Rope Dye Goes Drinking With The Big Boys
There’s a classic hiss of dub reggae on vinyl as we order (yet) another beer in Berlin’s notorious Jail Bar and as Left Field NYC’s Christian McCann reaches in to his bag and brings out latest addition to the New York specialists’ core collection – their Cone Mills Natural Indigo jean.
They were to be unleashed to trade buyers the following day on the other side of town. Let’s just say that that went well but this was our first opportunity to actually lay hands on the product.
Like Saying Hello To An Old Friend
Straight out of the bag, it is soft, authentic and would be immediately recognisable to our grandfathers. It radiates their era and is as instantly familiar to the touch. Sometimes, you just know when a weave is one you can work with and one that is going to fade beautifully over the years. And, if the Left Field’s that we have on test right now are anything to go by, it won’t go down without a fight.
McCann makes jeans from the best of the best; we’re tussling with a 14.5 oz. Collect Mills red-line selvedge Greaser in black at the moment, and after more than six months on rotation, it is still smart enough to go for tea with your granny. Well, nearly.
“Wear. Them. More. Period.”, laughs McCann as he takes another slug of Germany’s finest.
Left Field are probably the only brand that have managed to snag significant yardage of the smokey, mid-tone Cone Mills 16 oz. Natural Indigo blue-line selvedge and they have committed to a limited run in all three styles – the classic, 50s-inspired Greaser, the contemporary slim-straight Chelsea and the altogether more muscular Charles Atlas.
A European Exclusive
Whilst the fabric has been available on Left Field’s site for a couple of weeks, this is the first time that the jeans has been seen in the wild in Europe, aside from the early-bird customers who jump all over a good thing when they see it. Christian is reflective;
“Buyers are pretty cynical, of course they are. They have seen it all and you need to be doing something pretty impressive if you’re going to get their attention. And there is something very special about this denim. It’s pure. It looks like something straight out of the 70’s that a redneck would wear at the Rodeo. That’s been the reaction. A very 70’s Wrangler cowboy vibe which is pretty fresh from my perspective.
Being woven at the White Oak Mill in Greensboro N.C. and dyed with 100% American natural indigo grown in the USA, it feels like you’ve got a hundred years of history right there in your hand.
I think we are the only guys that have so much of the 16 oz. and that’s cool because it’s the perfect year-round weight. I just wish that we could have gotten more because we are already running tight on some sizes.”
He is a modest man but there is a note of quiet achievement in his voice because, at less than $250 a pair, these jeans were as good as nailed-on to fly out. When trade buyers are writing orders, you know that the hard graft is paying off but, for Left Field, is not just about the money.
He explains that it is about growing their base and bringing new customers in to the fold. This might well be a four hundred dollar jean but that really isn’t the point.
McCann is right, of course. We have seen this particular denim being shifted at serious dough and the scarcity value makes it all the more desirable. As desirable, in fact, as another blast of rocket-fuel chasers.
“Hey, Jens. Give us another round of Mexicanas!”
- 16 oz. 100% natural Cone Mills White Oak indigo selvedge denim
- White Line Selvedge
- Left Field miner bandanna printed pocketing
- Hidden back pocket rivets
- Hidden selvedge on the coin pocket
- Raised belt loops
- Chain-stitched hems
- All US made copper rivets and buttons
- Copper skull logo on inside rivets
- Felled(wrapped) inseam
- Chain-stitched waistband
- Cone Natural Indigo label and hang tag
- Hand-stamped letterpress hang tags.
The Left Field NYC Cone Mills 16 oz. Natural Indigo is priced at $240 and available now direct from Left Field NYC or in store at;
Left Field NYC
657 Woodward Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385
Left Field ranges are also stocked here.
(Hang-over cures are available at all good pharmacies…)