Why do you buy your denim where you buy your denim? Seriously, it’s something worth taking a second to think about. Personally, I think where people choose to buy their jeans stems from that magical moment in the change room when you see yourself for the first time and you look exactly like you fantasized. That beautiful, deliciously vain moment that makes you swell with hubris and pretty much every level of maslow’s hierarchy is screaming in your head, “Yes! Buy these jeans!” Girls, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like being Cinderella except with fewer pumpkins and slippers and more gay best friends and selfies.
Enter Fidelity Denim. Founded eight years ago by head designer Jason Trotzuk, the high-end denim brand is Vancouver-designed and LA-produced. In a market as competitive as jeans, it is truly remarkable that a small, boutique producer like Fidelity has not only survived but also thrived. In the last five years, the company has expanded enormously across the United States (with 70% of their business now coming from south of the border). So what makes Fidelity special?
Like many great successful companies, it comes back to the person who started it all. Jason’s West Coast Canadian sensibilities of simplicity, positivity, being down-to-earth, and knowing how to move forward without being too aggressive are clear in his business philosophy. He chuckles as he says, “If I wasn’t working in denim, I’d probably be working at Starbucks or making wine. It’s not so much about fashion as creating products that people can actually enjoy and that exceed their expectations.” A self-described “artist at heart,” he believes anything he produces should be infused with heart and soul.
The company he has built around these beliefs is what separates Fidelity Denim from the rest of the pack. Believing that quality is always better than quantity, he directly oversees the small batches of 200-500 pairs of jeans made three or four times a week at the LA factory. Jason simplifies his design philosophy down to the three F’s: Fabrics, Fit, and Finish.
For fabrics, the denims he uses are sourced from premium Italian and Japanese producers. They are largely custom-made and can’t be found anywhere else. Not to mention, having tried on a pair or two from the Spring 2014 collection, they’re luxuriously soft and amazing. For fit, Jason believes in never copying anyone else. He makes his fits based on the real people in his life, including himself (read: fit for Canadian hockey player thighs, eh?). His philosophy is never to follow the norms and that it’s never a bad thing to have different fits than everybody else. Given how my bum looked in those jeans, I’m inclined to agree.
In regards to finish, it comes back to that sense of artistry and attention to detail. He has a group of people who work exclusively for him that specialize in creating the perfect washes, every one of which he approves before they leave the factory. Pretty #AwesomeSauce, right? And yet, somehow, incredibly simple.
It all comes down to a philosophy that extolls quality, doing things right, and doing it with heart. And thus, while I somehow doubt he thinks of himself as a fairy godmother, this is how Jason and Fidelity Denim have created the Cinderella effect.