Material Exchange

Denim in the City: Frank Tours New York

The Kingpins Show in New York is around the corner and Frank will be back with the Best of Denim Showroom. Frank is already in NYC, exploring all the best spots, discovering new denims to add to the showroom, and developing a new appreciation for air conditioning. Read more on his NY adventures here!

The first pair of Levi Strauss denim jeans were made almost 200 years ago using fabric Strauss transported all the way from New York to San Franciso. The Bavarian native travelled to California by steamship via Panama, a journey that took more than 10 weeks. This past week, our sourcing expert, Frank the bear – inspired by Strauss – has brought an exceptional selection of denim fabrics back to New York with the Best of Denim Showroom at Kingpins. Lucky for Frank, he made the trip from Stockholm to New York by planeand has created quite a buzz in the city’s denim scene since his arrival. 

If you’ve met our sourcing expert Frank at a past Kingpins Show, you know he’s a pretty exceptional bear. Despite his upbringing in the northern forests of Sweden, Frank developed a keen interest in fashion and, with clothing on his mind, made his way to bigcity life in Stockholm. The fact that the Material Exchange team met Frank on the sidewalk outside our Stockholm headquarters last fall was a coincidence; the collaboration that ensued was fate.  

Step aside, Don Draper

Upon arriving in New York, Frank was famished. So our Material Exchange New York team did what any native New Yorker does with out-of-towners: they went out for pizza. Ribalta’s was the choice and it did not disappoint. Not to dig Stockholm pizza, but Frank may have mentioned he’d never tasted pizza so good in his life.  

Next, Frank asked to see the best of New York denim. With no time to waste, we started our tour at Naked & Famous Denim. This denim mecca prides itself on quality above all else. By sourcing straight from Japan, their team works with suppliers there to get the best fabrics available and use them for innovative products like glow-in-the-dark denim and cashmere blends. Frank may or may not have taken a quick snooze on one of their softest variants before we headed onward… 

From there, our unusual party found its way to one of Buck Mason’s stores. This clothing line creates modern American classics inspired by the spirit of California; its stores are a work of art. Frank wandered past their shelves in awe, and was thrilled to find a denim Chambray button-down made from one of his favorite Prosperity fabrics on our platform, RA 3323. 

“This 100%cotton, blue denim is made in China and has a 50-day production lead time and 25-day …”  

Did we mention Frank has a photographic memory? It’s incredibly useful for remembering details about all the fabrics in our marketplace – and also means he recites these data points at any given time

As we stepped out of Buck Mason into New York’s sweltering summer heat, we all decided it was time for another meal. Our appetites led us to the classic burger-and-fries establishment of Five Guys. Frank devoured every last morsel

The rest of the day was a mix of New York City landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge and the Charging Bull of Wall Street with a few more denim stops like Self Edge (where the men’s denim is a notch above the rest) and 45R (where the craftmanship of each piece – all made in Japan – is a marvel).  

Oh, let’s not forget the riveting games of foosball (Frank’s first) and chess in the park Frank played with some locals. 

“Do you have any idea how hard it is to dodge these players when you’re my size?” Frank asked as he reflected on the foosball game. 

All in all, though, Frank had a pretty good time in New York – and has even added some new denim materials to our Best of Denim Showroom from his tour. Meet us at the Kingpins Show in New York next week to see what treasures he’s found. Or, you can order a free box of samples from our Best of Denim Showroom here: 

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