Re/Done: Denim Repurposed
Last July, founders Sean Barron and Jamie Mazur spearheaded Re/Done vintage denim. The two noticed a demand for vintage denim, but fit is typically a problem. There are plenty of vintage jeans available, but consumers often have to get them tailored for a more modern fit.
“I noticed all my coolest girlfriends always wore tailored vintage Levi’s,” Mazur said. “I’d always been passionate about denim, especially vintage denim, but didn’t know if redoing it on a large scale was possible. Sean’s background in apparel made him the perfect person to test the idea.”
With more than 20 years of industry experience, Barron previously launched apparel companies such as Katayone Adeli and Joie. Mazur had a denim sample-sale business, Underground Denim.
Re/Done jeans immediately gained A-list fan appreciation with models Erin Wasson and Bella Hadid and actresses January Jones and Arielle Vandenberg.
Keeping the integrity of the vintage jean is a priority, but also constructing a modern fit, ensuring consistent sizing and producing flattering silhouettes are key. Barron and Mazur start with Levi’s 501s, which are sourced from vintage suppliers all over the country—although the two are particularly fond of jeans that come from the South.
“Something about the wear patterns that develop in that sun are just so beautiful,” Mazur said.
Re/Done’s factory and headquarters are housed in the same building in Los Angeles, which helps with quality control and efficient operations.
“We get to oversee every stage of production to make sure things are running smoothly,” Barron said. “We also have the ability to make samples and test out new designs in a very efficient manner.”
Each pair of vintage jeans is deconstructed, then resewn into a one-of-a-kind denim piece.
“When we receive the vintage jeans as raw goods, they are sorted one by one to see what we want to redo,” Mazur said. “Then they are washed and taken apart completely at the seams. The waist bands come off and the legs are opened. From there, the jeans are laid to our patterns, cut, then sewn back together. We measure the jeans at each phase of production to ensure a consistent fit.”
Re/Done offers a variety of styles for every woman—from a high-rise style with a ’70s feel to a slouchy, shredded pair to a structured, slim fit to a tapered, body-framing pair with varied seam measurements to a tattered black denim. There are a few shorts, including an edgy knee-length, “walking short” and a cropped denim jacket, as well.
“We are inspired by classic fits that transcend different eras,” Barron said. “For example, a high-rise jean is a staple item. We wanted to draw on that but make the fit modern and more appealing to a millennial consumer, [and] each denim expert ensures the fit is true to size.”
Re/Done currently produces up to 5,000 pairs each month. Retail price points range between $182 for a pair of denim shorts to $340 for a more detailed, buttery pair of jeans.
Each denim collection is framed within a campaign that includes a story and features an inspirational figure. “We believe that there is no better way to communicate than by telling a story—especially with a product as steeped in heritage as ours,” Barron said. “We want people to develop an emotional connection to our product. It isn’t like another denim company, where your jean is the same as thousands of other girls’ jeans. Each piece we make is one of a kind, so when you find your perfect jean, it is just that—yours.”
As a sustainable brand, Re/Done doesn’t use any dyes or other harsh chemicals that would be typically associated with the production of new jeans.
“New denim companies use harsh chemicals to try to copy what our jeans have naturally. There is no replacement for good old-fashioned wear and tear,” Barron said.
By recycling vintage denim, they reduce the apparel waste that would normally be sent to a landfill. As a repurposed denim brand, they are able to reduce the amount of water it takes to produce jeans.
“It takes on average 2,600 gallons of water to make a new pair of jeans, whereas it takes less than 50 gallons to make ours, which is the equivalent of two washes at home,” Mazur said.
For Fall 2016, Re/Done will add a men’s collection, preserving the same quality as the women’s pieces.
Re/Done is available on the company website, www.shopredone.com, and at Barneys New York (in stores and online) for the domestic market.
For sales information, contact Gary Shelton at email@example.com. He is based out of Re/Done’s London international sales office, Rainbowwave.