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Q&A December, 3 2009

The Process | Band Of Outsiders

In the last of our process series we catch with Band of Outsiders founder, Scott Sternberg. Everything that’s needed to be said about Band has been said already, so just take a leap to read about the process in his own words.

Well, it depends on the product – each has its own development cycle and needs. Shirts and ties are driven by fabric and finishing development, while suits are about tweaking tailoring and working with very old techniques with sometimes very non-traditional fabrics. Outerwear, knitwear, and shoes are usually developed as a way to expand on the ideas for the specific collection, so these involve a lot of research into vintage items and cultural history.

I work with a few different mills on fabric development, and buy classics from their stock collections; there is a long back and forth with the fabric development, getting colors and hand feel right, wash tests, shrinkage, etc. I also work with dye houses here in Los Angeles on different techniques – this past season we did a bunch of hand dip dyes and airbrushed oxfords. I’m always trying to play around with Oxford cloth shirting and do something new with it, something that can be achieved uniquely here in LA (last season we worked with screen printing techniques).

The suits are made at Martin Greenfield Clothiers, a 100+ year old hand-tailoring factory in Bushwick, New York. The shirts are cut, sewn, washed/dyed, etc. in Los Angeles. The ties are cut and hand-rolled in Manhattan. Some sweaters are made in Scotland at an old factory in Hawick – these are under the Glenmac label, an old brand from the 60s and 70s which is super expensive.

Other sweaters are made in various places – Peru, China, Japan, depending on who has the best resources (for example, Chinese cashmere can be superior depending on the type of sweater, so we’ll make those sweaters there – we do so not to save money or become part of the evil Empire but because it’s the best solution for a given product). Sperry’s are made in China, where they make all of their product, but usually in the sample rooms as the quantities are relatively small for them.

We’re moving all production of outerwear to Italy, where our women’s collection is made in full, so we can achieve the quality and level of detail while keeping the price at least realistic. Last, we just started a new line of polo shirts called “This is not a polo shirt.”, which is sort of a meditation on polo shirts – a line of polo shirts about polo shirts. These are all made in Japan. We develop all of the fabric with this super rad fabric mill that has machines you could only find in Tokyo.

Highsnobiety