Raleigh, NC-based husband and wife team Victor and Sarah Lytvinenko have been making denim since 2007. With the Cone Denim's White Oak mill right in their backyard, the couple has earned their stripes with small batch production on old school, industrial machines. To celebrate our 25th year in business, we collaborated with Raleigh Denim Workshop to create a men's and women's pant that combines American craftsmanship with our favorite cuts and fabrics.
Raleigh's beginnings are humble. Victor, a former soccer player, initially constructed a pair of jeans for himself on a sewing machine purchased off Craigslist. Enlisting the help of his high school sweetheart, he and Sarah first made jeans for themselves, then their friends, in their apartment. Word spread, and in 2008 Barney's New York purchased 100 pairs. A quick reorder of their jeans allowed Victor and Sarah to their production to a downtown warehouse, and Raleigh Denim Workshop was born.
For the men's cut, we drew inspiration from our favorite custom Levi '66 501s. Designed after a pair that Levi's archivalists found at a yard sale, the custom '66 501 is a relaxed fit that's easy in the thigh and tapered from the knee down. These customs, though, were aggressively tapered, resulting in a fat selvedge.
The Martin combines these aspects—easy in the thigh, nicely tapered below the knee. We kept the fat selvedge, too, and made the whole thing in 100% certified organic cotton for the most beautiful, blue age after the indigo sets.
The Madison also draws inspiration from old and new. A classic slim-straight with a high waist, the Madison is an original Raleigh cut, one that we refined using our favorite fabric—one that really holds it shape and is meant to be worn hard. Getting away from the super skinny, the leg on the Madison is the perfect slim. 2% elastane gives the pant some stretch, and the back pockets are a bit lower than most high waist jeans so as to enhance the seat.
Raleighs cut's and fabrics are hearty and well-designed, and much of this is due to their patternmaker Christel Ellsberg. An industry expert and second hire for Levi's, 80-year-old Ellsberg can produce a pattern simply by looking at a garment. Her art is evident in each pair of Raleigh's, which are now sold throughout the U.S. and abroad. Both the Martin and the Madison's have been produced in limited runs, numbered and signed by their makers and stamped with our 25th Anniversary logo.
The sense of quality the folks at Raleigh bring to their production, their relationships and their final products is the reason we love working with them, and we are proud to offer their products in our store and online.
Check out the Raleigh Denim Workshop x AB Fits Martin Taper and the Madison. And, as always, we love hearing from you and seeing your photos. Tag us (@abfits) or use the hashtag #ABFitsworn on Instagram to show us your goods!