I’m a big fan of Industry Standard denim – a direct to consumer denim brand founded by Nicole Najafi to deliver premium quality (the industry standard…) denim without a higher price point. Industry Standard jeans are designed in New York and made in the denim district of LA, using Cone Denim from North Carolina. Nicole focuses on the ideal fit – the jeans are designed to complement your figure and maintain their shape… because no one wants baggy knees!
I’m dying to visit Industry Standard’s factory, owned by Nicole’s manufacturing partner, Matt Berkson, but haven’t been able to connect with Nicole in LA just yet… so she took some photos to share with us during her last visit. Read on for notes from the tour… and then check out Industry Standard – I live in my Margots and can’t recommend them highly enough.
IS: Bright and sunny day in LA, as usual! This is the exterior of our factory in Vernon, where a good chunk of LA denim is made. The top floor of the factory does knits and jersey, too.
IS: These house all the electrical circuits that supply power to the factory. You can imagine how much electricity has to be generated to keep all the machinery powered.
IS: Ernesto! He’s part of the maintenance crew and is the nicest person. He keeps the factory nice and tidy. I was walking by and saw him catching shade outside and snapped a candid.
IS: The pastel pink exterior of the factory. Historically, factories in LA were always pink, dating back to the early 19th century. Just kidding. I believe the wife of the factory owner is responsible for this lovely hue. I love the contrast of the industrial details and pastel colors.
IS: The brick and concrete stairwell that keeps the factory very cool, temperature-wise. I always have to take a sweater when I visit, even when it’s scorching hot outside. LA construction is so smart that way. It amazes me how cool it stays.
IS: This is the sewing floor of the factory. Garments are cut and carried up the freight elevator on the large metal carts pictured, and then sewn on industrial sewing machines. I snapped this photo around noon when everyone was on lunch break.
IS: White denim getting sorted for sewing. I love the tall curtains and old, industrial windows.
IS: Our labels! They get sewn on at the end. It’s actually the very last thing that is done on the jeans.
IS: This is an original Singer sewing machine. Singer is one of the best and oldest makers of sewing machines, dating back to the 1850s. Some antique Singers are actually collector’s items. This one is probably from the 1970’s and still works just as well as when it was new. It goes to show how excellent their machines are!
IS: Piles of indigo denim ready for sewing.
IS: These are various thread colors for sewing. Who knew there were so many shades to a gold stitch?
IS: More thread colors. We use the navy for our Margot Highrise that has a tonal stitch.
IS: This is a denim pattern. It’s essentially a blueprint for the cutter to know where to cut the denim. You’ll see a lot of different pieces squeezed in, so as to minimize fabric waste. It’s like tetris–the more pieces you can fit together, the less fabric you waste.
IS: These are manual kick press machines that are used for applying button shanks, rivets, and any other kind of hardware to the jeans.
IS: A kick press machine up close.
IS: Voila! Cut, sewn, washed, and ready for labels.
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