10 Top Picks for Artisan Denim
You don't need designer genes to appreciate these denim goods. Where to find artisan denim:
1 Rugged rug (hanging on pole at left) Treat your feet to a rug handmade in Guatemala and sold by The Brow Bar shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Indigo Recycled Denim Rug, $65 meilingwest.com
2 Bold shoulder (left) Indigo-stripe denim meets canvas and leather in this Ohio-made bag. iPad Bag, $98 breadandroses2.etsy.com
3 Pillow talk (middle right) Mix denims? For sure! Varied tones interlock like bricks on this pillow cover. Berkeley Denim Patchwork Pillow Cover, $85 madeforroo.etsy.com
4 Tray chic (bottom left) Treated denim and tanned leather form a striking display piece. Kawabon Tray Large, Washed Denim/Natural, $124 graf-lantz.com
5 Great blue whale (bottom left in front of tray) The Maryn, an Ann Arbor, Michigan, boutique, sells this charmingly huggable toy crafted by Haitian artisans. Wally the Whale, $32 themaryn.com
6 Weekend duffel (bottom right) Make a quick getaway with a bag that's not too big or too small and ages well. Medium Duffel Bag, $245 detroitdenim.com
Denim to go Tough-skinned yet easygoing in any setting, denim makes a great travel companion. Wear or carry these totally totable looks from the Midwest and beyond:
(Left to right)
7 Pocket change Milwaukee Denim Company's 9x5-inch bag is like a roomy, zippable jeans pocket, perfect for stashing makeup. Travel Pouch, $45 milwaukeedenim.com
8 Put a lid on it A heavy wash gives Made Urban Apparel's unstructured cap a well-worn look and feel. xKCx Dad Hat, Denim, $35 madeurbanapparel.com
9 Haute tote This generous 18-inch bag packs some serious storage power-more volume than a 30-liter backpack! Safari Bag, Washed Denim, $68 baggu.com
10 Blue-write special Sold by Space 519 in Chicago, this American-made notebook has a sustainable cotton cover. Appointed Notebook, $24 space519.com
Talking denim with Eric Yelsma, founder and co-owner of Detroit Denim Company, housed in the Rivertown District:
"The fact that we make our own stuff is pretty unique. We use all U.S.-sourced materials," Eric says. His small company sells not only handmade jeans, but also denim gear (like the duffel on the previous page). Eric says the same qualities that make denim so popular to wear translate well into home decor. "It's a very functional fabric. Levi Strauss really nailed it. And it keeps getting reinvented. It's such a rich look. It gives you a warmth and texture that's very appealing. Plus, it looks nicer as it ages."
Baldwin, a nationally known designer denim brand, started in metro Kansas City. Shop the company's original Leawood, Kansas, store or Baldwin Market in Country Club Plaza.
Nothing like shout-outs from GQ, Vogue and Esquire to boost your company's fashion cred. Founder Matt Baldwin grew his namesake store into a men's and women's ready-to-wear empire that includes locations in Los Angeles and New York.