Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Getting to know ... MX Jeans

Since opening the store many people have asked Tyson and I "Do you both do this full time?" Although one would think we would love the answer to be yes, in actuality we are quite satisfied that the answer is "no". Tyson is the one who works in the store full-time, and although he misses jumping in the lake after landscaping at his old job, he does NOT miss paving the driveway of a mansion with interlocking bricks in +30 weather. I on the other hand have a full-time job as the designer for MX Jeans, the one and only largish scale name brand you will find in Headquarters.

MX Jeans has been around in its current state for about a year and a half, but has only been available in stores since this past spring (lag time between designing and retail is about a year, for example I just finished designing Spring 07, and will start on Fall 07 in Sept.) The parent company of MX though has been around for almost 20 years, it's called Manager Jeans, and we're using all the experience and contacts gained through that brand to help build MX into a fresh brand with great bones.

One of the really unique things about MX is that the jeans are made right here in Quebec. This is becoming more and more of a rare thing, due to cheap labor, reduced quotas/tarriffs and improving quality in China and other far eastern countries such as India, Indonesia & Thailand. It's also a challenge to find factories in Canada that can produce some of the fashion-forward items we want to do, instead of just basics. For this reason all of the non-denim items made by MX are produced in the far east, there are literally no more factories in Canada that can produce these types of difficult designs.

We are also very proud of the fact that we source some really great denim from Spain, Italy, the US and Japan. Many of our fabrics are the exact ones used by some significantly more expensive brands in fact! All of our washes are also done right here in Montreal, just a few minutes from our studio actually, and I personally make trips to the laundry a few times a week during the wash development process. It's a very hands-on type of process that requires a lot of patience and experimentation.

Our fit has been perfected over time by our pattern maker Christian and our sample sewer Sylvia. These two have been working together at this company for over 17 years! Christian can not only make a great fitting jean but also cut a mean blazer, and Sylvia can whip up either one from a pile of pattern pieces, a roll of fabric and very few instructions. They are amazing!

To top off the team Fred Casia of Pony of Prey has recently joined us to create some great new labelling, graphics for tops and to help develop the web site and various marketing/promo projects. He's a busy guy, and that's just the way he likes it!

As you can see, I'm very proud of what we're working on so you can understand why I'm totally happy to still have my full-time job as well as the store (which I guess is another full time job, just in the evenings and on weekends!)

So what's new for Fall from MX?!

Well, here's the shortlist:
- Skinny "Penelope" jeans (named after Penelope Tree, not Cruze) for ladies in our "Back in Black" wash (already in the store), as well as our "Cashmere Wash" denim, and "True Vintage" denim with faux leather details.
- Mens skinny "Joey" jeans in a great worn-in dark wash (not all sandblasty or holey, just perfectly worn in, but still kinda dark,nice!)
- Smart tweed winter coats, pants, skirts and vests, all beautifully lined in patterned satin
- Straight leg jeans in a variety of washes for those not quite happy with the skinny fits but bored with flares, check out the "Donna" fit!
- Striped polos with wooden buttons
- Cashmere blend sweaters with delicate beading details and chunky tweed knit sweaters with wood buttons
- A variety of tops in featherweight smooth jersey and pointelle

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