Photo courtesy Scott Morrison
Interview

Scott Morrison

11.18.13

Premium denim pioneer Scott Morrison is the founder of 3×1 Denim, a line of luxurious, customizable denim made from the world’s finest and rarest materials. The Southern California native who brought us Paper Denim & Cloth, Earnest Sewn, and helped re-brand iconic Japanese denim label Evisu, now uses his 15 years of denim experience to create customizable, bespoke, and exceptionally tailored jeans out of his 3×1 gallery meets design studio in SoHo.

Interview

What does 3×1 stand for? Is it representative of something within the design process?

The name 3×1 is actually derived from denim’s standard weaving construction – 3×1 Right Hand Twill. It’s also my third denim venture, following Paper Denim & Cloth and Earnest Sewn.

What are the three ways to shop your denim?

3×1 actually offers three types of denim services: Limited Edition, Custom Made, and Bespoke. Limited Edition refers to the styles being offered in limited production 8, 12, 16, or 24 pieces, each being hemmed to the customer’s request and finished with the buttons and rivets of the customer’s choosing.

The Custom Made option marries one of our 12 pre-existing fit/styles to the customer’s preference of fabric, back pockets, thread theory, belt loops, pocketing, etc. This is a great option for someone who has specific ideas about what their jean should look like, but doesn’t require anything out of the ordinary with regards to fit.

Our Bespoke denim service is different from Custom Made in that is allows patrons to work individually with me (or one of two bespoke specialists) and one of our two pattern-makers to create his or her own pair of jeans, made to measure, from start to finish. Once we have your finalized pattern completed, we digitize the pattern and keep it in our archive for the making of your subsequent jeans. Every detail, from fabric, fit, wash, thread color, sewing construction, pocketing, trims, etc. is subject to the customer’s personal taste, and when combined with making a jean to their spec, it becomes a product that’s completely unique to the customer.

Which one is your most popular?

Sixty percent of the store’s revenue actually comes from our Custom & Bespoke customer. We’ve actually had to expand production to LA to satisfy demand.

Can you walk us through the process of designing a pair of fully bespoke 3×1’s?

Our Bespoke service does in fact involve multiple fittings and measurements, along with our feedback forum, made from scratch pattern creation and subsequent pattern adjustments, all one-on-one with our pattern maker. It also includes a digitizing process where we keep permanent archive of our customer’s patterns so they can order additional pair from anywhere in the world (the digitizing part is important – as it’s better than a cardboard or paper pattern, since you can keep it in archival form, and reprint after every use). Once we have the fit digitized, the client can personalize each jean with different design details – mixing thread and buttons colors, selvedge details on pockets, custom pocketing, initial embroidery, etc. It’s pretty much a dream come true for most!

How much do they cost?

Women’s Limited Edition: $195-295 USD
Women’s Custom Made: $525-750 USD
Women’s Bespoke: $1200 USD (for first time visit/patternmaking service); Custom Made prices for subsequent purchases using your Bespoke pattern/fit.

What is the turnover time?

Turnover time for Bespoke is about 4 weeks.

Where do you source your denim?

Fabric selection is one of my favorite parts of what we do at 3×1. We currently offer more than 180 different denims from Japan, Italy, and Turkey, as well as some 20 plus domestic denims from Cone Mills. Every 3×1 denim is personally chosen by me because they fit into one of the following categories: authenticity, rareness, uniqueness, and exceptional quality.

3×1 is the third brand you’ve launched (after Paper Denim & Cloth & Earnest Sewn) – what is it about denim that you’re so attracted to?

A little over a year later, I founded Paper Denim & Cloth, which became known as one of the first three ‘Premium’ jean brands. After almost five years of running Paper Denim as President and Designer, in 2004, I decided to switch gears a bit and launch a more lifestyle focused concept that centered on my love of heritage and “Made in America” products. That brand was Earnest Sewn. Earnest Sewn was a direct reflection on my passion for quality, the integrity of Made in USA, and my love of the Japanese aesthetic principle ‘wabi-sabi’. Although I moved on from ES in 2009, and briefly helped with the rebranding and repositioning of Japanese cult denim label, Evisu, as CEO/Creative Director while they transitioned their operations to focus on Asia, I’ve always loved the denim business from the minute I walked into that first factory and laundry, and I always found the process itself to be an inspiration. The idea of inviting people into that process was a logical next step for me as no one has done it before in our business. 3×1 was launched in Manhattan in 2011.

When do you think consumers starting buying into the luxury denim market? What caused the shift?

Jeans have become more and more accepted and widely worn over the past 20 years, and with that acceptance, there’s been a growing market for high-end denim. First we saw the emergence of Premium Denim in 1998, and very recently, with the launch of 3×1, we’ve introduced the world to luxury denim: made to measure, custom made, and personalized. Making beautiful, inspiring jeans for discerning customers is something that’s here to stay.

What are the major differences between men and women and their approach to the perfect pair of denim?

There are more men requesting bespoke jeans, by far and away. We do have women who come in, certainly, but it’s primarily men whom get excited about the idea and the process of Bespoke.

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