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Rising Sun & Co

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To be honest, I cannot say too much about this brand except that it is located in Pasadena, CA and that they claim to be custom denim tailors.

Here is their webpage:

http://www.risingsunjeans.com/

Well, actually there is something to say about this brand:

When I was hanging out with Lewis (Superdenim.co.uk), Brett (Viberg Boots) and Samuel (Cottonduck) at the The Real McCoys/Studio D'Artisan/Viberg booth at the Bread & Butter Berlin 2009, Kay (Burg & Schild) came for a short visit. He was just back from a trip to CA.

Kay was wearing a vest I have never seen before.

Usually, I could not care less - as I hate vests. They never seemed to have any purpose to me, except for some extra pockets or when Sam or Pete were sporting them.

Nevertheless, I immediately fell in love with this particular vest.

The next posts will be dedicated to pics of the vest, I hope somebody can fill me in on the (probably short) history of the brand.

They make nice jeans and duck pants too, by the way!

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front

RS_Vest_front.jpg

back

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inside pocket

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inside pocket detail

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chinchback detail

RS_Vest_Cinchback.jpg

front detail

RS_Vest_front_tilted.jpg

selvage detail

RS_Vest_inside_selvage.jpg

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As far as I know, Rising Sun & Co is the brainchild of Mike Hodis (formerly involved with Lucky Brand, but more interestingly, designer of some of the nicest Cone sample collection stuff I've seen).

All of the denim is produced in-house in the "haberdashery" in their Pasadena store.

That store opened June last year so I'm guessing that could be marked in a way as the "start" of the brand...

Mr Hodis is known to really know what's up when it comes to denim and vintage in general, and what product I've seen and handled from Rising Sun & Co. so far really impressed me.

It looked totally original and unique to me (ie. no straight up reproes) while still managing to maintain that distinct "clothing from the golden age of workmanship" look...

Especially the jeans and duck workpants I saw at Burg & Schild really impressed me.

I'll see if I can find out more.

For now, to get the thread going a picture of a tshirt they did for Cone:

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while i don't know much about the actual brand i have had tailor work done by them, it is very good

then again i don't really know what poor tailor work would look like, i guess it would have fallen apart by now if it were bad

they do chain stitching as well...in case anyone was interested

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this brand/store looks very interesting, I'd love to see close ups of more of their products. The work/chore coat in the pics of their store on their website looks very good.

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i will try to get some pics of the stuff burg & schild is currently selling here in berlin.

sam, did you make some pics when we met there?

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awesome vest. love the shape and cinch detail

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very intersting thread arne. i hope i can finally make it to berlin this year , cant rep you here

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i was there like 3 times last week getting stuff chainstitched. not sure if they are open now, as the girl that was the retail part had left, and she said they might be closed this week. pretty nice stuff. interesting leather belt keep, white oak cone denim organic as well. they said they were going to introduce a non-organic line as well for a bit cheaper as the organic stuff is pricey. great store btw, chain stitch is $15 and easier for me to get to than denim doctors.

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there is a store a friend of mine owns on marthas vineyard. its called piknik. i have seen the jeans there as well as a denim jacket. they were both very nice. the fits are spot on. indigo is beautiful, cotton duck lined waist band, handsewn poket detail, hidden rivets, very good craftsmanship.

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What's the price like on their stuff. It looks pretty nice. I would definitely buy a pair of the jeans in the last post.

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vest looks nice, arne! it kinda remains me of the sugar cane duck vest....

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can't see the pic of the duck pants.

.

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What's the price like on their stuff. It looks pretty nice. I would definitely buy a pair of the jeans in the last post.

i wanna say it was high 200's low 300's range. that cinch back is a loose cut

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i been to rising sun once like two months ago and they were talking mad shit about japanese denim brands (i.e. sugarcane, ironheart, flat head) and he couldn't believe that my sexih were 21oz lol i thought it was funny

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vest looks nice, arne! it kinda remains me of the sugar cane duck vest....

can't see the pic of the duck pants.

.

true.

strange, that so many people cannot see my pics - picasa is starting to piss me off!

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Cotton Duck- thank you for the motivation to blog. Inspired by your curiosity about Rising Sun I have decided to dedicate a series of posts that will hopefully provide some insight into Rising Sun. Below is the first post: and the following posts will have some fun pictures that I am sure you will appreciate.

