Well it’s that time again. The first day of the new week is behind us, we are (for the most) comfortably sat at home reflecting on the days’ events and most likely pinging though the varies Apps on our various electronic devices?
Now, seeing as you’re all here I’m guessing you have swung by what is probably the most pragmatic and simple of the social media platforms ‘Instagram’? Its ability to cut the bullshit and allow people to connect on a personal level, in a manner where language is obsolete! On a personal level Insta has led to @clobbercalm and, of course, this humble blog. Whether we are interviewing the Blokes that use it to share their passion, for the threads they wear, or the Manufacturers/Brands that produce the products it’s always an honour to have the opportunity to share all things “clobber” related around the world via the weekly features we send live here on clobberclam.com 👍
Now, as I just said, we focus on the chaps and companies each and every week but tonight we are taking it just that little bit further and speaking to the people that actually makes the denim that said companies use to produce the products that said chaps adorn & adore.
It’s funny, when you think about it there is not that many brands out there that we (optional) ambassadors choose to represent that have been around longer than, say, even…20 years?! Now, of course this doesn’t mean all brands, as there are lots that are steeped in (get ready for the buzz word) RUGGED heritage, but still not as many as you would expect. Anyways, the point I’m getting to is that tonight we get to talk to a company that pretty much sums up the word DENIM. In fact, typing this I’m pretty much thinking I’ve missed a trick and could’ve got content on a few similar companies in the build up to this in order to assist in a constant flow. Nope, gone straight in head-first and hit the bullseye…lucky us! Lucky you guys 😀
Trevor from @conedenim is an incredibly busy man who’s currently grabbing the bull by the horns and influencing on quite a few different posts there at Cone Denim HQ, Greensboro, NC but despite all this he managed to set some time aside for the 10@10! (Thanks Trevor)
Cone Denim, the oldest and ONLY rigid selvedge denim producer in the US has been churning out the good stuff for over 110 Years and employs hundreds of folks worldwide. Cone is a machine and an undeniable credit to the denim industry with customers based all around the globe. Just a little insight into their supply chain, my wardrobe (alone) has LVC pieces crafted from Cone Denim sat alongside my Waxed Denim Lifelong Tote collaboration with @aegishandcraft. From the largest denim retailer to one of the smallest, Cone Denim remains ever present in the marketplace.
Now, I could talk all day but I think it’s probably time to hand over to Trevor whose insight into the Cone Denim family is anything but disappointing. So, dudes, it’s time to sit back, relax, crack open a beer and listen to the thoughts of Trevor Dingman as @conedenim answers the @clobbercalm 10@10.
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Trevor Dingman
POSITION: Product Development and Marketing
COMPANY: Cone Denim
LOCATION: World HQ and US White Oak mill in Greensboro, NC
SIZE OF TEAM: 4 mills and a dozen offices around the globe
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: America’s oldest denim manufacturer
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company Cone Denim start out? (For those that don’t already know)
Cone Denim started in 1891 when two brothers, Moses and Ceasar Cone, set out to establish a textile empire that could rival and compete with those in the north at that time, bringing textile production to the south and focusing on denim and other textiles made of cotton, manufactured at mills close to the source, in Greensboro, NC. Cone’s flagship mill, White Oak, was established in 1905 and named after a giant oak tree which stood in front and served as a gathering place for the plant’s employees and their families. White Oak, together with the Cone brothers other plants, Proximity Cotton Mills and Revolution Mills, helped to bring economic growth to the area, providing hundreds upon hundreds of jobs that helped to make the Cone Denim White Oak Mill the largest denim manufacturer in the entire world by 1908. Cone Denim has since expanded to better serve customers no matter their location throughout the world, but White Oak remains its flagship mill and America’s last selvage denim producer. It has been continuously producing denim fabric exclusively for over 110 years now, and that’s pretty damn cool.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of you look like? What’s your daily work routine?
My day is usually split between tending to my customers and their needs, working with the design team in the development of new denim fabrics, and a healthy dose of marketing, whether it be writing copy and providing photography for various trade publications and press releases, or art direction and management of our social media presence. Running Instagram and working to stay creative and produce quality content is both fun and challenging…
3. As the year winds down how has 2016 been at/for Cone Denim and is there anything new on the horizon for 2017?
2016 marked the 125 year anniversary of Cone Denim which has made for quite the exciting year full of special events and unique new product offerings. This year we debuted our natural indigo-dyed collection which is comprised of some of my favorite styles, like a 13.25oz selvage with an all white selvage ID that is dyed in one of the most beautiful red-casted indigo shades. I’d wanted a pair of natural indigo jeans since I first really dove head first into denim over a decade ago when I was still in high school and now it finally became a reality, and with an awesome story to go along with it as well.
We also brought back some new old school with our updated spin on Cone Pinto Denim, which is widely considered the precursor to bleached-out acid wash-type looks. Back in 1969 there was a huge storm in Greensboro which flooded areas of the mill and nearly ruined innumerable amounts of denim, but a savvy member of the marketing team came up with an idea to not only clean it off and keep it from mildewing, but to give it a softer hand and sort of psychedelic appearance as well, making it a really unique look.
