5 min read
What's up all, here we are again.
Welcome back to The Brute Supply Journal.
As you may or may not know I've had the pleasure of teaming up with a few of my favourite brands over the past few months. So far it's been an awesome experience getting to know the people behind the designs, products and values of the brands.
The following is a few snippets from a conversation I had with Kerbsides founder, Fam. It's pretty much as authentic as it gets from a true entrepreneur and top gent. Enjoy the story and leave your comments below if you like.
An Insight into Kerbside & CO
1. Why Did kerbside start as a Brand? (Marcus)
I could say I was once a vintage denim collector for about 20 years. I still remember enjoying the process of sourcing and selling ripped Levi’s 501s, Hawaiian shirts and vintage tee shirts in the mid 90s. All these years, I have accumulated and sold a bunch of vintage denims while still working full-time. At some point in 2014, I decided that I cannot do the daily grind anymore and quit my job.
I travelled a fair bit for the next 18 months and at the end of it, had to decide if I wanted to pursue something that I have put on the backburner or go back to doing a job that has become unfulfilling. You can guess which path I took. A few months later, a bunch of denim rolls ordered from the U.S. arrived and due process started.
The name Kerbside&Co. was derived from the fact that I always felt that I had never been a part of anything trendy or hang with the cool kids, I just wanted to do my own thing. So kicking around the kerbside while watching the world go by with like-minded folks was something that I kind of identify with.
2. How involved with the design and making process are you?
For my apparels, I usually come up with the design and present it to the production team so they can understand what I want. From there, the fabric sourcing, trims and shipping arrangements, right down to the marketing, it’s all me. It's rewarding when I see people appreciate the effort that I've put in, especially the nitty gritty bits that tend to get passed over.
There are many choices when it comes to fabric selection, I was steadfast in wanting to use Cone Mills denim so when the opportunity came, I grabbed it. My affinity with vintage Americana is really strong. I never really paid much attention to Japanese denim but I remembered buying used pairs of Big Johns in the mid 90s, it was not bad but the vintage Levi’s, Lees and Wranglers were the real deal for me. Only in the past 6 years did Japanese denim came into my radar from the work of brands like Warehouse and Denime.
After Kerbside&Co. released the first collection of jeans, it didn’t fare too badly for someone totally new to the industry. It got some attention and call it serendipity, there was an interested party keen to work with me and it was a Japanese manufacturer.
3. What kind of denim has been used to structure the jeans?
For the LOT 81-01 jeans, I looked for a specific type of denim that could meet my requirements – rope-dyed, mid weight denim with a bit of nep. I also wanted a one wash process, so right from the get-go, certain requirements have to be exacting to get the results I wanted later. After multiple fabric swatches, I narrowed down to a few for the sample pieces.
Kudos to my Japanese counterparts, they were dead on with the construction process, fastidious work ethics as well. The hardware on the jeans, threads of differing thickness used for the stitching, the quality control, they were on top of it all.
I was certain on what I wanted to achieve. Many pairs of sample jeans went through multiple washing processes just to get the exact indigo hue and correct hand (feel). In the end I was most satisfied with how the Kurabo Mill fabric turned out, it looked exactly how I wanted it to be. Production could finally start for the LOT 81-01.
4. What jeans are your best seller & where is kerbside going next (jeans, projects, the future) ?
The slim cut LOT 81-01 is moving at a good pace, I am making extra pieces for a few popular sizes to pad up inventory. The almost sold out POLLOCK painter pants will be available in new colourways with a stronger fabric, all will be revealed in due time.
At the moment, I have new designs ready but let’s just take one thing at a time, slow release in small batches. Unless it’s a pre-order for wholesale, I have to keep it status quo for now.
Kerbside&Co. is an independent brand and more often than not, I have to balance between aspirations and the need to survive. I have been asked by well-meaning friends to adjust upwards the price of the LOT 81-01 to be on par with other Japanese brands, but I feel I have to keep it affordable even though the material and quality is pretty much similar. I don’t want my items to be priced out of range for the regular Joe.
I'm just heartened that Kerbside&Co has customers that appreciate my brand and product aesthetics.
Well, there it is. An insight into the world of my good friends at Kerbside & co. If you haven't checked them out already then I urge you to do so. They're not just any old brand, they have character and strong values leading the way. I look forward to seeing and hopefully owning some more of their Japanese neppy goodness.
That's it from me thsi week, once again thanks for tuning into The Brute Supply
Have a great weekend