18 Mar 2013, Posted by admin in Packages,Stories, No Comments. Tagged business, Cincinnati, jeans, multimedia, New Media Bureau, Noble Denim, Northside, Sutton
Chris Sutton’s obsession with making handsewn All-American jeans has led to a budding Northside business.
Story, photos and graphic by Taylor Norton
Simple. Intentional. Utilitarian.
This is how Chris Sutton of Cincinnati describes his Noble Denim jeans. He could have “bedazzled out the wahzoo” with the styling and tailoring. But he chose to follow his own style, one that isn’t flashy but purposeful.
Whether it is theology or jeans, one can achieve amazing minimalism after thinking through “all the shit, all the complexity,” Sutton said.
Sutton launched Noble Denim in November 2012 with the idea of creating a sustainable men’s jean from all American-made products. He didn’t want jeans that were only assembled in America; he wanted all the materials to be American-made, too.
In a whim that became an obsession, Sutton threw himself into jean making. He had had no formal training other than an internship at Hiut Denim in the United Kingdom. Before the internship, he tried finding tutorials online and even went to fabric stores and sewing stores, but to no avail. So he improvised. He tore jeans apart, inspected them from the inside out and then tried to put them back together.
“When I got to my internship I realized that I had about 85 percent of it right,” Sutton said.
- More photos: Chris Sutton and his Northside workshop.
Now Sutton has an apprentice of his own, Mary, and the two of them plan on making 200 pairs of jeans a year in a workshop in Northside. As Sutton explains, it’s not about quantity but quality. He believes the jeans, which are available on the Noble Denim website for $250 a pair, will earn people’s respect and hard-earned money.
“We’re starting small so that growth can happen organically,” Sutton said.