As for what’s to come in 2017 I suppose the world will just have to wait and see what we have up our sleeves (or jeans legs, rather..)
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
I’m a guy who likes options so I really wear jeans in a quite a range of our fabrics from heavyweight selvage to our super stretch SGene® denims. I’ve been a denim head since I was 10 yrs old, but when I first REALLY started getting into the serious stuff about 10 yrs ago it was beefy, rigid selvage denim that stole my heart, and we’re the only ones in America that still make the stuff. The shade of our natural indigo-dyed selvage is just so beautiful, and the story behind it so cool and unique that if I HAD to pick a favorite that might be it.. It’s so hard to choose!
5. What are your thoughts on the rise of Instagram fashion and the chaps that post their clothing on there to help spread the word of their fave brands?
I think Instagram is such a great tool, not only for promotion, but entertainment and education and research as well. I’ve personally discovered many great brands and inspiring style accounts, and learned about places, people and things I never knew existed. It’s fascinating really.
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
I definitely feel it has helped to get the word out there to a different and broader audience about whom we are, what we do, and how and why we do it. If you think about it, Instagram and other social media outlets are really just the natural progression of the innovative, original MO set in place by the Cone brothers from the very beginning- a business to business company which markets its products directly to the end consumers, creating a value and admiration in them for our fabrics that our direct customers notice. It’s a great way to get the word out of quality products with a great story behind them that makes people proud to know they’re wearing garments made of authentic Cone Denim.
7. Is there any feeds on IG that you particularly like to check-in on regular. What brands are you fond of on there? What menswear feeds to you like to peruse?
There’s too many to list here to be honest.. As far as denim-centric IG accounts go (aside from checking in on what our customers are up to) I always love seeing the insane attention to detail @companiondenim puts into the craft. @longjohn_denimblog has great rare vintage finds, @sashikodenim makes some truly beautiful creations I can’t imagine having the patience for, and I am always blown away by the mending skills of @rainbowe. She is a mad denim scientist with that darning machine. For more menswear focused blogs @nigel_cabourn is always great, I love seeing designers who look best in their own creations. I always appreciate @tacoswear’s outfits, and @1000deaths has some effortless urban tech goth-ninja steez I admire. @rareweaves has the bohemian, denim-clad artist look down and Corey the @banditphotographer not only has nice menswear aesthetics, but his photography is really beautiful as well.
8. A quick one about you. Other than the business, what passions do you have in life? What flicks your switch and helps you relax?
I’ve had a passion for denim ALMOST as long as I’ve had one for riding motorcycles. I think putting me on a bike as a lil guy was one of the best things my pops ever did for me. We built so many memories riding together and it’s still one of the most enjoyable activities for me today. Also, and pardon the expression, but I’m a “foodie” who loves to cook. One of the only things I find more enjoyable than a job well-done with your own two hands is when you can eat it at the end.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
Other than having jeans as part of our uniforms? I’d say being able to boast that you are part of the country’s (perhaps the worlds..) oldest denim mill, and the last to still weave OG selvage denim, is quite the thing to be proud of. I go to work and help to create and market the fabric I’ve loved for so long.. It’s quite surreal in a way.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island and you can take 1 outfit (4 items) only with you. And 1 choice of drink.
What would they be? And Why?
-outfit- 1 pair of good jeans (obviously,) 1 pair of boots, 1 parka, and 1 sturdy, wide-brimmed hat. I feel I’m quite pragmatic so it’s all in the name of practical utility.
-drink- a fine single malt scotch. If I find myself stranded on a deserted island, and assuming I’d be able to catch some rain water like they do in the movies, the next thing I’d imagine I could use would be a good, stiff drink..
See guys, I told you…a tip-top read ain’t it?! Trevor it’s been so great having you here @clobbercalm, one day I hope to visit the great Cone mill and see first hand how the magic happens and buy you a beer to say thanks mate.
To everybody else, if you splash @conedenim on your feed hit the tag #conedenimHOF. Trevor is going to be working on a user-generated content feed so make sure you smile dudes as you could end up being seen by the masses!
So now onto Thursday, this weeks’ stellar 10@10 fella is Mark Harnam aka @shadows_of_indigo. Not only is Mark a Denim enthusiast (surprise, surprise) but he’s also an Aussie, the first Aussie to hit the 10@10 spotlight if I remember correctly? Mark, so nearly became a part of Project @threads.and.fades.2017 but wasn’t quite able to commit this time around so we have him pencilled in for 2018 😉 Make sure you swing by and see how the dudes exposed to the heat all year round handle their denim fix!
Have a tip top week folks and stay close, below is a few things listed FYI…
1). There are new products on the CLOBBERCALM STORE. Take a look, the independent craftsmen & woman that make our product are the real deal.