It’s not every day that a brand achieves cult status right out of the gates, but when quintessentially cool vintage Levi’s are part of the equation, it certainly helps the odds. L.A.-based fashion entrepreneurs Sean Barron and Jamie Mazur launched RE/DONE last year with a winning formula: source the best of highly coveted vintage Levi’s, deconstruct them, and re-sew them into immaculate, modern fits with consistent sizing. The result? The 50 pairs they launched with sold out in less than a day, and Erin Wasson and Gigi Hadid are already fans.
Barron and Mazur built the concept on the understanding that finding an old pair of bum-hugging, waist cinching, comfy Levi’s is like searching for a needle in a haystack. In the end, most people end up tailoring their vintage finds anyway, which only adds to the sizing inconsistency of pre-loved Levi’s. RE/DONE eliminates all of that hassle, bringing you a flattering end result. Luckily, Barron and Mazur show no signs of slowing down and even plan to launch menswear in the near future. Below, they give us a closer look at the DNA of their denim revolution.
How did you two decide to launch RE/DONE? How did you know you could do this on a large enough scale?
Jamie Mazur: We both love the heritage and overall feeling of vintage Levi’s. We were talking about the long and tedious process of searching for the perfect vintage jean, and then seeking out a denim tailor to make them fit and a light bulb went off!! If we could do this on a production level, we might create a movement in fashion—keeping heritage relevant.
Sean Barron: Having over 20 years of experience in making clothes, I took on the task of training a factory in the process of what is now our exclusive method of reconstructing vintage jeans into modern fitting jeans. It took us over a year to develop our fits, but the results are amazing.
Where do you source the vintage Levi’s and what do you look for in each pair?
JM: We have developed relationships with a handful of rag houses all over the country. We set standards for each jean—the year, wear patterns, and sizes. Once they come into the office, we sort through each pair one-by-one to make sure they adhere to those standards. It’s a very challenging process, but we get the most amazing jeans to work with.
Are you ever worried the supply of awesome, worn-in Levi’s will run out?
JM: We don’t really worry about that, mainly because the heritage companies have been producing millions of jeans for over 50 years. This means that, sooner or later, a big percentage end up in the rag houses.
What makes Levi’s so particularly coveted?
SB: I feel that almost everyone has had a personal experience with or has worn a pair of Levi’s, so there is an emotional connection to the jeans. There are so many images of iconic people wearing Levi’s, it’s just natural that people today identify with them and want to be part of that moment. Consistency of fit is the point of difference with RE/DONE.
How did you choose and perfect the fits that you carry?
SB: That is our secret sauce! I can tell you that each jean is cut into a new fit and each and every single jean is measured to ensure the fit.
How should a great pair of jeans fit and what makes them flattering on a woman?
JM: The truth is rigid jeans fit better than stretch. It’s just that for so many years women have gotten used to the comfort, not realizing that the stretch actually tends to flatten their butt, while ridge, if fit correctly, make your butt look great.
You’re already selling out like crazy. Why are people so hungry for RE/DONE?
SB: I think we just struck a nerve. Girls and guys are seeking products that are more individual, that no one else has. We have finally made it easy for girls – and soon guys – to buy a great fitting vintage jean.
You partnered with some very cool girls like Erin Wasson, Bella Hadid to showcase the collection. How do you choose these women?
SB: First of all, Erin and Bella are amazing women! Each of the girls we have worked with is totally unique and different from the others. They all share the common thread of wanting to be individuals.
Tell us about Oscar Hernandez from the video. Do you work with many artisans like him?
SB: Oscar is a one of a kind! He is our secret weapon. We met him in our factory and immediately fell in love with him and his work. You can be sure his hands touch every single pair of jeans.