1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was. I'd like to keep you abreast of the improvements we've made over the past few days.
    @notification emails have been added, in response to user requests

    Attached images are now Full Size by default

    Users are now all allowed three (3) links in their signature files,

    SSL certification is now in place so you can all browse securely.

    The server has been reconfigured so that site speeds will improve.

    Notice: Right now the site is slow because we are fixing all the images from the past 4 months. Many of you noticed that these were missing, and we are fixing that problem now. Unfortunately, it is taking up a lot of resources and causing the site to be slow.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

NEW--Kicking Mule Workshop--what's new?

Discussion in 'Styleforum Frontpage' started by shoreman1782, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,740
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Location:
    DMV
    [​IMG]

    Kicking Mule Workshop---or KMW, which you'll can see etched into the donut buttons on their superlative jeans--fell off the radar last year, but the Denver-based denim specialists are poised for a comeback. Styleforum co-head-dude Fok Yan Leung recently spoke with Joe and Barb of KMW about the brand and their plans for the coming seasons.

    Styleforum: We were really missing you for fall/winter 2009 and only saw a bit of you for spring/summer 2010. What happened, and what's going on for spring 2011, fall 2011, and beyond? Changes or similarities to what you've done in the past? I really liked your collection pieces"”actually have a henley and a tee"”any plans for more clothing and accessories?
    Kicking Mule Workshop: When the economy started to fail we found ourselves contemplating whether to make things we didn't want to make in order to stay alive. So, we chose to sit it out (rather than make crap) and see if we could emerge out the other side, designing and developing even better product. And I think we accomplished that. The denim and fits are now better then ever, with subtle changes that make the jeans even more special without losing their original details, such as the wide busted side seam, left hand twill fabric, and corded belt loops. We are playing around with a few leather wallets made from some pretty special leather, a very burly belt and an authentic loopwheel fleece sweatshirt. We are being very careful not to expand to other products too quickly. We just aspire to make things that wear in rather than wear out.


    You guys have four cuts"”do you foresee any more in the future? I would really like to see the 1980 with a higher rise and slightly roomier top block.
    The four current fits cover what's right for KMW. We have made some subtle changes to the cuts to keep them relevant going forward. We really love the way the 1950 and 1980 fit and have done nothing to alter those fits significantly. We think the 1950 is so perfect it almost makes the 2010 unnecessary, so we'll be downplaying the 2010. The Rocker has had the most changes"”we have loosened up the fit and made it more wearable but still slightly tapered and narrow at the hem.

    [​IMG]

    I have two of your belts (one in brown and one in natural). They are seriously solid but they are priced at about $360"”that's closing in on designer territory. Is that scary for you? For your customer? I mean, you are carried mostly in men's contemporary, right?
    Sticking with the theme of wearing in rather than wearing out, we like to think that our belts are not just belts, but heirlooms. We hope this belt gets handed down for generations. It really will last that long and just continue getting better. I don't think $360 seems disproportionate; besides, it cost a ton to handmake these in Japan so we can't sell them for less.


    [​IMG]

    I read in the New York Times that the $200 jean is the new $300 jean. You guys seem to be headed the other way, going to $300+ on most of your denim. Could you tell us your thoughts on the placement of KMW in the market?
    I'm not sure where the retailers are going. I think most of them are confused and nervous and not sure where to go. But we believe that there will always be people who appreciate exceptional denim. As far I can tell, there are only a few brands making exceptional Japanese denim that fit the American male body. Also, it's what we like to do, so we'll continue doing it.

    [​IMG]

    There are a number of "artisanal" jeans companies, but these are by-and-large Japanese brands dedicated to reproducing heritage jeans. This doesn't seem to be your intent. How do you see yourself positioned in the future?
    We just want to make a great pair of simple, updated jeans. It's not more complicated than that.

    [​IMG]

    What is it like being based in Boulder, as opposed to being close to the action in NYC or LA? For that matter, why Boulder?
    We are mountain people and like to live in the clean dry air. Boulder is a pretty special place with incredible weather with high mountain access. I think living outside all the action makes us see things a little clearer. We get to NYC four to six times a year, and more importantly we get to Japan about three times a year so we stay pretty connected.


    Your brand was highly praised on Internet forums, including this one. Do you read about yourselves ever? What are your thoughts on the Internet as a force in fashion?
    We love the blogs that are well curated, such as ACL, One Trip Pass, Jake & Jill and Sartorialist. Every few months we'll read the denim forums to see what is being said but we don't over rev on the good or the bad comments. We agree that blogs, forums and commerce will converge and we hope to play a role in that in the coming months.

    [​IMG]

    I've heard there is a little more focus on leather pieces coming soon. What is the inspiration for that? What can we expect?
    We found some amazing leather in Japan. It is finished by way of a very old tanning technique using fish oil. It wears in wonderfully. When we found it we knew we needed to make something out of it. Like the jeans, the wallets are simple and functional and are made of undyed leather so they get a fine patina over time.

    Patrick Goodspeed - Tragically hip, or just tragic?
    Wonderfully tragic, Patrick is the best...
     
