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The Finer Details: The Oliver Sweeney x Billiam Jeans Collaboration
When our Cobbler-in-Chief was on the look-out for a new pair of selvedge denim jeans a few years ago, it was the discovery of a small but fast-growing American denim brand, Billiam Jeans that caught his eye.
“From the moment I came across Billiam Jeans, it was clear to me that their obsession with detail was what so clearly defined them. I fell in love with their story and authenticity from the off and after contacting them to make me a pair, tailored exactly to my requirements and needs, the jeans came my way and I’ve never bought from another brand since.”
Two years later, and thousands of commissioned jeans later, which reached a near 400 person waiting list at one point, the Cobbler-in-Chief and Billiam Jeans founder and designer, Bill Mitchell, have teamed up to create an exclusive collaboration of selvedge denim jeans that will be sold in all Oliver Sweeney stores and online.
Made with 13.75oz red line selvedge denim in the Cone Mills of North Carolina’s Greensboro district, using only the original Union Special and Singer machinery that were the force behind America’s denim boom throughout the 1940s and 50s, what cheap stone island china makes Billiam Jeans’ product so infectious is the sheer commitment, understanding and passion for authenticity that is so clearly behind each and every pair. Bill’s method, which originally came about through mere trial and error and a passion for detail (the “old school” way, as he likes to call it) has seen him develop these vintage patterns and techniques with advanced, modern thinking, technology and design; quality always at the forefront of every design. Bill will go to each and every length to seek out the very best selvedge patterns, threads and hardware. It’s this dedication and philosophy for great, high quality product – a product that also, with wear, tells its own story – that so appeals to us at Oliver Sweeney and why this collaboration felt like such a natural fit.
We asked Bill to run through the details behind the collaboration with our Cobbler-in-Chief, which you can see below. Be warned though: their obsession, just like ours, is infectious…
What defines Billiam Jeans’ product so much is its dedication to using only the finest of American sourced and made selvedge denim, thread and hardware. For both the ‘Slim Straight’ and ‘Slim Tapered’ styles, available in the Oliver Sweeney x Billiam Jeans range, 13.75oz red selvedge denim is used and complete with a leather back patch, sourced from Steads of Leeds, which make a number of the pull-up leathers for our Compass Collection trainers and boots.
Perhaps one of the most defining features on any pair of jeans is the back pocket. Using a single need lock stitch to secure its position, the back pockets on each pair of jeans are lined with an 8oz chambray for extra definition and security.
Pocket bags on the front of the jeans are made with 12oz natural denim and chain stitched with a Union Special lap seam…
…And also include a visible selvedge lined change pocket, fitted in the main front pocket. Look closely and you’ll notice little white ‘picks’ every so often, which are simply visible marks of where the loom will have reached the shuttle point during the manufacturing process. Bill uses a Japanese Shozaburo scissor to cut these back, if required. But as we like to think, sometimes it’s these intricate details, evidence of the original, vintage looms that are used to make the jeans that give the final product a unique feel and reveal the authentic, hands on manufacturing process that is behind each one.
Unlike most other denim brands, Billiam Jeans maintain that a strong waistband makes for the perfect jean. Put on with a single need lock stitch technique, which is very rare for a modern day pair of jeans, it’s fitted then with a number of belt loops that, as you can see in the image above, are cover stitched and tucked under the waistband for extra reinforcement – particularly handy if you’re prone to using the belt loops to help pull your jeans up!
As Bill points out in the image above to our inspecting Cobbler-in-Chief, the selvedge line on the inside of the jean leg is one of the most fascinating details of the garment. Chain stitched using a 43400 machine, it’s neatly finished and worthy of rolling up at the ends to show off the intricacy of the selvedge finish cheap stone island china and to better see your Sweeneys, of course!
Shop our Billiam Jeans selvedge denim collaboration in all stores and online.