Friday, January 15

oxen workwear

Relative newcomers Oxen Workwear (est. 2005, Brooklyn, NYC) ask Why have a single knee when you can have double? Exactly. Seems like every Japanese denim maker worth their salt features a doubleknee/logger pant, but few in the US market. These are mallard duck canvas or denim, w/ U.S. military standard hardware.

Double knee pants feature:
12 oz. 100% cotton canvas
Double ply back pocket construction
Re-enforced paneling
Dual front snap/ shank waistband

Was pretty intrigued by this jeans alternative (and falls right between Carhartt/Filson with an $80 price) so reached out to founder Ross Whiting to get a bit more info. Ross was very open to questions and gave detailed answers; greatest hits below.

How did you get started making/designing clothes. Why now?
This company is five years old and still in the making. I got interested in clothes because I saw a need for more authenticity and function in the market place and my designer/partner saw the same thing; hence, Oxenworkwear was born. The influences behind Oxenworkwear are authenticity and function.
Can you break down the production process you have; from design to cloth purchasing to stitching.
Years, really, but from a practical stand point. 6-8 weeks.

1. Drawings, Specs (1 week)
2. Patterns made. (1 weeks)
3. Garment sample. (2 weeks)
4. Comments/adjustments (4 weeks)
5. Final sample.

Manufacturing process?
Time is five to seven weeks depending on the factory's schedule [in Mexico] and this is dependent on having all the trim in stock. If trim needs to be ordered could be delayed two week.

1.Trim gets purchased (Zippers, pant stickers printed, tack, etc.) and fabric gets shopped and purchased. (2 weeks)
2. All Trim gets sent to manufacture.
3. Pants get assembled (4 weeks)
4. Finished goods get shipped to warehouse.
5. All goods are inspected and bagged. (1 week)

Who are your competitors / allies in this field? Plans for 2010...
Our allies are Mountain Khakis and Cloudveil. Our competitors, Carhartt, Levis, and lots of others... Plans this year to roll out Oxen Sportmans, a new line, open in more retail stores, and add one new style to our Oxenworkwear line.
They definitely seem to know where they fall in the lineage of these sorts of work pants, and also offer jeans in a similar cut. Can get in rough seas talking about authenticity but that is what the market demands so not at all out of place here. Will be watching Oxen with great interest in 2010.

Cheers Ross. And thanks Jennifer at CLiF for the tip.