Studio Visit: Endrime Denim

Earlier this week the Stylesight Denim team headed over to the design studio of Mohsin Sajid’s Endrime to take a close look at the newly launched label. Located in the neighbouring Whitechapel district in East London, we were given a guided tour through Mohsin’s extensive vintage collections and design archive.

ENDRIME® AW13 – DEBUT from ENDRIME on Vimeo.

Earlier this year we introduced you to the new upcoming British denim brand Endrime. The label is currently in its first season (with the next two seasons already mapped out) but today sees the official launch of Endrime website and live webstore.

As a trained designer, Mohsin’s vision of ergonomic tailoring, pattern cutting and modern construction lay at the heart of Endrime. Obsessed with details, he constantly battles between the balance of clean and complicated design. Construction is undertaken using old and traditional methods, but in new a modern ways. Obscure details such as stitch color/thickness and SPI (stitch per inch) pays tribute to original denim design. As a firm non believer of fast and cheap methods of production, each garment is pieced using felled seams with absolutely no overlocking. All of this is completed solely using vintage machines, of which he is a renowned collector and expert.

Both the new website and lookbooks showcase Mohsin’s unusually transparent approach to design, listing everything from the machines used to construct the jeans, the mill that the fabric is sourced from to the exact design specifications of each garment. For Mohsin, this is more about educating the consumer, justifying the premium price point as well as to communicating the level of craftsmanship that goes into each product.

An extension of his denim obsessive personality, Mohsin’s design studio is packed to the rafters with memorabilia, books and magazines, shelves of vintage jeans and jackets and of course his collection of prized machinery. His hoardings include rare and obscure items from global travels from denim pilgrimages to Kojima, Maine, Instanbul and Greensboro. Cast your eye across the room and you will find everything from re-purposed shuttles and Kapital snow globes to vintage Levi’s banners and a pair of 78″ overalls. Even the drawing table stands on legs from vintage singer machines.

As Mohsin talked us through his vast vintage collections we exchanged a few questions on Endrime and the ethos behind the brand:

Tell us a bit about your website design: For instance the decision to present all the images in hi-res?

Many online retailers and denim companies, when it comes to selling product online, use images that are way too small or non existent – My main brief designing ENDRIME.COM was to have a clean fresh modern site, but with BIG XXL images, from the start. My web developer warned me “Mohsin everyone will copy your stuff” – but for me, it goes back to what I believe about transparency, if I’m about to spend £350 on a jean I would want to see everything, even the twill line on the fabric, how the pockets look, the stitches, etc… For me its heading in this direction, esp as everyone has fast broadband now!

Can you list all the machines you own?

I have about 15 machines and a mix of Vintage machines and some modern ones at ENDRIME London Studio.  A lot of these machines most denim heads would cut their right arm off for! I even had GSTAR trying to buy all my machines from me a year ago, which is quite funny, as I’ve spent years finding and researching machines – and finding the right technicians to fix them. The machines I have so are: 

UNION SPECIAL 43200G – Vintage chain stitch Hemming machine from 1939 ( this is the one everyone wants) they sell on Ebay for $3000+ every time.

UNION SPECIAL 56900R – Vintage 3 needle chain stitch machine.

UNION SPECIAL 39200AE – Vintage Over locking machine from 1940 ( I just have it on a shelf, as I don’t use over lockers)

JUKI – DDL-5600NL – Single Needle Lockstitch  From Japan. This machine can sew up to 22oz like butter! It has a jumbo bobbin spool for thicker thread.

SINGER 15-91 – Single needle lock lock – from 1960’s.

BROTHER 9820 – Chain stitch button hole.

BROTHER 430D – Bar tack machine.

GOLDEN WHEEL 5750BT – Normal lock stitch machine.

SINGER 114W103 – Vintage Single needle chain stitch / Cornelli machine.

REECE 101 – Vintage Chain stitch button hole machine.

UNION SPECIAL 35800 – Triple needle chain stitch run and fell machine.

SINGER 47W70 – Vintage Darning machine – for denim repair.

UNION SPECIAL 30100 – Single needle chain stitch machine from 1917 – this machine was used for rice sacks.

Hand Press – For buttons and rivets.

I have a few domestic machines, from my student days but these at now gathering dust…!

Tell us about your prototype-to-production process: you make every jean yourself before sending it to the factory, right?

That’s right, the blocks are all pattern cut by me in London in size 32 – I just do the fun stuff – making the prototypes – once I’m happy, I tech proceed like other companies:  I produce a 6-10 page tech pack, and pass the pattern and prototypes to the factories… Its a quicker process, as I’m already there, and there are less surprises at 1st Proto.

Pick 2-3 of your absolute favorite details you’ve incorporated into the jeans and why?

That’s hard! I’ve loads of details in my jeans… okay here goes:

1. I would start at the 3D Knee dart. I’m a trained in both men’s and women’s tailoring, dart manipulation is one of the 1st things you learn when you start patterning cutting at College. My entire carrier I’ve been fascinated by movement and shape, and it always bothered me that I had never seen a true ergonomic pant in the Denim world. The challenge was to make a selvage Ergonomic pant, so using darts I created a shape that fits over the knee, and also behind the knee. I used a shaped felled seam, thus making a true 3D shape, which wrapped round the knee, I made many prototypes of this detail. I first pattern cut it in a cargo inspired pant, MS0002 but soon developed it for my Skinny Block MS0006. Which soon became my standard.

2. One Piece continuous selvage fly – I’m a Huge fan of old historical details, and this one I love. David Neustadter of  “Boss of the Road” invented this amazing detail back in 1877. For me its crazy not many brands use it… as its looks truly amazing when sewn right! It looks nice and tidy and is also a lot stronger then the modern fly construction method.

3. Internal stamps on selvage pocket bags – Internal stamps is nothing new in the denim world, but I wanted transparency to be at the heart at ENDRIME. So we stamp each jean with the exact machines used to make the pant. We also have a wash record stamp, where the customer can fill in when they started wearing the jean. Its just a Geeky approach,  a jean made by a denim head, for denim heads.

A lot of purist, selvedge-loving denim brands keep their design simple. Explain your detailed approach to design and how you’re reacting against the basic 5 pocket formula

I’ve had a lot of positive comments about ENDRIME, but I have had a few interesting conversations, like “Why don’t you just do a simple 5 pocket? The customers will not understand it. People expect to see 5 pockets only in 1 way” I find this very amusing. Unlike some brand founders, I’m trained designer, (not a marketing guy with an idea) I don’t like to plagiarize… for example I always smile when I see a Levi’s coin pocket construction on a different brand. Design is a responsibility to move things forward, learn from the past, but make it better. I just wanted to make a new 5 pocket jean, with modern constructions, but linked to the past, using the best of the old and new ideas on how to finish a pant. I wanted to use mouth watering Denims, keeping it all raw.  I want to educate the customer that there are better ways to finish a pant, esp if a brand is premium. Esp as there are so many brands which look the same. Even though there might be a lot of details on a ENDRIME pant, it ends up looking simple, and functional..  

Any hints on the upcoming collections after this one?

I’m working on a women’s concept jean for FW14 – and making the collection bigger – We are looking at more outwear styles, and balancing out the collection. We have worked on a number of exciting graphic ideas for SS14, one graphic, using parts from a UNION SPECIAL 43200G, and one using natural indigo leaves – and a hand sketched jean which is printed on a chino.. which we are excited about, based on one of our washes… We also have a 100 year old dungaree, which we have replicated the wash on an ENDRIME jean. It would be amazing to have a exhibition one day , or make a coffee table book on how we replicate washes – as designing washes is also a big part of what I do every season.


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