Detroit Denim Company makes jeans by hand with an 87-step process in a factory that has been largely designed by art and design students. It’s all very cool, but the reality is evident.
The luxury jeans start at $250. Before you think that will burn a hole in your pocket, Yelsma said it’s worth the investment because they do free repairs for the lifetime of the jeans.
“Just like food is farm to table. We are more like table to body,” Owner Eric Yelsma said. He calls these “local jeans,” and the factory can make 10 pairs per day.
This is just nuts. As much as I promote all that has become great about Detroit, I stop where reality has entered the bubble economy. The company’s customers are the status kings in the hood and young Hipsters jacking up their credit cards, not the organic customer with a rising income stream with an abundance of disposable income who is willing to commit to jeans that cost 10x the norm. The owner says this:
I never could have started what I’m doing now anywhere else. In terms of finding real estate and setting up shop, there are far fewer hurdles here than in any other large city,” he says of Detroit as a place to do business.
Indeed, and that is what has made Detroit such a great, grass-roots entrepreneurial city that has been able to dismiss the old reputation as a one-product town. But when great entrepreneurs meet the economic bubble that has been teased by years of economic manipulation (think Quantitative Easing, Parts 1 through 999), look out. The tumble will be severe.
But then again, 2008 never happened.