I wanted to make real workwear back then! I liked the rugged 1950’s look – a bit worn and baggy. I bought torn and wasted second-hand jeans and re-made them to fit me and my own body size. It was the late 80’s. I was told it was the “original look” to have, and I wore it in layers together with cotton turtlenecks, worn denim jacket and a oversized blazer. All on top of each other. I was happy.
Then fashion changed. And I got confused. A whole new “original” denim look arrived. So how did that work for a true story, I asked myself? Not much. Not much at all. Everything was just fabricated lies. Marketing, was what they called it back then as I remember it. I wasn’t happy.
I gradually begun dreaming of my very own denim look and clothing! And, as a result of that, I also started making stuff myself. It wasn’t easy, I’ll tell you that! Some things even looked rather odd I thought. Not “original” at all. More “creative” and “personal” – and much less industrial. And precisely that, was the exact center of the conflict I started having with myself. Allthough I really wanted to make my own, I still wanted to tap in to the very thing that people understood about denim and jeans – the highly romanticized idea of factory produced goods, made super-robust and compleatly identical. And that wasn’t what I got with my true friend in arms – my home sewing-machine! It was absolutely too weak and “fine” in its stitching. I realized I had to move on and upgrade, to fulfill my denim dream.
Now I have a 1970’s heavy industrial leather machine, to which a airplane-mechanic have added a very powerful engine. I have imported heavy American denim twill fabric, wowed on old shuttle looms and dyed in natural indigo. I have thread in good colors and rivets to choose between. Durable zippers and rough stable buttons. And I also know how to make those good twisted seams, and a neat sharp look. But what happened?
Well, my dream shifted! And the world around me too! Now I see a lot of flimsy badly made jeans from shops everywhere! And I gradually realized that almost all worn looks today, are by no doubt artificially made with clorine, enzyme bleach and acids! I don’t want that!!
I’ve also realized, that what I myself want now, is just a simple cut with almost non-detectable altered detailing. I want comfortable garments that can evolve together with me. I want a durable, minimalistic and comfortable own design, where I know how and where and when exactly every stitch was made. I want something made for… well, just me.
I realized I now have my very own agenda. I’m actually making my own dreams real.
– Sten Martin
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