There’s been a multitude of raw denim brands popping up all over the country, but that hasn’t stopped Anthony Lupesco and his family from launching Shockoe Denim half a year ago.
Anthony’s goal is to make the best pair of jeans in America and he’s taken up residence in Virginia’s historic “Shockoe Bottom” to start his quest. Shockoe and Anthony have launched a refined shop that looks incredibly promising with its combination of old-school production tactics and relentless innovation.
We first discovered Shockoe at the New York Liberty Fairs trade show fair detailed by our very own David Shuck back in January. But when you look below the surface, Anthony and his family hold a rich history entwined with textiles. Not only were his parents deeply involved in luxury fashion industries across Europe and the US where they worked with brands like Isaia, Belvest, Versace and more. Anthony grew up in Milan, Italy–often considered the cultural mecca of the fashion and textile industries.
He states that his and his family’s experiences with the fashion culture in Europe helped deepen his appreciation for fashion, and has helped tremendously with starting up a denim company. Since his family has both created and assisted in several production facilities and lines in the past, setting up Shockoe was nothing new. Anthony states that even the most expensive fabrics he’s worked with do not age or build character quite as nicely as good quality denim does. For him, denim is the perfect medium with which to transmit the fashion lessons his family learned in the past.
When Anthony first approached his father with the first plans for Shockoe, the first words his father told him were “I only know how to make real clothes”. Automated assembly is not a choice for the Lupescus, only hand-made jeans are good enough to pass through their discerning eyes. And those eyes are most discerning indeed, for Shockoe can make a claim few denim companies can: their jeans are made entirely in house by fashion industry veterans.
Shockoe tries to operate differently from most brands by opening up as much as possible about its craftsmanship and philosophies. First of all, all raw materials can be traced to US factories and workshops. Most notably, only a viewing window separates the main construction facilities, where Shockoe denim is hand crafted in the actual store itself. Each pair of jeans takes around two hours to make.
This production model is something that maybe half a dozen other companies in the US can claim, which is a shame since it allows customers to see exactly what process is going on to produce the products that they are purchasing. In addition, the join production facility and retail feature allows Anthony and his fellow workers to offer free repairs to any Shockoe jeans.
But besides involving an innovative production facility, free repairs, and a trained staff composed of industry professionals, perhaps the most refreshing part of Shockoe is its desire to become better. Anthony has made himself very clear when he stated that he wanted to produce the best jeans possible, and unlike many of the unwarranted claims floating around the denim industry, he is actually taking steps to try to improve the denim that he is producing.
Not only is he continually updating the list of denim fits and styles available, but he is also expanding from the standard Cone Mills mid-weight denim fabric he uses to create jeans of varying weights from different international mills.
Have a look at a few of Shockoe’s jeans below and learn more at their website.