This time it’s personal. There’s a new indie spirit in men’s fashion rising from coast to coast, with an ever-widening range of homegrown goods made with care and turned out on a smaller, limited scale. Brooklyn tailor Martin Greenfield teams up with J. Crew, revived Detroit-based brand Shinola is the shit once again, and Raleigh Denim crafts jeans the old-fashioned way in North Carolina. The hand of the creator is never far away, melding old and new, guiding sewing machines and 3-D printers alike in search of authenticity. Here’s where (and how) to keep it real in the U.S. of A.
DENIM MAKERS FROM COAST TO COAST
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
At Loren in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn, you can watch your jeans being made on a sewing machine right in front of you, often by owner Loren Cronk himself. Get the legs slimmed down or lower the back-pocket placement, then choose which weight of Japanese denim you prefer. Loren, the son of a carpenter, did his time in the New York fashion world and with the denim big boys; now his own joint is all about a return to craft.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
Victor and Sarah Lytvinenko started their North Carolina jeans business Raleigh Denim in their living room with three sewing machines; they taught themselves by making a pair a day. Now their team of “nonautomated jeansmiths” in a downtown workshop turns out limited quantities of each style, and every pair bears a hand-stamped edition number on its rear leather patch. ($285 to $385, raleighworkshop.com)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Made upstairs from the retail shop on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, jeans by Schaeffer’s Garment Hotel are inspired by 1950s biker style. Owner Robert Schaeffer works with denim from Japan that is indigo-dyed without synthetics. Each pair comes with two custom fittings: first at the time of purchase and then a second refit within a year for areas such as the seat that may have stretched out.
ALL AMERICAN PRODUCTS
Detroit-based Shinola hand-assembles the Argonite quartz movement for its watches, including this Runwell Sport chrono.
Using the hide of free-range bison, a buffalo indigenous to North America, Parabellum crafts products that extoll the material’s luxurious texture, as seen in this four-card wallet that easily slips into either front or back pockets.
Brooklyn-based TM1985 turns out vintage-inspired carryalls such as this handcrafted CB briefcase, named for founder Tielor McBride’s grandfather, in waxed canvas with rugged leather detailing and weathered brass hardware.
Kickstarter-funded Rockwell 6S updates the safety razor with American-forged stainless steel.
San Francisco perfumer Ineke’s Field Notes From Paris has hints of tobacco flower and vintage leather.
Chicago’s Hidden Folk uses ethically sourced olive, palm and coconut oils in its artisanal soaps.