831 Washington · New York, NY · 10014 · USA · www.earnestsewn.com
Article courtesy Kudos magazine
“Like our denim brand, every aspect of the concept store’s decor has a historical reference, and is extremely unique…”
In April of 2005, Earnest Sewn’s first concept store, named “An Earnest Cut & Sew” opened its doors in New York City’s historic Meatpacking District. Kudos speaks with Scott Morrison, Earnest Sewn President and Designer. The 2,600 square foot store features the complete range of Earnest Sewn denim for men and women, a limited edition range of custom made jeans which are sewn on the premises, as well an “An Earnest Cut & Sew” and “Lit’l Earnie” collection which debuted in August.
The concept behind “An Earnest Cut & Sew” store mirrors that of the Earnest Sewn company philosophy, which focused on paying homage to the Americana past while mixing, for perhaps the first time, traditional denim workwear with a Westernized version of the Japanese style aesthetic, Wabi-Sabi. “Our tore is meant to be a showcase of this concept, so the decor includes turn of the century industrial fixtures and imperfect wooden floor boards, assorted antique furnishings.” Explains Morrison, adding “much like our denim brand every aspect of the store’s d·cor has a historical reference, and is extremely unique, from the design itself to the lifestyle products we carry within.”
The retail space is furnished with genuine American industrial lighting fixtures and artifacts from the early 1900s. Designed to be both educational and informative, patrons can see a variety of equipment that is used in the manufacturing of luxury jeans as well as have a pair custom made on site. “Having the store right below our headquarters provides us with insight as to how our customers react to new styles, fits and designs. However, the biggest benefit is that it embodies the lifestyle by which everyone who represents Earnest Sewn lives, so it continues to inspire and influence us all.”
They use rolls of limited hand picked narrow selvedge denims that maintain all of their yarns natural imperfections. The opportunity to tailor jeans by selecting a denim, individualizing the pocket designs and buttons, and then have the jeans cut and sewn on-site while the customer takes advantage of the espresso bar of leaf through a book from the store’s library, is an exciting addition to the store.
The company embraces the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi – Morrison explains it as best he can. “It is virtually impossible to define WAbi-Sabi, but to grasp its essence; it would be something like finding beauty or perfection, if you will, in imperfection.” Wabi-Sabi incorporates natural, organic, innately derived things and finds beauty or value in their lack of symmetry, their lack of perfection in the modern sense. We interpret this in our design philosophy by consistently using single needle sewing machines, hand processing every jean so no two pairs are alike, and even signing or stamping every pair with the artisan’s signature.” Kudos loves the idea of custom made jeans while you wait. This is the true essence of being completely involved in a garment purchase. “The custom made service we offer exclusively in our store is catered to the real denim aficionado.” Says Morrison, explaining, “This customer knows about quality and craftsmanship, and wants to create a jean unique to them.
It is definitely not for everyone, but the few who appreciate this unique experience walk away with a jean made of the highest quality specialty denim, weaved on narrow-width shuttle looms, with novelty hardware including custom made and limited edition buttons and rivets. The customer is involved in every detail from the back pocket design to the thread color, and even inside pocket bag lining material. The experience is one of a kind, just like the jean,” says Scott Morrison. The store has received critical acclaim from both the press and the customers and continues to evolve and innovate in the wonderfully untouchable timelessness of the denim market. “The store has allowed us to completely differentiate ourselves from our competitors. Along with creating a lifestyle brand identity the store has become an important and profitable part of our business concept. Admits Morrison, elaborating with one of the secrets of the company’s success – “We also try to ensure that everyone who works in the store knows everything about our product as well as the other brands we carry and we’re proud of the fact that each employee brings as much passion as we do about the quality and uniqueness of everything we choose to carry.”