  2. oboy_oboy

    oboy_oboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,499
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Location:
    poised between moutains & sea
    Thanks for this Pete and Fok. I'm a fan and look forward to the continuing evolution of this brand. I do hope to see some more apparel pieces in the future, as the ones I own are indeed "wearing in" and becoming favorites.
     
  3. randomkoreandude

    randomkoreandude Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,058
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    DC
    [​IMG] at belt prices

    [​IMG] at everything else
     
  4. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,355
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    iirc, the shoulder strap on the bag is one of their belts. I never got an MSRP on he bag, but suffice it to say, in order to afford it, I'm going to have to just steal the sample from Patrick (the sales rep.)
     
  5. blake

    blake Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    300
    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    I would literally stack their jeans up against any jeans in the world in terms of quality. They are the best.
     
  6. Ritchee

    Ritchee Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,356
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    New England
    Great interview. Thanks for posting it. I just received a pair of 1950s from blue owl and they are sweeettt!
     
  7. madmadigan

    madmadigan Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    KMW is a great brand. The construction is top notch.

    Cool interview.
     
  8. plaidfad

    plaidfad New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    bag msrp= $1400.00 ....and it's niiiiiiice!
     
  9. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,355
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    bag msrp= $1400.00 ....and it's niiiiiiice!

    Definitely stealing it from Patrick.
     
  10. habitant

    habitant Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,048
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    At blueowl you can get some of last years stuff for 150$ !!

    I picked up a pair of raw rockers earlier this year for a little over 100$, best pair of jeans i've ever owned, at any price.
     
  11. skywalker

    skywalker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    502
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    awesome interview.

    I noticed they fell off at most stores and were being clearance'd out. I really am looking for more in the rocker fit though. I hope they come out with black rockers shortly. Another wish is that they are more available, maybe it's how they operate but I'd like to be able to walk into a department store and pick up a pair.
     
  12. delirium

    delirium Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    394
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    anyone know what tanning process they're referring to?
     
  13. plaidfad

    plaidfad New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    anyone know what tanning process they're referring to?

    repeatedly dipped and dried in the sun with fish oil.
     
  14. NorCal

    NorCal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,419
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Any idea if they are ever going to make the canvas jean in a 1950 cut?
     
  15. Eason

    Eason Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    14,669
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Location:
    Bangkok
    Making the rockers even looser? Better size down 2 now!
     
  16. entrero

    entrero Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,082
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    anyone know what tanning process they're referring to?

    repeatedly dipped and dried in the sun with fish oil.

    Not sure how much marketing is involved. Use of fish oil is nothing unique to the Japanese. English tanneries use cod oil during currying leather. Of course every tannery has their special/secret way of doing things.
     
  17. Jay-D

    Jay-D Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,329
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Great interview.....and I agree with Blake, I would stack their denim in terms of construction, details, and fits against any label.

    That leather bag is incredible!

    Not sure how much marketing is involved. Use of fish oil is nothing unique to the Japanese. English tanneries use cod oil during currying leather. Of course every tannery has their special/secret way of doing things.

    Using fish oil is not new to the Japanese and that is the point. It is ancient process and there are not that many tanneries using the technique as it is very time consuming and it takes a bit of artisan knowledge to do it right, plus more labor costs. For instance, chrome tanning is something that can be done in a few hours, using fish oil takes days.

    Making the rockers even looser? Better size down 2 now!

    Probably not. I am thinking still sizing down 1. The LHT is actually a tighter weave and doesn't stretch as much or as quickly as previous fabrics. I tried on a sample and the fit is definitely different and it looked more loose in the calves. This was only a sample, so we will wait to see what the final cut looks like. This starts fall 2011 collection.

    Any idea if they are ever going to make the canvas jean in a 1950 cut?

    Not for spring 2011, but they are working on kinds of things. Possibly distant future.

    awesome interview.

    I noticed they fell off at most stores and were being clearance'd out. I really am looking for more in the rocker fit though. I hope they come out with black rockers shortly. Another wish is that they are more available, maybe it's how they operate but I'd like to be able to walk into a department store and pick up a pair.


    Black rockers are available spring 2011, February delivery. We will stock them. Same fabric as the sulphur dye 1980's we have in stock.

    Not being sold in every department store is some fo the appeal. I work closely with KMW because they are more exclusive.
     
  18. hboogz

    hboogz Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,581
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Location:
    Between Two Pillars of Ivory...
    That was a great interview. Well done Fok.
     
  19. jet

    jet Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    20,965
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    socal
    360 closing in on designer territory? that's past designer territory and even I think it's far too excessive for a strip of leather

    should be no more than 200
     
  20. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,355
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    360 closing in on designer territory? that's past designer territory and even I think it's far too excessive for a strip of leather

    should be no more than 200


    MA+ belts = $350+ (on past $800)

    Julius belts = $400+

    Carol Christian Poell distressed belt = $600+

    Dior Homme belts = $300+ (regularly above $400)

    Hermes belts = start at $760

    Bottega Veneta belts = $300+, many above $500

    Not saying that designer belts are all this much, but it's not uncommon for them to be $500+.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by