Rising Sun & Co.

To say the least: Rising Sun & Co. makes some awe inspiring denim garments. If there exists articles of clothing that makes me wonder my worthiness of their nuances then it is likely that Rising Sun's propreitor Mike Hodis made it. The machine-obsessed genius has spent a lifetime acquiring both knowledge and sewing technology of eras past. Some of his sewing machines are so rare that any other collector in his right mind would condition them for archive grade safe keeping.

But as Hodis puts it his venture to create clothing with some of the most true-to-period construction details was born more of "passion than reason."

My initial encounter with Hodis marked my early foray into the world of sewing machines. While comfortable discussing the workings of a selvage loom's take up motion or fill change mechanism I was not equipped to talk sewing machines at this level of expertise. My proud proclamation of having acquired a 43200G Union Special bulldog hemmer was met with sober declaration that the coveted chainstitch machine is in fact not all that special in his world.

He went on to speak about his much rarer "black head" (for the machine head's color)

Union Special used in production for the Rising Sun & Co. line in the workshop behind his store in Pasadena, CA. Of how it is from the 1920's and the fact that it has ornate "Union Special" lettering aligned in an arc sets it apart from the "newer" black head Union Specials.

Months pass before I garner enough courage to trade my ignorance for knowledge and find that the enthusiastic Hodis is in fact very eager to share his love for denim and sewing machines with a fellow denimhead.

In the next blog posts I will important insights Hodis imparts and the philosophies that makes Rising Sun & Co. one of the most important American influence in the denim market today. Stay tuned!

Rising Sun & Co. Website

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i been to rising sun once like two months ago and they were talking mad shit about japanese denim brands (i.e. sugarcane, ironheart, flat head) and he couldn't believe that my sexih were 21oz lol i thought it was funny

When you think about the essence of Rising Sun, which is to create garments with period-correct constructions, it makes much sense that the idea of a 21 oz denim may seem like "novelty" to him. Certainly between 1910 to 1930's a 21 oz denim was not in consideration.

For him to operate at the level he does it requires him to almost not pay attention to modern loomed denims and novel inventions like 21 oz denim. That is not to say he would not utilize new ideas when they come his way but it would be counter to his personality to seek out the latest fabrics in the denim world. This is just my speculation. What do you think?

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Pacioli keeps dropping knowledge, figured I'd post it here as well, so we have the whole story in this thread.

Enjoy

Rising Sun: Part II

Rising Sun makes their denim pieces in the small workshop behind their haberdashery in Pasadena, CA. To understand the significance of this we should look at the status quo of jeans production. Generally speaking in today's fashion industry designers "create" on paper and rely on factories to deliver a product that hopefully matches their specifications. To have your own cutting and sewing capability means to be empowered to produce a product that satisfies you 100%.

Talking to the passionate propreitor Mike Hodis you will see he not only holds this uncompromising stance but takes it to the next level. His workshop produces garments to his full specs completely on antique black head sewing machines.

There is a wild excitement to knowing the stitches on your jeans were created on the Singer black head single needle sewing machine. The sleek and minimalist appearance of this industrial strength machine offers stark contrast to the other black head machines with their complex, elegant motions. This black beauty was utilized between the late 20's and 50's. It would have been used for operations on Levi's buckle back garments. This would have been one of the machines that created the uneven, single needle arcuate stitches you see on vintage Levi's.

Singer Single Needle:

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Next up is the Singer black head lap seam machine. "Easily from the 30's," boasts a proud Hodis. When you look at certain vintage workwear garments and observe a double needle chainstitched fell seam it was likely done on this machine. Those who study the details of vast amounts of vintage garments will notice that some double needle chainstitches have just a tad smaller width between the two stitches than those found on garments produced with more modern equipment. It is this "perfect gauge" that makes this machine so special. A small tidbit: this machine is fondly referred to by machine operators as Cabillo (horse) for its resemblance to a black stallion (where's your imagination?). It happens to also be a workhorse machine for Rising Sun.

