ABOUT GLENN'S DENIM


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 – partnering with Daniel and Brenna Lewis – founders of Brooklyn-based tailoring brand Brooklyn Tailors.

The Glenn’s collection takes its cue from the subcultures of New York City, particularly that of the 1970’s and 80’s when the gritty, troubled city was the 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.

Cold Crush Brothers Performing in Harlem - John Cale / Lou Reed / Andy Warhol / The Ramones / Lou Reed / Early Break Dancers

 

With Glenn’s encyclopedic knowledge of American denim, and his decades of experience as a patternmaker, designer, and craftsman as a foundation, Glenn and Daniel create a collection of jeans and other workwear staples that are authentically American – designed and manufactured in New York City to the highest standards, and steeped in the DNA of the country where denim was born, and the city that inspired each of them to create in the first place.

Glenn's journey:

"As a young man in my native Trinidad, I landed my first paying job in a local workshop that was making jeans and other apparel for the local oil field workers, mechanics, and other tradesmen. I was interested in these tough, functional clothes from the start, especially when I realized that so many of my favorite characters - cowboys, bikers, and musicians from all the American films I was watching wore these sorts of clothes as well. What started as a job soon became a passion for jeans - the iconic, and distinctly American garment that symbolized to me everything I wanted to be. For me, the blue jean represented the uniquely American idea of opportunity for those who were ready to work hard, and take risks. I knew I wanted to make jeans and I wanted to do it in the USA. And if I was going to make jeans in the country where they were born, then where else but New York City. But it would take me a while to get there.
Back in Trinidad, as my passion developed, I honed my skills in the clothing trade - apprenticing under a Savile Row-trained tailor making handmade men’s suits and shirts, graduating from factory worker to skilled artisan. I loved learning the intricate craft of old-world hand tailoring, and those skills inform my work to this day. But I always returned to my first obsession: wanting to make the world's best jeans. So, in 2001 I finally made the move to New York City, ready to earn a name for myself in the American denim world. From 2001 to 2014 I worked my way up in the industry while also creating bespoke jeans for people on a word of mouth basis. Then in 2014 I joined Levi Strauss as lead denim tailor to produce jeans for their new Lot 1 bespoke denim program. This was a benchmark moment in my journey - being tasked by the inventor of denim to produce the most premium, and completely custom version of their most iconic product, the 501 jean.
Finally in 2019, more than 30 years after my obsession with denim was born, I knew it was time to create my own line. I partnered with my friends Daniel and Brenna, and together we formed Glenn's Denim.
Glenn’s Denim is a truly American story - a story of coming to America and making it in America with a lot of hard work, heart and soul. Glenn’s Denim is also a New York story. My team and I are proudly committed to making each pair of jeans right here in New York City - the place that gave me the inspiration to create, and the opportunity to have my voice heard. I want to return the favor and do my part to support the once booming, now struggling manufacturing industry here."    - Glenn Liburd

In Daniel's words:

"Glenn is the real deal. Not only is Glenn a true master at his craft and not only does he make a great pair of jeans - to me Glenn also represents the best possible embodiment of what it means to be American. He's somebody who chose to come here from somewhere else, with nothing handed to him. He believed in the ideal that if you dedicate yourself, work hard, and pay your dues, better opportunities will come. Seeing as there's nothing more American than a pair of blue jeans, its only fitting that this is the thing Glenn chose as his muse, and his life's focus.
Glenn walked into our Brooklyn Tailors shop one day many years ago to introduce himself, and a friendship was quickly borne out of our shared appreciation for well-designed and well-made things. I've come up in an era where craftsmanship is viewed as secondary to brand image, and when clothing companies feel more akin to Silicon Valley start-ups than a team of creatives and makers. In this current climate, where quality is replaced with quantity, heart & soul is replaced with digital marketing algorithms and convenience, what excites me most is working with people who actually MAKE things. I've never been interested in the trends of the fashion world. What interests me is the craft, art, and skill involved in making truly great objects that bear the imprints and tell the story of its maker. Glenn's heart and soul shows through in each of the pieces he creates." - Daniel Lewis
Glenn & Daniel outside their workroom in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
 

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 New York City - 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, which is a collaboration process between Glenn and Daniel. The two of them come together, pulling inspiration from vintage pieces and other ephemera, and connecting that with modern, contemporary ideas. 

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, and Daniel's in meticulously fitting bespoke suits for his clients, all informs this process with is equal parts technical and creative.

As a pattern is refined and the idea comes to life, Daniel sets to work to develop or source the perfect textile to bring their creation to life in the best possible way. A self-professed "fabric junkie," Daniel has been scouring the planet for the world's best and most interesting fabrics for over a decade. 

"Its my favorite part of the design process. I love textiles and I love working with the people who make them. At Brooklyn Tailors, we partner with some of Italy's best weavers. Some are large-scale, such as world-renowed Vitale Barberis Canonico, who's been weaving fine suitings since 1663, and some are small mom & pop operations such as Subalpino and Campore, who in my opinion weave some of the most subtly innovative, exciting textiles on earth. Working on Glenn's has given me an opportunity to bring my search to our home soil - working with the handful of weavers that are still making denim fabrics here in the USA. Its extremely exciting to me that we're not only using American-made fabric, but we're actually creating our own exclusive fabric from the ground up, in partnership with a small artisan weaver here in the USA." - Daniel

Finally Glenn sets to work at the sewing machine. Glenn's Denim is not just a designer and a brand, we are a manufacturer, or as Daniel calls it a "maker-brand." Glenn produces most of our collection himself, out of a small Brooklyn workroom, using his arsenal of vintage industrial machines, many of which he's modified, re-worked and restored to precisely suit his needs.

When it comes time to produce larger orders for some of Glenn's core products, we enlist the help of one of New York City's best denim factories, in the heart of the Manhattan Garment District. 

The one category of clothing that we do not produce in New York 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 my 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." - Daniel

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.


OUR FABRICS:

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.

AMERICAN DENIM:

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.

 

 

OUR EXCLUSIVE SMALL-BATCH SELVEDGE DENIM FROM PENNSYLVANIA:

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.

 

PICTURED:  Our 13 oz Classic Indigo Selvedge Denim, made exclusively for Glenn's in the USA

 

But, American selvedge denim is not extinct. We're proud to report that Glenn's Denim has been collaborating with a small, artisanal textile weaver in the United States to produce our very own exclusive denim in small batches on a Draper X3 shuttle loom.

That's right, folks. Glenn's Denim is now available in some of the only American selvedge denim available on the planet. You'll recognize it by our signature green and white selvedge on the edge, and of course, by it’s incredible character, natural irregularities, and incredible hand that only an these looms (and the skilled craftsman who know how to operate them) can produce. Our American selvedge fabrics are available in extremely limited runs.

AN AMERICAN WORKHORSE DENIM FROM GEORGIA:

The USA used to have dozens of textile mills, many of them specializing in denim and other rugged cotton fabrics. Most of them were scattered around the American south, proximate to the cotton growers that they relied on for their raw material. Today, there is only one major denim textile weaver left in this country, and we're proud to be working with them.

Their denims are woven on wide-width projectile looms—more modern, efficient, and thus lower cost to operate than the antique shuttle looms that we all love. As a result, our friends in Georgia produce a denim that is beautiful, hard-wearing, and authentically American, but at a more accessible price point than their shuttle loom counterparts. These are not selvedge fabrics, but they're 100% quality and 100% American. You'll see them offered in our Glenn's line at our most entry-level price point.