“Best in class,” is how the press material of the European newcomer, Big E jeans describes the brand. It’s quite a statement especially when your toying with the associations that denim enthusiasts normally link to jeans with Big E’s on them. Fortunately, Big E is able to meet the expectations without being just another replica brand as the products are clearly distinctive from their main source of inspiration.
The focus of Big E is on classic jeans that are created with commitment to the original craftsmanship, and the brand is particularly proud of the sanforised selvage fabric used for the jeans. The distinctive design features were created from years of taking apart original collectible pieces, and every garment is produced with meticulous attention to detail. For instance, the arcuates on the back pockets are created as a tribute to the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, mother of all denim jeans manufacturers. Also, there’s in put a lot of emphasise on the fact that no automated machines are used in the construction of these jeans, meaning that each pair may differ slightly, which only gives the products character.
Like selling arguments of the early advertising age, Big E stresses functional production facts like the exclusive use of union special sewing machines for production, hidden rivets on back pockets, and lined back pockets. One interesting and rather unique fact is the hidden crotch rivet. The jeans in the pictures is the “Elvis,” a traditional slim fit. Other than that, the collection includes Evel, a traditional straight fit, the regular fitted Eli, and Errol that is a slim fit. All of them are available in dry denim.
Big E was founded by Lloyd Biberfield who has worked his way up the ladder. Keen to learn about production, he eventually started he own company that soured high quality production for several UK brands. Like most entrepreneurs in the business, Lloyd wanted to be his own boss so he opened a factory from scratch. That was over twelve years ago and since then he has primarily worked for Paul Smith.
Seven years ago Lloyd decided to try and give his take on recreation of traditional denim jeans and by late 2009 the first prototype of Big E jean was ready in his own factory. Nothing is left to chance and even the thread is sourced from the original denim thread supplier who’s history dates back to the late 1800s. The production time of Big E is also more than double the that spend on a standard pair of jeans.
The brand only supplies exclusively selected retailers throughout Europe, The US, Canada, and Japan including oki-ni, VMC, E35, and Uwe van Afferden. All are in consent with Big E’s plan for long term controlled and selected growth, which is handled by brothers Robin & Montgomery Juchems and their German-based company WUNSCHNAHT AG.