Cult of Individuality co-founder and lead designer Ron Poisson has a passion for authenticity. And that passion has turned him into both a student and expert of denim. Whether it is exploring new fabric treatments or re-creating the telling nuances of vintage workwear, Ron has a passion to make denim that draws on historical cues while promising the wearer something new. And nowhere is that passion more evident than in Cult's new 18 oz. Rebel Strait denims. Recently Ron sat down to speak with us about these exciting new jeans from Cult.
What’s the inspiration behind these new 18 oz. denims?
These are jeans that really fit into the concept of heritage denim. It goes back to the idea that denim was originally a worker's fabric – used by miners, farmers, etc. and built to last. So initially denim was heavier in weight in order to withstand the rigors of the workday. Today most denim brands have gone away from weights in excess of 13.5 oz. But there are still a few that pay homage to our forefathers' denim – mostly Japanese denim brands that are inspired from a love of vintage American denim. At Cult, we're denim connoisseurs and students of the history of denim, so we wanted to bring back the workwear cues and heavier weight denim to show we are true jeansmiths.
What sort of experience can the wearer expect from extra heavy weight denim?
Wearing these 18oz denims really gives the user a different experience from lighter weight denims. You get a feeling of protection it feels more secure. Something anyone would appreciate while doing heavy duty work, riding a motorcycle etc. The person who would choose these jeans must really love and appreciate old-school quality, authentic denim. It's not for the average consumer.
What makes the Japanese selvage denim used in these jeans unique, special?
Many aspects of the process for creating denim are unique, leading to a distinctive, high quality fabric. It starts with the quality of the cotton, but continues from there to the looms. Japanese denim is often woven on vintage machines such as the old Draper or Toyoda looms that impart a rougher, unique characteristic with distinctive patterns found within the fabric. It takes a much longer time to weave a selvage denim compared to a regular denim. and it also takes more time to weave an 18 0z. denim vs a 13 oz. denim. The result is a fabric that in many ways it is truer to the denim products worn a century ago.
Tell us a bit about the different looks/fades?
What we're offering this fall season comes directly from our deep dive into vintage workwear. We were able to access some original Levi's jeans from the 1940s that were worn from a raw state and became naturally vintage and later restores and preserved. We then replicated those washes 100% to create a very organic and naturally aged jean. It comes out so beautiful with the 18 oz. denim because of the weight of the fabric – and it would take years to even get the look naturally. People lead fast-paced lives and most would not have the patience to wear the jeans to get the same look. We're helping them out.
Also, any 18oz dry denim on the way?
Yes, for the denim purist that has the passion for denim and the do it yourself mentality, we will be offering a raw in both 17 and 18 oz. denim for fall 2015.
For many guys, “jeans are jeans”. What does premium denim like this 18oz fabric give them in terms of style, looks, comfort?
Obviously, not everyone can wear a jean of this weight. So for a person to wear something of this quality, it is saying that they are either a connoisseur of denim, fashion savvy and a trend setter. Whenever someone puts on an article of clothing, that are essentially painting an image of what they want people to perceive them like. a person that wears an 18 oz. denim is a purist. hip, trendy and not afraid to think outside the box. they want people to recognize that. they are cut from a different cloth.
Cult's 18 oz. denim is available at select retailers. Check our store locator for a shop near you.