Good weekend? I hope so. I tackled a trip to the swimming baths with a 2, 4 and 11 year old yesterday. It was f*cking chaos but other than that I managed to sink a few Stella’s and even got at least 1 whole nights sleep so thank the heavens for small mercy’s eh?!
So. Tonight we speak to Paul of @paulkruizejeans. Paul is a maker of bespoke jeans based in, arguably the denim capital of Europe, the Netherlands.
“Just one man, one machine, making one pair of jeans at a time. Exclusively for you” it’s that simple…
Paul measures, cuts, patterns and builds a product that is completely tailored to your needs. Now, I don’t need to say too much more and the video below is a short, but poetic, representation of what Paul does and…well, it does it for me.
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Paul Kruize
POSITION: All the positions
BRAND: Paul Kruize Jeans
LOCATION: Enschede, a former textile city in the east of the Netherlands
SIZE OF TEAM: Just me
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Bespoke jeans
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company Paul Kruize Jeans start out? (For people that don’t already know)
After years of doing other things I decided I wanted to go back to my roots, making clothes again. My lifelong passion for denim brought me to making jeans. Years earlier I had already done a few things in this field. I made trousers, shirts jacket, the lot. For jeans I had to start from scratch. Since I wasn’t trained for the (fashion) industry I had to work out how to convert the patterns I made years ago to a pattern for jeans. Next I had to find out where to source all the fabrics and materials I needed. After that I started with sampling and improving my patterns. Working with only one machine all seams would have to be closed. I spent time thinking out all the technical and style details. I also worked out how to do the one piece fly and practiced hand sewing the buttonholes the sartorial way. In 2014 I got my first commissions.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of yourself look like? What’s your daily work routine?
Working by myself in my workshop I am free to schedule my own time. Depending on what stage a commission is in I work on patterns, after which the denim is cut. Most hours are spend behind the machine. Also I take time to photograph what I made and share it on social media. And meeting customers in my studio or discussing their demands via email.
3. What are your top 3 bestselling items? And why do you think this is?
Jeans (of course), though I occasionally do a shirt, worker jacket or waistcoat. The thing that sets my jeans, and other garments, apart from the rest is the fact that they are made entirely to the customers measurements and wishes.
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
Probably the slim/regular jeans made from a 15oz selvedge denim from Collect. This fabric is made from Zimbabwe cotton, making it my favorite denim. It turns soft and comfortable after a few wears. Also, made from the same pattern, a pair made from an unsanforised neppy Japanese selvedge. A lot more rigid than the Collect, but really beautiful. It would be ridiculous to make a jeans to measure using unsanforised denim (given the fact that shrinkage is around 8%), so in this case I gave the fabric a warm soak before cutting.
5. What are your thoughts on the rise of Instagram fashion and the chaps that post their clothing on there to help spread the word of their fave brands?
The downside is people, in all areas, tend to post and wear what they see as common within their scene. Basically most people are conservative within their peer group. Therefore I like to follow the blue denim scene as well as bespoke tailoring and some more. This helps to keep the inspiration broader. You can tell my inspiration comes from bespoke tailoring as well as from the denim scene. This is reflected in the way I work as well as in the style of, for instance, my shirts and jackets. For instance the sleeves are sewn in by hand and the pitch is slightly turned for better fit. I also like the shirts to have a Neapolitan shoulder (the sleeve head being slightly pleated).
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
Instagram is a good way for me to communicate, together with Facebook and Tumblr. I try not to post the same on these media, but Instagram is best for me. I try to give people an insight in what I do and how I do it, ‘work in progress’ so to speak. It is great to get reactions from people on my posts. You could say Instagram serves as a portfolio.
7. Is there any feeds on IG that you particularly like to check-in on regular. What brands are you fond of on there? What menswear feeds to you like to peruse?
8. A quick one about you. Other than the business, what passions do you have in life? What flicks your switch and helps you relax?
No life without music for me! There’s always music playing in my workshop. I had Unknown Mortal Orchestra on repeat while making my first pairs of jeans, so that’s a good memory. If concentration is needed I like to listen to minimal music from Harold Budd or Brian Eno. That works great when hand sewing buttonholes.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
I love creating things and improving every time. Working by myself allows me to do what I do best and love best in my own time frame. It is great to meet (often via mail) customers with a shared passion for jeans and/or bespoke clothing and work together to make him a great pair of jeans. Most customers really understand what it is all about. With returning customers it is great to have a lasting relationship and to build up a wardrobe.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island and you can take 1 outfit (4 items) only with you. And 1 choice of drink.
What would they be? And Why?
The aforementioned jeans made from a 15oz selvedge denim from Collect, a white shirt with a soft cut away collar, a worker jacket made from a duck canvas. All my own brand of course. For shoes I always like to stick to the classics like desert boots, brogues or Doc’s. In this case a pair of dessert boots from Clarks would probably be best. And I’ll have an espresso with a glass of water please…
So. Yeah. If you haven’t already, make sure you head over to www.paulkruizejeans.com right now! It’s an effortlessly natural website which describes the “Paul Kruize” way of doing denim perfectly!
Thanks for your time Paul. It’s been a pleasure to add you to the 10@10 roster and hopefully we will meet/chat again soon?
Now, moving onto this week which is, yet again, busy as hell for us here at clobbercalm HQ (the island in my kitchen) as we have another 3 features to prepare for you lucky folk! This, of course, includes a ‘Men Behind The Menswear’ post in the form of clobbsy team member Steven aka @scwaudby_33. Steven is also slamming ‘Denim Map’ #2 out there for us on Saturday as he reviews @milworks, in Milwaukee.
Before that new, shiny pin in the map we have Greg aka @denimhound hosting a new feature on Wednesday that we are kicking off, this week, called ‘Denim: Back to Basics’. Yeah, we chucked 10 questions at Greg that are designed to give our new readers and all new additions to the denim world a leg-up when it comes to understanding the indigo love we all share! It’s going to be one of my fave posts yet…I can tell already.
Below is the calendar guys, let it melt into your brain and we shall see you again soon.
Much love! Stay close.