Daily question: Cutting threads


David Freedman on his photo essay, The Denim Factory:

I shot these photos at a denim factory in Kentucky that specializes in distressing high-end jeans for a few top designers. I used to scoff at paying a premium for jeans that come with holes in them already. Then I saw just how much work goes into distressing jeans, and I realized that these people are artists. You can’t just have any loose threads, you have to have the right loose threads. They can’t just be faded. They have to be the right color. A lot of work goes into making these jeans look just right.


If you were the Fashion Czar, would you outlaw these or do you consider the Kentucky factory folks artists?

4 thoughts on “Daily question: Cutting threads

  1. Kontra, while distressing can’t really add comfort, the distressed jeans that I own personally are indeed done in such a way as to maintain durability.

    People who are truly talented at their work always manage to make it look easy, as that is part of what makes them so good.

  2. Kontra,

    I assume that when you say “right threads” you don’t just meant the ones that will make it look a certain way that the designer is expecting. Do you mean that these folks distress the jeans in such a way as to increase comfort as well, and even maintain durability despite wear? Then that is truly impressive. The best designers, fashion or otherwise, take the needs of all the stakeholders into account: from those that need to sell the object (the fashion designers in this case) to the end user (the people who will wear these) to those that maintain the object (the dry cleaners or the end users again). If these folks take all that into account and are able to deliver a pair of jeans that suit all of those stakeholders, then that makes them artists _and_ designers.

  3. Art is interpretation of life, it has been said, which I happen to agree with. Sometimes, art is removing elements, simplifying patterns to make this interpretation more obvious to a viewer (customer). Architecture work with space, which most people would consider as “nothing”. Space is a necessary element in architecture, as in other forms of [fine] art (music, printing, painting). All this can be incorporated into computer science, which Apple does so successfully and others not so successfully.

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