Paul Travi Has Used and Abused This Pair of Custom Companion Jeans For A Few Months. Here’s the Verdict
There’s a reason Companion Denim has built one of the strongest names in the artisan denim business in just a few years. The one-man operation founded and run by Iu Franquesa churns out some freaking fantastic custom jeans. But why?
I decided to order a pair and find out exactly what it is that makes Companion’s custom jeans so great.
Step 1: Choosing the Denim
The first step is choosing your denim. Iu sent me a wide variety of choices, including denims from Turkey, Japan, US and Italy. All in different weights and textures. In the end, I picked a Japanese denim, but it wasn’t easy.
Normally, I would choose a Japanese denim in a heartbeat. But, honestly, I’m getting a little tired of the slubbiness and roughness you get with many Japanese brands; my legs need a rest.
My initial choice was a 13.75 oz. Cone Mills denim. Safe bet; nothing pretentious and with an average fading potential. And, most importantly, soft on the inside.
Iu convinced me that it was not for someone with my experience. So, I went for a sanforized 15 oz. Japanese red cast selvedge from Collect, made from Zimbabwe cotton and natural indigo. And I am thankful for it.
The denim is very soft on the inside, but still tough and rigid on the outside; a typical feature of Zimbabwe cotton denim. It has nice, vertical slubs and a non-hairy texture to begin with. The colour is on the bright side of the indigo spectrum, and it fades quickly. Being sanforized, I had the peace of mind in terms of the measurements, which came in handy when deciding on the fit.
Step 2: Narrowing Down the Fit
I was looking for a 1954-fit. High rise, boxy top block and a very pronounced taper.
Companion’s Joel fit was very similar to what I wanted, so Iu and I decided to use it as the base for jeans with a few moderations.
In terms of how they fit, I’m very satisfied. The jeans have a contemporary feel, but they still have that authentic look I was aiming for.
Step 3: Going Into Details With Design and Construction
This is where Companion really shines. The details of my jeans are just out of this world.
“With every customer it’s a different situation,” Iu says, but some of the more common details that my custom Companion jeans came with include:
- Cotton tape-binded fly and hips
- Union Special hemming
- Selvedge coin pocket
- Custom leg width and length
- Front pockets reinforcement with cotton tape
- Vegetable-tanned leather patch
- Custom engraving
Companion jeans normally come with a selvedge hanger above the front pocket, but I opted out on that detail. As if the above aren’t enough, Iu has a long list of upgrades you can add to your custom jeans. I went all-in and chose the following:
- Single-needle construction
- One piece fly
- Lined pockets (both coin pocket and back pockets)
- Solid copper hand hammered rivets
- Leather backings
- Hidden rivets
- Pattern modifications (of waist, rise and hips)
- Custom 5 mm handcrafted leather patch
- Extra selvedge details
If you want to go really crazy, you can also get leather backings, an extra leather patch and 36”+ length. The solid copper hardware consists of donut buttons and UFO rivets. The thread colour the classic tobacco.
The Verdict After Wearing Companion’s Custom Jeans For Three Months
Companion’s custom jeans are for the denim connoisseur. You get a wide range of premium denim fabrics, Japanese hardware and threads and high-class leathers. But it’s Iu’s eye for details that takes them from great to a truly outstanding pair of jeans.
Companion can do pretty much anything the customer wants. The only limitations would be very special and rare industrial stitchings that Iu doesn’t have the machinery for and some hardware as the suppliers require high minimum quantities. Iu usually does modern styles, but he also works with replica projects.
Custom is not all about fit; it’s about the full package. My jeans were comfortable from the start but now, after they’ve stretched and settle to my body, I can honestly say that they are the best fitting jeans I’ve ever owned.
This is my first time ordering custom jeans, so I don’t have anything to compare them with. That being said, I have handled many custom jeans before and Companion surely makes some of the best. Period.
Get Yourself A Pair of Companion Jeans – Custom or Not!
If you would also like to try out a pair of custom Companion jeans, head over to Iu’s website and order a pair there.
However, you could also “just” go for the easy option and buy one of Companions standard jeans through the Rope Dye online store right here!