Cabillo:

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But the rarest machine of them all is surprisingly responsible for one of the most overlooked details on denim garments: the button hole. A beautiful button hole with vintage characteristics is a very tricky thing to create. Rising Sun skips all the modern interpretations and goes straight to holy grail of vintage sewing machines with his black head Singer keyhole machine. By all rights and reason Hodis should really "donate" this majestic creature to a museum to preserve for all time but instead it is in the back of his haberdashery creating keyholes for garments that only the true enthusiast can appreciate. It is nearly impossible to find in operable condition.

The rare black head Singer keyhole machine:

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This antique machine is over 70 or 80 years old and creates some of the most graceful keyholes you will see. The stitches are much tighter and does not extend into the garment as much as modern button holes do. After the stitches are put down Rising Sun workers hand cut the holes required for buttons. This is done with an old hand cutting tool.

Hand cutting tool for keyholes, made by Heinisch:

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Between listening to Hodis talk about the cams, shafts, and belts of certain sewing machines and studying his garments it became very obvious that it is one thing to design vintage details (hidden rivets, back buckles) into clothes and an entirely different thing to create them using period-correct methods and machines. In the next post we will explore this idea further and look at some of the clothing Rising Sun produces.

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this stuff gives me a horn on. Watch out for the next Mono magazine Workwear book for some stuff on Rising Sun & Co. Those Singer machines look so elegant. I think that if they are making everything completely correct to the period pieces then there would be more stuff that I would find harder to wear compared to modern day interpretations of the garments. I find it funny that he obviously doesn't hold some of the Japanese denim companies in very high regard, many people would say that they are actually responsible for many people still being interested in heritage clothing. But I have complete respect for someone doing what Rising Sun are doing.

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^^ Isn't that mook going to be called Workers? Or am I mistaken? I understand it will be awesome.

Back to Rising Sun...while he is using period correct methods and machines he is not necessarily reproducing vintage garments. That is an idea I will explore more in the next write up. And I don't think anyone at Rising Sun necessarily "doesn't hold some of the Japanese denim companies in very high regard"...rather I think they are so busy focusing on what they are doing they are not looking at some of the Japanese brands we all love here.

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It would be nice if they responded to emails and phone calls.

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crate2.jpg

Rising Sun: Part III

In our previous blog post about Rising Sun propreitor Mike Hodis showed off some of the treasured sewing machines he uses to produce his line. I certainly made some very good notes in case I came across any of the apparently impossible to find machines.

To get to the essence of Rising Sun --bluntly, their selling point-- I had to know whether his rare black head machines is the main difference between Rising Sun and other brands inspired by vintage workwear. "Just because you're sewing on old sewing machines doesn't mean much to me," says Hodis.

So what else is there?

HPIM4436.jpg

It turns out that Rising Sun's philosophy on being "period correct" is more about mindset than replication. While Hodis is a long time student of turn-of-the-century vintage garments he does not show much interest in copying old clothing. Instead he has really gotten under the seams of those vintage pieces and mastered the details that show an article of clothing was made in, say, the 1920's. Just as there are certain methods and machines used for creating authentic keyholes there are nuances for pattern making, cutting, sewing, and every other step necessay up to the point of displaying workwear in the dry goods store.

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Hodis explains that Rising Sun's outdoor hunting/fishing vest is sewn on the black head Singer single needle machine. Vintage pieces sometimes have the fabric selvage hidden down the back french seam, as a result of maximizing fabric utilization. I was surprised that this seemingly decadent use of selvage fabric actually minimized waste. The fabric itself is a playful twist to complement the authenticity of the construction. The 10.75 oz canvas has indigo yarns in both warp and weft and a selvage identification that manifests in the form of a ticking stripe of sorts down the center back where the actual selvage is hidden in the french seam.

It is in striving to be as authentic as possible in all these processes that makes Rising Sun so unique. And it seems that onces these constraints (of machines, methods, old timey standards for efficiency, etc) have been established Hodis is actually quite liberated to be as creative as he desires within surprisingly open boundaries.

Rising Sun's Yukon jean is an exciting exercise in being period-correct without necessarily copying a particular vintage garment.

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cont'd below because of img limit.

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2.jpg

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So obsessed with the idea of crafting products as if his workshop were in an era past that Hodis recently shipped a Rising Sun order of jeans in hand-stenciled wooden crates.

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and even more below:

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