When it comes to denim, work wear, replica and heritage wear in general, two countries spontaneously come in mind: the United States and Japan. Yet, some European labels stand out, like Netherlands based Denham, or Nigel Cabourn from the United Kingdom for instance.
France is usually more associated with high fashion powerhouses, though it has recently seen the birth of some promising heritage wear projects like Anatomica or Bleu de Paname. Some might say it’s only natural when you know that most of the fabrics that denimheads cherish, like denim or chambray, originally came from France (respectively Nimes and Cambray). Today we’re talking about Avignon based 100% made in France brand Fat Boy Clothing.
Who is Fat Boy Clothing?
Fat Boy Clothing is an almost-one man brand by Charles Niehues, Frenchman born and raised in Avignon, near Marseilles. Young entrepreneur, he created his first denim brand, D-Day, right after graduating from fashion school.
With bills he needed to pay, Charles started working for a screen printing company and later made the decision to move to Los Angeles, where he found the inspiration to create Fat Boy Clothing.
Charles absorbed much of the early American ethos into the direction for his brand. Key words that compose Fat Boy Clothing’s vision are gold rush, lumberjack, cowboy, farmer, bandits, old west, workers, mountain man, trapper, fisherman, hunter, sailor, motorcycle, etc.
Eco-friendly and human
He went back to France and settled his operations in Avignon. Charles describes himself as a maniac who meticulously oversees all aspects of the business, from more tangible ones such as design and production, but also creative direction, branding, and marketing.
Every single piece is proudly hand made and according to old school standards: even within the same design, each piece is somehow different from the rest, which gives his collections a genuine original flavor.
About this approach, Charles adds:
The operations are based here because this is where I live, but also because of the highly skilled labor that you find here. […] I do parts of the production myself but I also work with local tailors: no factories involved!
Fat Boy Clothing is highly respectful of the environment: Charles only works with hand dyed ecological pigments; there is little machinery involved besides his vintage Singer sewing machine, and since everything is made geographically close to him, there is very little CO2 emission as well!
Fat Boy Clothing doesn’t carry jeans yet, however they do offer this wonderful indigo jacket, whose production process is showcased in the video below: