First World Problems In The Rope Dye Office
At Denimhunters, we see a lot of gear. So much so, in fact, that it is sometimes difficult to spot the truly stand-out pieces. It is a little like being at a lavish banquet and not being able to work up an appetite. It’s a hard life but, hey, someone has to do it.
Then, all of a sudden, bang! The postman knocks and time stands still for a moment while we fight for the privilege of testing a garment that exemplifies everything we stand for; quality, design, craftsmanship and an X-Factor that redefines the benchmark for all that we are seeking in a product.
Welcome to the “Chris” shirt from Pennsylvania-based Curated, or Curated Idea Merchants Unlimited, to give them their full Sunday name.
Tailored from enzyme-wasted, lightweight flannel herringbone cotton, the soft hand gives the immediate impression that it has been woven from kittens’ dreams by Italian top-dogs, Albiate of Bergamo. Curated suggest that it normally takes years for a shirt to feel this soft and it is hard to disagree. The only problem is that it would usually be ready for the bin by then.
Instead, here we have a shirt that feels broken-in and like a second skin from the first moment on.
Waging The War On Mediocrity
We turned to Glenn Mance, founder and lead designer at Curated, to try to understand just how they arrived at this point.
“I don’t work like most designers who make things for the sake of making a nice product. I always start by asking “is this a solution to a problem” and “would I take the money out of my pocket to buy this based its cost, aesthetic and quality”.
This almost always starts at the fabric level, if it passes those tests then it lives to become a a soldier in the war on mediocrity, sameness & sub-par value/quality.
My inspiration comes from numerous places but the main one is looking at how guys on the streets of different cities around the world dress. Whenever I travel, I take a day and plant myself at an outdoor café in a busy area – especially in Italy, Tokyo and NYC – and I just take pics. But, I am always keeping my eyes open and taking pics everywhere I go, from airports to gas stations.
I’m after a look that’s pulled together and yet personal, and ones that are international.
Personally, I’m tired of designers emasculating men and making them look androgynous; I refer to my brand as intelligent masculine fashion.”
This almost evangelical zeal is expressed in every detail of the Chris shirt with indigo warp/weft denim elbow patches made in Japan by Kuroki, keyhole button holes on the cuffs, exposed back darts, a contrasting under-collar locker loop and side-seam gussets.
Getting Hot Under The Collar
The magic really pops with the under side of the collar which is lined in royal blue with white polka dots and which leads to the very real temptation to strut around like a latter day Fonzie or Eric Cantona in his pomp.
Onwards Into 2016
The Curated collection extends across pants, jackets, knitwear and accessories. Being little over a year old – Curated débuted at Capsule NYC in July of 2014 – the brand will focus on growth through this “it’s all about the fabric” philosophy and Mance explains;
“We are going to focus more on our E-com business. We will also lower prices without compromising on any materials or design while still using fabrics from the best denim- and non-denim mills in the world such as Albiate, Albini, Sondrio, Cappio, Candiani, Kuroki, Kaihara and others.
Waht we are doing is concentrating our efforts on moving the needle to widen distribution while also adding more and more eco-friendly fabrics.”
We have also just put a pair of Curated’s Itchiku raw, pure indigo dyed 12.3 oz. jeans on road test and will bring you news of how they break in and fade in the coming months.
Where To Buy
The Chris shirt is available exclusively online at $198 plus shipping or at select retail stores in the US including Gary’s (Newport CA), The Loop (Tucson AZ), Z Life (Rye NY) Blaine’s (Montgomery, OH). Feast on the rest of the collection here.