California’s Unionmade just unveiled a serious gift to the world’s denim-heads—an 18-piece collection assembled with some of menswear’s best brands (Unis, Farm Tactics and Raleigh Denim for starters) and a lustworthy quantity of 10.5 oz Cone Mills selvedge canvas.

It’s called Unionmade Indigo–and in the interest of getting behind the denim, we sat down with manager Spencer Lemon for a tour of the goods.

How would you describe the project? A label? A collaboration? A collection?
It’s a collection of collaborations with brands and designers we really love. Some of the pieces we designed ourselves, like the Golden Bear stuff. We have an ongoing collaboration with them, so for this we just took those designs and added this beautiful Cone Mills Selvedge canvas. For some of the other pieces, like the Unis Gio, we took a favorite piece and just converted it into this new color scheme.

Why indigo?
Really, it’s just our favorite color. If you come by the store, 90% of the time, the majority of the staff is wearing some variation of indigo. It’s a color that works well with everything. You can dress it up; you can dress it down. It accents outfits very well. And being able to work with natural indigo is always a pleasure because of how it ages and fades.

What about the stuff that’s not in the canvas?
Well, Kyle from Farm Tactics was able to get his hands on this big lot of natural indigo yarn-dyed fabric, so he used that to make a shawl-collared pullover. Then we did bandanas with our friend Matt Dick from Small Trade Company. Matt works with this indigo master who’s apparently a National Treasure of Japan. He has very traditional, specific techniques for everything. All the dyeing happens in a hole in the ground.

Do you have any favorites from the collection?
I think the Golden Bear pea coat turned out amazing. The gray accents are really great, and the fit is pretty spot-on.

What’s next?
We always have any number of projects in the works, but we’ve been so busy, we haven’t had time to really think about the next thing. The next thing that’s coming up is new Golden Bear styles. We were lucky to get our hands on a bunch of Pendleton fabrics, so we did a bunch of beautiful fall wool jackets. They should be out in two, three weeks.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom