Fall 2010 previews started over a week
ago and after running up and down New York City to check out the latest,
there's finally enough of a lull to actually write about them.
4 Stroke jeans was one of the
first showrooms I visited. Heading into it's 8th season and under the
leadership of Creative Director, Nate Freeman, 4 Stroke is taking denim
into a new and fresh direction while also preserving the importance of
wearability and fit.
a relatively young brand, 4 Stroke can trace it's roots to Aalfs
Manufacturing, a family owned company that specializes in denim and
dates back to 1892. During WWII Aalfs provided denim to the Army and
Navy and have worked with brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren and Gap.
The Fall 2010 line is called Birthright Blue and takes
the brand back to its roots with a vintage Americana Airforce motif. Key
styles, such as the bestselling Warsaw and Vanguard for men and The
Rose for women, transition into Fall with new and interesting washes and
finishes that are sure to be popular with enthusiasts and average consumers alike. A DenimHunt
favorite was the Warsaw 'Wax America' (below) which is a brown canvas
selvedge with a wax coating that is hand painted with a paint brush.
Suspenders add just enough flair to an already edgy style.
Beyond the brand's expertise with finishing, what stood out the most was the
addition of subtle details in most every offering. Freeman, whose background includes stints at Liz Claiborne, Rogan and Pepe Jeans, has a knack for detail and manages to find ways to include hidden gems in every garment. These details range
from selvedge pockets on men's jeans, with that coveted selvedge stitch outlining the top edge of the pockets, to pieced back pockets on women's jeans that draw attention where it belongs, the rear. On almost every jean, the number 4 was discreetly sewn into the safety stitch; an almost indistinct reminder of the brand. Four small leather strips sewn close together alternate as a logo patch on the back of jeans or a design detail on outerwear. Speaking of outerwear, 4 Stroke has a solid offering of denim shirts, jackets and coats for both men and women. Motorcycle jackets with wire sewn into the collar bring new meaning to the word versatile and most coats and tops have offset button holes and signature prints on the lining.
One of the more fun aspects of the visit was looking through the archives. An expertly tailored, reversible woman's cape made of raw denim and a man's raw denim trench, cut on the bias, were just some of the most impressive garments seen during market week. It's always a pleasure to see unexpected and sophisticated things done with denim and hopefully 4 Stroke will re-release or reinterpret these items for future seasons.
Because 4 Stroke is owned by a
manufacturer the savings are passed on to the customer with prices ranging from $115 to $168. You can find them at Neiman Marcus, Fred Segal Fun, Scoop, Atrium or online at 4strokejeans.com
UPDATE: Check out the great Reader Review of 4 Stroke jeans on TheDenimGuy.com