Yesterday's New York Times had a great article about the weird, wild, wacky world of... JEANS! I really enjoy walking through high-end fashion retail establishments and looking at the ridiculous range of "distressed" jeans. Maybe it's just me, but I always think of the poor bastard on the other end pulling threads out of the jeans and beating them up with sandpaper and acid. The Times article pretty much confirmed the image in my head of the large Matrix-style sweatshop filled with industrious denim destroyers. First, most pairs of jeans are put through a giant washer filled with pumice gravel, then depending on the desired look, are sandblasted, acid treated, hand-sanded, and embellished with rhinestones and patches. The article focuses mainly on Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili, an Italian firm that posted $140 million dollars in revenue last year without manufacturing a single pair of jeans--they only distress existing pairs. I'm more of a fresh-from-the-racks indigo Wranglers type of guy, so I wonder what will happen when the pendulum swings back toward crisp, new looking jeans:
With $140 million on the line, I'm sure they'll think of something...maybe paying an army of male college students to produce skid-marked, tattered couture tighty-whities.
One threat to jeans bashers like Mr. Petrin is, of course, a recent fashion trend toward cleaner jeans. “While I still think that abrasions, washing out and other details are relevant,” said Deirdre Maloney, an owner of Brand Pimps and Media Whores, a fashion consulting firm in New York, by e-mail. “I think holes and rips will be on hiatus from the market for a couple of seasons.”
LINK via Consumerist