A good pair of jeans can weather years in the daily rotation before being put out to pasture or Goodwill. The challenge then becomes finding a deserving replacement. The hand-stitched Drugstore Cowboy from Shockoe Denim, a new selvedge retailer in Richmond, offers the sort of durability and classic look that promises to stand the test of time.
Shockoe founder Anthony Lupesco, 27, grew up steeped in the traditions of fashion; his parents were in haute couture fabrication in Italy and would dole out his allowance by having him count buttons and thread supplies in their factory. Shockoe Denim, named after the store's working class neighborhood, takes the approach of high-end fashion construction – thus the hand-stitching – and democratizes it with copper rivets and denim.
Lupesco sources his denim locally from the oldest operating denim manufacturer in the U.S., North Carolina's Cone Mills – one of the original suppliers of Levi's. The indigo-dyed, raw selvedge denim comes into the renovated Avis Car Rental garage that serves as Shockoe's production facility and outlet. Behind what used to be the rental counter – now the retail counter – a full window affords shoppers a view of what is now the factory floor. Seven employees cut and stitch jeans into a shape that is a medium rise, slim through to the thighs, and straight down after the knee. Imperfections are part of the look: The fabric has the signature wave of a handcrafted garment. [$235; ShockoeDenim.com]