There’s a funny thing going on right now: everyone—us included—is obsessed with reworked vintage denim. And while there’s no denying that loved-and-lived-in jeans are imbued with a sense of mysterious cool, we wondered: What makes for a great vintage pair? We hooked up with B Sides’s Stacy and Claire, friends and denim obsessives who rework rare vintage jeans in their Brooklyn studio and turn them into one-of-a-kind works of art. We paid them a visit to chat about how two Midwestern gals (Claire’s from Minnesota and Stacy’s from Michigan) found each other in New York City and how they do the whole “making vintage even better” thing.
For starters, how did you meet? Was it love at first sight, from a business perspective?
Stacy: A mutual friend had tried for months to make us meet. When we finally did, we realized we had a lot in common. We developed a friendship before our [business] partnership, and talked about our plans while driving together in an ’81 Volvo wagon that was usually headed east. Claire asked me to partner on B Sides over a few drinks at Achilles Heel, a bar in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
What details do you obsess over when it comes to denim?
Claire: The feeling of the fit, the color and the caste. [Madewell note: Caste refers to the hue or the tone of the color.]
Stacy: A pressed front crease and anything that shows how the jean has been broken in: a shredded pocket opening or a hand-repaired hem, for example.
How do you go about reworking a jean?
For The Jean Jacket and The Perfect Fall Jean, we hand applied patches of vintage denim to each one. We carefully considered the silhouette of the original pieces and made every effort to not disrupt it. We always made adjustments according to the personality of the piece.
What are you most excited about working on right now?
Claire: Our current collection is centered on mid-rise and high-rise cropped jeans with a kick flare. When we rework them, we’ll patch them up. We want our jeans to be like the B sides of your favorite mix tapes: well-worn, imperfect, yet completely personal and unique.
And there’s more on the blue-hued horizon: a super-limited-edition capsule collection of reworked jeans you’ll only find here is coming this fall. Watch this space (and our Denim Bar) for more.