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One Man Brands – Taylor Spong and Domino New York

I recently had the chance to sit down with Taylor Spong of Brooklyn’s very own Domino New York. As you may have noticed in the past, we like to give a bit of spotlight to brands who have a single employee through our continuing One Man Brands series. Taylor and Domino New York happen to be one of those special cases where he designs, produces, distributes, and promotes his brand all by himself.

workshop

Taylor and I met for coffee to discuss his history with denim and what inspired him to create Domino New York. Hailing from California (what some would call the birthplace of American Denim) Taylor relocated to New York City just over three years ago to attend Pratt Institute of Design. While studying at Pratt Taylor and a few of his peers formed up a small short-lived clothing brand called Ferris.

Similar to Japanese company Needles, the brand’s concept was to deconstruct and appropriate vintage clothing into unique new garments.

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Inside the Knickerbocker Manufacturing workshop

After the dissolution of the brand, Taylor took it upon himself to try his hand at making himself a pair of jeans. Due to his previous experience in garment deconstruction, Taylor decided that the best route to take to learn how to make a pair of jeans was to take a pair apart and make a new one from scratch. After befriending the gentlemen that would go on to begin Knickerbocker Manufacturing Company (a brand that works with fellow NYC one man brand Unwashed Denim) and completing a few preliminary designs, Taylor decided that it was time to enter the denim business.

And just over a year ago, Domino New York was born. After doing his homework and researching the most appropriate and high quality denim to use for his jeans Taylor decided to use heavyweight raw selvedge denim. While mulling over naming options for the brand a close associate suggested that Taylor name his venture after a famous sugar factory that they lived close to in Brooklyn.

raw domino

Currently Domino offers jeans in two fits in a variety of weights. Both are Taylor’s proprietary slim and straight fits. All of the denim that Taylor uses in his jeans are 100% cotton Cone Mills unsanforized raw denim.

For the moment Taylor plans on sticking with these two fits, but intends on continuously modifying and rebuilding the subtleties of each batch of jeans that he cranks out. Currently he is working on producing stronger and more functional back pockets. At this moment he produces two styles: pockets incorporated into the yoke of the actual jean to prevent wear and tear, and a tulip-shaped split back pocket built for tool utility.

Some of Domino's  utility focused back pockets.

Some of Domino’s utility focused back pockets.

Taylor stated that for the time being he will stick to making jeans, but soon hopes to expand his operation and brand to offer a full collection of clothing. He aims to provide on trend technical clothing that can be worn for a wide variety of purposes. He says that functionality is a factor for every garment that he produces. He cites color, flow, and design as additional factors that he is interested in experimenting with in future designs.

No slave to the past, Taylor wants his brand to innovate new products and designs that are completely new to the fashion world while maintaining the same level of construction and functionality. Certainly an ambitious goal, but not much moreso than running an entire denim company by yourself. We look forward to seeing what he comes up with next.

Check out the jeans and learn more on Domino New York’s website.