Denim heads came together this past weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area for Denim Bruin 2014, the third annual event presented by online forum, Denim Bro.
Many enthusiasts made the pilgrimage to the mecca of American workwear to meet some of the industry’s best and, of course, to experience some great denim. The event was a huge success and took place over a total of three nights at three separate locations.
NIGHT ONE – J. RUSTEN FURNITURE STUDIO
The opening night was held at the J. Rusten Furniture Studio in the Mission District of San Francisco. Fardin Sefidpar of Whitefeather Mfg Co. and one man brand Ryan Martin of WH Ranch Dungarees displayed their goods in the impressive studio space.
But the real show was the gallery of 19th century workwear pieces held in a separate space and curated by vintage denim hunters Michael and Charla Harris.
The pieces hung on the walls with no barrier to stop admirers from touching, though I was hesitant to touch any of them for fear of causing them to disintegrate from my unworthy hands.
It was a truly inspirational gallery that every denim enthusiast should experience to better their understanding of clothing history and just how well workwear garments were made before industrialization.
NIGHT TWO – AB FITS
The second night of Denim Bruin 2014 was held again at AB Fits in North Beach. A handful of brands were in attendance including Good Wear Leather, Blue Blanket Jeans, MATiAS Denim, UBi-IND, and The Blackacre with a special art installation by Samantha Lee of AB Fits who sewed together a fantastic series of paper garments.
Samantha also designed the poster for this year’s event which features a bruin wearing a Masterson’s shirt and UBi-IND jeans.
Perhaps the store with the best variety of denim in the city of San Francisco, AB Fits houses dozens of brands with an impressive selection of women’s denim.
Howard Gee, AB Fits’s owner, is known for stocking new denim brands. Many of his new labels walked the floor, including Swedish brand Circle of Friends.
NIGHT THREE – STANDARD & STRANGE
The final day of the event was actually held just outside of San Francisco in the Temescal Alley of Oakland at Standard & Strange.
Red Wing’s Heritage team was also representing, having brought with them a limited run of their Japanese market Lineman boot to the shop.
Just at the end of the Temescal Alley, inside of Mind’s Eye Vintage, eager folks lined up for Roy Slaper of ROY who set up two of his vintage Singer sewing machines to do some custom chain stitch embroidery.
The line for his free service was steady all day, but if you were flipping through the stacks of vintage jeans while waiting your turn, you could have been one of the lucky few to snag a pair of Roy’s jeans which were sneakily hidden throughout the shop.
This year’s Denim Bruin was the most successful yet. There was a lot to see, a lot to learn, and plenty of good people to meet.
As amazing as the garments were, it was even more thrilling to see the denim community grow and strengthen through the gathering of makers, merchants, and enthusiasts. Special thanks goes out to Charla and Michael Harris, Nicholas Hollows, and Mark Randal (below) for putting together such an inspirational and fun event.