Four reasons why custom fit jeans from The Stronghold in Venice made the cut:
All rivets, suspender clips, zippers, and buttons are exact replicas of Stronghold pieces dating to 1895, when the company was founded. Current owner Michael Paradise has a collection of 20 (and counting) original pairs of jeans.
You can buy styles like “The Tomboy” or “The Pin-Up” off the rack for about $300 and have them hemmed or taken in at the legs for free. Custom work, starting at $500, is done at the Stronghold’s downtown factory. For another 75 bucks they’ll add suspenders, using a 100-year-old foot press in the shop.
FIT TO BE DYED
Fabric options for custom jeans include raw denim dyed blue with the indigo plant and rare these days; now most denim gets its color from synthetic dyes. Other Stronghold fabrics feature a proprietary herringbone pattern, an awning stripe, and stretch selvage.
STITCH IN TIME
All jeans are made of selvage denim, which is still produced in limited quantities on shuttle looms that create a “self-edge” with a thread ticker. Back in the day, this colored ticker signified which manufacturer the fabric was intended for: Levi’s was red; Wrangler, yellow; and Lee, green.
1625 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
Photograph courtesy Larry Underhill