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Parke NYC

Solomon Liou's background is based in the tech world. After finding success with online advertising, he decided to pursue another passion—making a pair of jeans that combined comfort, style and technology. His solution? Parke New York, a Kickstarter campaign whose goal is to make jeans from an 11 oz. stretch selvedge denim. Along the way, he learned a lot of things about the Kickstarter community, the world of men's style and the perils of manufacturing stuff in New York City. We examined the jeans in person, and were really impressed with the quality, fit and subtle branding. There's no back pocket stitching, and the fabric is really, really comfortable. He plans to offer three fits for men and women. Here's why you should think about investing in his brand:

 
First things first, what's interesting about your denim is the bi-directional selvedge stretch fabric. How did you find this stuff and what are its properties?

I searched through thousands of fabrics at all the major mills around the world. I thought this was really unique. It took a year of work with dozens of prototypes before we got here. I really like this denim because I found it's more durable and comfortable. You can get 20 oz. denim jeans, but it'd feel like you're wearing sandpaper. This bi-directional stretch means the fabric stretches vertically and horizontally. They're more comfortable if you're wearing slim-fitting jeans. 100% cotton doesn't have any give, so it's a lot easier to tear.

 
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    Solomon's stretch selvedge fabric is made by Cone Mills in North Carolina, one of America's largest and oldest denim producers.
 
You're a longtime Kickstarter community member, but this is your first campaign. How's the process been on the other side of the grass?

Over 60% of the people who've donated to our campaign are actually people who we didn't know before. They're people who are looking for new products to try out. I've also been getting all sorts of international people, I've gotten e-mails asking if I'll ship to Finland. It's amazing that you can just put the product out there and see who's interested.

What have you learned about the differences between the tech and men's style worlds?

It's been surprising how supportive the community has been. I had to learn from scratch. I had to take sewing courses and then I went around to different factories, denim stores and other people who have their own denim lines. We found factories that really wanted to work with us, and went out of their way to buy chain-stitching machines, so that we could do the waistband and other parts of the jeans the right way.

What does Parke offer that other premium denim brands don't?

It's not that I think premium denim brands are bad. I just think this new online model provides a cost-advantage—we can offer wholesale prices direct to consumers. Traditionally, if you're going to sell to retailers, they take a 2-3x markup on that price, and that didn't really make sense to me. If we can find people who really like our product, then selling directly to them makes more sense.

 

Back the Project

Pledge $125 or more and you'll get a pair of Parke New York jeans if the campaign meets its goal.

(End Date: Friday, January 18th at 11:59pm ET)

 

Published on

January 10, 2013

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