LOS ANGELES — Denim Design Lab’s need to open an office in Southern California led to a vintage-inspired retail concept the jeans label hopes to replicate in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Denim Design Lab unveiled Miner49er in November in San Clemente, a picturesque beachside community where the five-year-old denim label is based. The 900-square-foot shop will be home to DDL’s selvage jeans priced from $180 to $285. In addition, Miner49er carries organic cotton T-shirts, overalls, skirts, hand-sewn jeans and jackets from Bzen, a Hong Kong-based brand that values the craftsmanship of vintage denim as much as DDL does.
“All of the product in here can’t be characterized as fast fashion,” said DDL founder and designer Brian Robbins. “Denim Design Lab is an American vintage concept.”
Charles Lam, Bzen’s principal, signed on as Robbins’ partner in the label in June. Enthusiastic about the early response to Miner49er, Lam, based in Hong Kong and Montreal, and Robbins plan to convert the store that Lam owns in Hong Kong, called Indigo Bar, into a second Miner49er store. They also intend to open another Miner49er in Shanghai this year, and Robbins said he is eyeing a second U.S. unit in Los Angeles.
The San Clemente store will play multiple roles. The design, sales and marketing office occupy the building’s first floor. The second-floor retail space can be closed and restocked as a showroom for potential wholesale customers to check out new merchandise. The store will also serve as a test site for pricier pieces such as Bzen’s $500 hand-sewn jeans.
“You’d be crazy to open a store out of the blue,” Robbins said. “The first priority wasn’t to open a store. So we’re not relying on revenue from a store. If we break even, it’s just going to pay for the office space.”
Robbins, who has written a book that includes a history of denim and a how-to guide on how consumers can re-create vintage looks with household tools, has made sure Miner49er is also part museum. Under the historic Spanish-style building’s red-tiled roof, Robbins hung shadowboxes filled with puffs of cotton plants, swatches of selvage fabric provided by North Carolina’s Cone Denim and other denim-related accoutrements on the white stucco walls. Handheld scales, picks, lamps and other tools used by miners during the Gold Rush are also on display.
Despite the one-hour-plus drive from Los Angeles, Robbins is optimistic that Miner49er will attract fans.
“You’re going to get selvage denim fanatics from all over the place,” he said. “It’s going to be a destination store because of how cool the concept turned out.”
Jeans a little too tight? Having a tiny bit of muffin top going on? Well here is a solution to stretching out the waistband of your beloved jeans. The waistband stretcher! I know I myself ate a little to much over the holidays and some of my favorite jeans are a bit too tight in the waist.
So these things may look hilarious – I know – but they actually do work! I have had to accommodate before and use a regular trouser hanger which was luckily enough just the right size to fit the waist of my jeans and it has stretched them out perfectly. You can dampen the waist of the jeans first before using the stretcher and it will help to stretch them out better! It certainly saves time and money over buying new jeans! Or maybe you don’t want to spend any money on a stretcher, why not just wet stretch your jeans whilst wearing them. I have done it many times before, just put your jeans on and dampen the waist and tug at it a lot or dampen the butt area and do some light squats (careful not to rip your jeans – especially if they are Rock & Republic or a thin denim) and leg stretches. Whatever you choose to do, stretching the waist and wet stretching really does work on your denim, so why not give it a go if your jeans are a little tight? You just might get some good exercise in while you are at it!
This year, I turn 30. I got reminiscing about my teenage years * Wa La! I compiled a Mack Daddy, Wiggity, Wiggity, Wack list of the biggest celebrities wearing denim in the 90’s. Awwwww yeah booyyeeeeeeee! Chill! To the next episode!
If there is anyone you think should be on this list, send me the link and I will gladly add them!!
Update: Thanks for the links to Brit, King Cobain and NKOTB! Some of my faves… they are coming soon in other articles I have up my sleeve.
We’ve all seen some denim disasters in our time. Here’s a compilation of rules to follow to ensure you aren’t the denim eyesore in the room. I’ve added some suggestions in case you discover you have made a major fashion faux pas.
Before you leave the house in your favorite pair of jeans, stop and take a long look in the mirror. Is your backside sagging like a day-old diaper? Are your jeans so acid-washed they belong in an ’80s music video? Do the tapered legs make you look like a walking ice cream cone? Could your waistband double as a push-up bra?
According to Oprah’s in-house experts, about nine out of 10 women are wearing the wrong jeans. So, yes, that probably means you. To combat this out-of-control epidemic, Oprah asks Stacy London, host of TLC’s What Not to Wear, to debunk denim myths and warn you about common fashion blunders.
Muffin Top or Dunlap Syndrome
The dreaded muffin top or dunlap syndrome. You know, when your stomach dun’ lap over your jeans! The “muffin top” is caused by a waistband that’s too low, too tight and your tummy spills over the sides of your jeans. That’s how you know you’re a member of the muffin club. There’s good news for muffins! Go mid-rise! Styles like Diesel Ronhar Bootcut Jeans in Medium Wash will keep your belly from bulging.