May 26, 2017 | By Samuel Trotman
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Brave Star Selvage is reinventing the way you buy premium denim and how much you pay.
Last week while we were out in the LA denim office, we had the pleasure of meeting one of the cities denim veterans, Mik Serfontaine of Brave Star Selvage. A South African native but now a fully fledged California resident, Mik has a long history in the US denim business working the last 10-15 years creating and selling denim goods. Mik has been around in Los Angeles since the birth of premium denim market in the early 2000s, working alongside original labels like Frankie B, Earl Jeans and 7 For All Mankind with his namesake label Serfontaine.
During that time Mik got an invitation from Cone Mills to view their first selvedge denim collection from the then newly launched White Oak label. Taking in the storied history of the mill (the premier weaver of indigo yarns in America) at its home in Greensboro plant and seeing the full extent of their offering inspired Mik there and then to start his own “Made in the USA” premium, all selvedge denim label – which he notes as being the first of its kind back then. Unfortunately, the men’s denim market of 2005 was a very different market than it is today. The idea of wearing stiff, dark blue denim was a very ‘shocking’ proposition and he was just ahead of the curve of the selvedge generation we know today. Due to financial constraints at the time, Brave Star was regrettably sold to a large apparel conglomerate and put on ice.
Fortunately, Mik’s vision didn’t die easily and favourable circumstances enabled him to purchase the brand back in 2012. After a successful kickstarter campaign to get the brand funded, he fired up the sewing machines once again and is now selling his first batch of premium selvedge jeans in Downtown Los Angeles. During the passed time, Mik and his wife Maria have carefully observed the shifting landscape of the denim market and growing generation of savvy denim heads. With these customers in mind, and clever use of the direct selling via the internet, Brave Star’s jeans come at a fraction of the price you’d expect to pay at a retail location – starting at $79 wholesale. And Mik is keen to point out that his wears have successfully made it through the meticulous scrutiny of todays denim forums and are given a strong thumbs up.
His four initial fit silhouettes focus on core mens fits; skinny, slim taper, slim straight and true straight in a variety of fabric weights (11-16.5OZ) and indigo dyes. The jeans come with all geeky details that champion its ‘Made in America’ status like chain stitching (on vintage Union Special and Reece Singer machines), hardware made in Kentucky and Leather back patches are cut & stamped in Los Angeles, and the brands signature embroidered star insignia on the right back pocket. Also available is a modern take on the iconic trucker, functional and timeless.
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