simple and plain at first glance, they contain some thoughtful and uncommon details throughout. The pocket bags are made from an incredibly tough Destroyer Twill and all the seams are taped with the fabric. It’s a labor intensive process that is usually seen in high-end suiting and both helps increase the jean’s durability of the jean, as well gives the denim a much cleaner look.
One of our favourite details is the swooped back pockets. These make it easier to fit larger wallets and allows the pocket to sit more naturally when worn. They also opted to use a zipper fly as opposed to a button fly. The jean comes in a few denim fabrics including a lighter weight 12.75 oz Cone Mills selvedge, 14.75 oz indigo dyed selvedge denim from Okayama, and a 15 oz sulfur dyed black selvedge denim from Kurobo Mills.
Outside of their denim option, they have a robust collection of shirts and jackets made from all sorts of Japanese fabrics. The shirts are all cut in a simple fashion that is slim without feeling constrictive, and have a longer front chest pocket suitable for smartphones. Their indigo dyed chore coat with blanket lining is a standout that should appeal to many. Robert travels to Japan often to pick out fabrics so there will be a lot of interesting options in the coming months.
One of the things that stuck out to me when talking with Robert and Steven was their open mindedness to new ideas; including their willingness to try different ways of designing clothes and also reaching out to new customers. They’re currently in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign which was purposely pursued for reasons unlike other startup labels. Their campaign is intended not to help launch their brand but rather as an avenue to offer their products at lower prices for a limited time and introduce themselves to a wider audience. In a way, it’s their unofficial “sale”.
After walking around their factory space and seeing the different types of prototypes they’re working on, 2014 is shaping up to be a big year for Dillon Montara. Head over to their website to learn more about them and also take advantage of their Kickstarter campaign.