Glenn’s Denim is the culmination of Glenn Liburd’s 30-year infatuation with denim, and his commitment to mastering the art and craft of making the world’s best jeans. After a career spent working behind the scenes designing, cutting, and sewing for others, at the age of 62 Glenn has launched his first collection under his own name in 2019.
The Glenn’s collection takes its cue from the rich fabric of American subcultures, particularly that of the 1970’s and 80’s when the streets of American cities like New York and San Francisco were breeding ground for radical new music, art, and culture. Punk was emerging on the Bowery. Hip Hop was making waves in Harlem. And, a new avant-garde of artists were emerging in Soho lofts. Denim was so often the uniform of choice for this diverse group of young innovators and rebels – it was a perfect blank canvas to express oneself. This was the exciting world that inspired Glenn, through movies, music, and magazines, while he was growing up in Trinidad.
With Glenn’s encyclopedic knowledge of American denim, and his decades of experience as a patternmaker, designer, and craftsman as a foundation, Glenn creates a collection of jeans and other workwear staples that are authentically American – designed and manufactured in the United States in Glenn's own workroom, to the highest standards, and steeped in the DNA of the country where denim was born, and the country that inspired him to create in the first place.
In Daniel Lewis' words (co-founder of Brooklyn Tailors, and friend of Glenn):
OUR PROCESS & PRODUCTS:
"I'm not about what's in fashion - what's on trend - what's going to appeal to the masses. I'm about making the world's very best pair of jeans here in America - and I'm about staying true to my own self in the process. That means we don't compromise on quality, and we make the jeans we want to make, and nothing else." - Glenn
It always begins with a good design. Pulling inspiration from vintage pieces and other ephemera, and connecting that with modern, contemporary ideas, Glenn takes his time perfecting each new style and detail.
From there, Glenn sets to work on drafting a pattern for the garment on paper. He's been creating patterns for decades and each new one is built on his understanding of the subtle nuances between a great fit and a forgettable one. Glenn's years of experience with denim as well as his foundational training in old-school hand tailoring, informs this process with is equal parts technical and creative.
Finally Glenn sets to work at the sewing machine. Glenn's Denim is not just a designer and a brand, we are a manufacturer. Glenn produces most of the collection himself, out of his own small workroom, using his arsenal of vintage industrial machines, many of which he's modified, re-worked and restored to precisely suit his needs.
The one category of clothing that we do not produce in America is our collection of meticulously stitched shirts, which we've entrusted to a small family-run shirt maker in the north of Portugal.
"In the USA, the clothing and textile manufacturing industry has been completely obliterated for the most part. However, we still do have a strong capacity, infrastructure, and know-how when it comes to our most iconic garment - jeans. That still survives, at least in a small way. However, when it comes to shirts and other tailored clothing, the best makers are (and always have been) in Europe. This is why when we decided to design shirts, we partnered with some friends in Portugal, who have made shirts for Brooklyn Tailors for many years. This is the way to offer our customer the best shirt possible. American design meets European craft." - Glenn
With every piece, be it a bespoke or readymade, Glenn's Denim is first and foremost about the product - about creating something of the very best quality and design, and embedding within it an authentic story and DNA.
A great pair of jeans begins with a great fabric. So naturally, our process begins with the research and sourcing of the best possible cloth, and building close relationships with our fabric suppliers. We are proud to be working with some of the last remaining denim weavers in the USA as well as some of the best weavers in Japan and Europe. Many of our fabrics are woven exclusively for us, allowing us the ability to collaborate with the textile weaver and create something truly unique for our jeans.
America is the birthplace of denim. As an American denim company, we are dedicated not only to sewing our final products here in the USA, but to working with fabrics woven here in the USA whenever possible. These days, that's not an easy task. The once-flourishing textile manufacturing industry has nearly ceased to exist in the United States, and denim has been no exception. One-by-one, America's great denim fabric weavers have shuttered their operations, either moving overseas to cut costs, or closing all together, unable to compete on price with foreign competitors.
We're proud to say that nearly our entire collection is made from denim woven right here in the United States, sourced from some of the few remaining weavers still in operation.
At the end of 2018, Cone Denim, America's last and most famous weaver of traditional shuttle loom selvedge denim shut down its famed White-Oak mill in Greensboro, North Carolina, ending an era of industrial production of denim on traditional shuttle looms in the United States.