North Carolina used to be the mecca of denim production, as well as other textiles, but since the rise of out of country production, the market has dropped drastically. The percentage of people earning a check from the textile industry was 40% a half a decade ago and is now a mere 2%.
Raleigh Denim is not only an emerging denim company, but they are also changing the ways of production and bringing it back to where it was once a thriving industry. Raleigh Denim is of course based out of North Carolina, bringing you local materials (denim from Cone Mill’s White Oak plant) and artisinal methods (i.e. a button hole machine from 1941) to create the best denim they possibly can. They believe in old traditions and heritage mixed with new, contemporary styles which is what makes their company so unique.
Raleigh’s Spring/Summer line gives you a perfect mix of denim and cut and sew pieces with a cool, Americana vibe. You can mix and match any of these pieces within the collection and the Men’s collection is just as amazing as the Women’s. I appreciate the color palette of blues and white with a splash of a unique color in between to brighten up the styles, making the whole thing completely wearable and easy to fit into your pre-existing closet. I sat down to chat with the owners for a bit about their flourishing company and what they have planned for it. Here’s what they had to say…
DB: Were you always passionate about denim? What inspired you to kind of change the way denim is being produced?
R: We’ve always been passionate about making things. Denim became a focus when victor was hunting for a pair of jeans he loved, and decided to make some. Our particular process took shape while we were learning about jean construction and denim history, especially in within our state.
DB: Who is a Raleigh girl/guy?
R: Raleigh girls and guys are generally curious, thoughtful, easy going kind of people. They care about details and enjoy a good story.
DB: What is/has been your goal for Raleigh? What would you like to accomplish through your company?
R: Our goal is to make a great product – domestically when at all possible, do what we love, and meet inspiring people along the way.
DB: Where do you see Raleigh in 5 years? 10?
R: We don’t have a very specific answer…we’d like to be a little bigger, a little better, doing a little more, and having a good time.
Raleigh makes small runs and range from about $200-$300 a pair. You can find them in MAJOR stores such as Barney’s (no big deal) and they also have a newly opened flagship store in New York – 211 Elizabeth Street (Between Prince and Spring). No, Raleigh is not competing for lowest price range, but they ARE competing for the best product they can with the best style and story.
I personally believe it’s so important to support smaller companies like this because even though it’s a little more money than you would normally spend on a pair of denim, you’re supporting people that are trying to make our industry better. These people are responsible for taking our industry back to what it once was and also giving you the opportunity to own a quality pair of denim as they were made long ago. Thanks Raleigh Denim for having such strong beliefs, high standards and strong passion for the denim industry and your own company.