By Danny Hodgson of Rivet & Hide – Purveyors of the finest denim and quality menswear
Set a stones throw from the hustle of Oxford Street in London’s West End is a hidden gem of an area known as ‘Fitzrovia’. Once the haunt of literary greats and the scene of many a wild and debauched adventure, the area is now home to a growing number of independent shops and businesses. Here, you’ll find leather workers, bespoke tailors, a luthier and guitar shop, a custom cycle store, a boutique hotel or two, a cigar supplier, a wine merchant, and any number of small cafes, bars and restaurants. This is not a tourist area, nor is it overtly ‘hip’ in the vein of the East End or conspicuously wealthy like neighboring Mayfair. This is an area where those in the know come for speciality goods and services of a superior standard. And this is where I decided to open the first Rivet & Hide brick and mortar store in March of 2014.
Back in the summer of 2012, the online store was launched from my small West London home, where I used the spare closet as a stock room. The mission was to offer notoriously difficult to source garments in denim and casual-wear from the best manufacturers, whoever and wherever they may be, and to match it with a level of customer service that would equal the quality of the garments themselves. A personal, for-those-in-the-know project.
I’d been fortunate enough to travel extensively for work, with plenty of downtime in great cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, New York and San Francisco. And to some great stores selling brands like The Flat Head, Iron Heart, Pure Blue Japan and 3sixteen. And I decided I wanted to bring these brands to the UK and I wanted to open a store that would demonstrate the pinnacle of what’s out there, both in vision and construction.
What we do:
We pick each piece in the store on the merit of its specific qualities and attributes. And we maintain the quality of our stock through regular visits to the brands - by myself and my partner, Junior - to view and select new stock, discuss future projects and upcoming ideas, and to have a bit of fun and conversation with the great people we work with. These close relationships arebest demonstrated by our collaborations: most recently, there have been the Iron Heart x Rivet & Hide 21 oz jeans in the 666 fit, the Pure Blue Japan x Rivet & Hide 24oz in the 011 fit, and the 3sixteen x Rivet & Hide 15 oz slim tapered with left hand twill - plus a service boot with the legendary Viberg Boot Company.
In the end, this is no hard-sell retail outlet. Our intention is that everyone is made to feel welcome, unrushed and at ease. For those who would like to converse sharing knowledge and thoughts or just shoot the breeze, we are happy to oblige. For those wishing to browse quietly, discretion is the word; although a helping hand is available should it be required. Opinions on fit and suitability are honest and we invest time and effort into assisting in the correct choice. We work on the basic premise that anyone who walks in wants to walk out looking and feeling good.
Customers online will receive some brief correspondence in preparation to an item being despatched, if only to confirm certain details such as fit, sizing, shrink & stretch. We do our best to convey that warm welcome offered in store to our online customers, and I can spend the best part of the day engaged with our online customers via email. It is worth pointing out we offer very speedy worldwide courier shipping. Next day to New York and 2 days to the rest of the USA and Canada, and only 4 days to Sydney. It’s also free on purchases over £150. Any jeans bought from us are hemmed free of charge on our Union Special Chain stitch machine 43200g, which dates back to 1950 and is still going strong. It handled our recent 24 oz. collaboration with Pure Blue Japan with little sweat.
If you have any interest at all in the world of superior Japanese selvedge denim, high quality limited run clothing, and a true commitment to you as a customer, then pay us a visit. In person or online, you’ll certainly be assured of a Rivet & Hide-style welcome.
Our Current Favorites:
Every serious denim brand has, or should have, a ‘flagship’ or ‘banner’ denim. A fabric that exemplifies the spirit and direction of those behind it. One that is available in various cuts and dyes – a standard if you will, while actually anything but. It could be argued that there is no better example of this than Pure Blue Japan’s 14 oz signature denim.
Using a shuttle loom that has been specially adapted to weave at a low tension and produce irregularities, these jeans are a labour-intensive and time consuming production. As such, availability is limited and this denim appears infrequently and in small runs. The fabric is so popular due to its unique properties – super slubby, hairy and full of texture. It starts off rigid and stiff but softens to create a wonderfully rough yet surprisingly comfortable denim. The fading potential of this fabric has to be seen to be believed – an example hangs in a frame in our shop window – it is that impressive! Through our visits to Japan to meet with Ken-ichi Iwaya, owner and driving force behind PBJ, we are proud to have a relationship that enables us to obtain a share of these productions.
Our particular favourite and bestseller amongst Rivet & Hide customers is the X013. This is the slim tapered iteration, with a taper starting at the thigh and coming in sharply to the knee, then continuing down to the hem. This creates a true slim tapered silhouette. PBJ also demonstrate their mastery of Indigo dye on the X013 with subtle variations in the depths of hue and colour visible through the irregular material. The deerskin patch shows the pride in their dyeing skills, with its picture of a craftsman dipping jeans in a traditional indigo bath. The embroidered indigo leaf on the rear pocket further reinforces their acknowledgement of the importance of indigo to the industry.
It should come as no surprise that one of our favourite & most successful collaborations has been with 3Sixteen. From the beginning we have enjoyed friendship and support from Andrew, Johan and their team, which has created a very positive working relationship. 3sixteen is a forward looking brand with a mastery of classic, modern cuts using quality Japanese denim.
For our joint project we agreed on a a 15oz in left hand twill denim. The denim has a rough and crunchy texture. Whilst becoming softer with wear and relaxing slightly due to the LHT, it continues to develop character and fades with a vibrant blue that really ‘pops’ through the underlying shade.
For the cut, we chose the slim tapered – we knew these jeans would prove popular and wanted to provide them in a favoured silhouette. We went with a medium rise to complement the classic, yet modern fit. For the details, we included some usually only seen on 3sixteens 100% MIJ range – hidden rivets in the back pockets, custom gunmetal shanks and rivets elsewhere. Added to that were a thick, Tanner Goods leather patch and our own, unique, white line selvedge.
The end result was exactly as we had hoped – an understated yet unmistakeably high quality pair of jeans. They demand a second look, not due to dazzling extras or flashy branding/detailing but because of the obvious care, passion and uncompromising pursuit of excellence that has gone into their creation.
3sixteen, Born & Bred, By Beatle, Chup Socks, Dawson Denim, Effector, Flat Head, Hiut Denim Co., Indigofera, Inventory, Iron Heart, Last & Loom, Mens File, Mr Freedom, Obbi Good Label, Pure Blue Japan, Railcar Fine Goods, Real Japan Blues, Steel Feather, Stevenson Overall Co., Steel Feather, Viberg.
To come: ROGUE TERRITORY