At a time when many clothing brands are emphasizing basics, newcomer American Giant is taking basics one step further by bringing back the glory of the Made in the USA label. From the man who brought us Chrome, American-Giant.com launches today and offers premium basics manufactured in the Bay Area, marketing and design frill-free.
Bayard Winthrop grew up with iconic brands like Red Wing, Levi's and Carhart. Like many American-born brands, these companies eventually took their manufacturing abroad and that lost some of the magic for Bayard. He explains: “I respect brands that stand for quality and value; that put integrity into the product and give me a reason to support them.”
The February launch introduces sweatshirts reminiscent of ones your father wore, sweatshirts that “lasted a lifetime,” that had a naturally worn-in look. “These sweatshirts are built to last with durable fabrics, sturdy hardware and fasteners, and attention to detail. The fit is snug, and they’re designed to allow you to move freely. We started with sweatshirts, because to us, they are the iconic, classic American silhouette.”
The manufacturing happens in Brisbane, and everything else happens in American Giant's Mission showroom, from design to pattern-making, to cutting and web development. They also sell out of their showroom and invite you to pay them a visit. “Without that hands-on relationship with the product development process and the production of your clothes, you lose touch, and that’s a big part of the problem with the clothing industry today,” Bayard said.
American Giant knows that customers are savvy, and if a brand doesn't deliver what it promises, it's doomed. With years of consumer product experience behind him, Bayard confesses: “What I learned throughout my career is that it’s all about building great product. If you do that well, you will build a brand.” Again, back to the basics.
American Giant, 3171 21st Street at Mission, San Francisco, CA 94110
Sam Durbin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a California lifestyle writer who honed her blogging skills as Editor of FabSugar.com. Sam graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, and also writes for 7x7 Magazine and Gilt City.