We literally felt sick when the International Textile Group announced they're closing the legendary Cone Mills White Oak Plant in North Carolina, which has been in operation for over a century and is the last selvage denim mill in the United States.
It's the final nail in the coffin of America's once great denim industry and a sad comment on our nation's sartorial state of affairs. But the news isn't all bleak: the apparel artisans at Taylor Stitch had the foresight to custom order some wickedly cool selvage from the plant before the closure was made public.
They've used it to run up some achingly beautiful blue jeans and jean jackets, which can never be made again once supplies have sold out. “Of course it’s extremely sad and the end of a legacy that’s been around for well over 110 years, only strengthened by the tremendous partnership Cone established with Levi’s in 1915," Taylor Stitch designer Nick Kemp tells us.
“Some of our strongest staples in the Taylor Stitch lineup were born from Cone’s very looms. We’re certainly going to have to re-source another denim, but we’re sure as hell sad to close the chapter of what we’ve been able to accomplish with them the past three years. And there’s no doubt: if Taylor Stitch product was limited before, our Cone products have just become as limited as you can possibly get.”
Dubbed Cone Mills ’68 Custom Selvage Denim for its perfect continuation of the fabric American men grew up in – and the likes of Steve McQueen and James Dean elevated to icon status – Kemp and co. have used it in three separate jean fits and a crazy cool Long Haul Jacket, replete with bespoke details.
Get 'em while they last, and remember, when they're gone, they're gone....