Meet the maker – 3sixteen
Founded over a decade ago, 3sixteen’s modern history starts in 2008 with their very first pair of jeans, the SL-100x. We call it modern history, because 3sixteen designed streetwear tees since 2003. Established in New York by Andrew Chen and Johan Lam, 3sixteen is built on faith, humility and integrity, as well as quality and design which are equally important to them.
Since day one, 3sixteen has worked directly with Kuroki Mills in Okayama to develop a custom denim designed to withstand hard wear and show incredible character along the way. Everything about the jeans, from the cut to the buttons, rivets, leather patch, and stitch color, is selected to demonstrate a level of lasting quality and versatility. Since the SL-100x, 3sixteen added several fits in more than 10 different fabrics. Their approach has never changed: every pair of jeans produced by 3sixteen is designed to become a permanent fixture in their lineup.
Japanese fabrics combined with American craftsmanship.
For the fabrics, it has to be made in Japan because that’s what they believe is the best denim in the world. Since the establishment of 3sixteen, Andrew & Johan teamed up with the Kuroki Mills in Okayama, Japan. The Kuroki mills have over 40 years of technical knowledge and experience and have the capability to indigo dye the threads in-house. Together with Kuroki, 3sixteen develops their own selvedge denim fabric, which is truly special and unique for a relatively small brand as 3sixteen still is. Although it was a big risk to produce their own custom denim since the beginning, due to the high minimums, it distinguishes 3sixteen from other brands. The fabric met the specific goals that Andrew & Johan wanted to accomplish with each pair of jeans they designed.
The 14.5 oz. Shadow Selvedge denim is one of those 3sixteen custom fabrics. This flagship fabric is woven with an indigo warp and a black weft and is very dark blue. The bestselling jeans, the ST-100x, as well as the fastest selling item, the Shadow Selvedge Type 3s jacket, are made from this fabric. This doesn’t surprise us at all, because this fabric is new, incredibly beautiful, dark, and will fade with heavy contrasted fades over time.
As important as the Japanese denim is the American craftsmanship. Once the fabric is spun, the rolls of selvedge denim are shipped to the United States. Besides weaving the fabric, every part of the construction takes place in a factory in San Francisco. Every part, from cutting and sewing, to finishing is done by a team of well-experienced craftsman. To keep the production close, Andrew and Johan, are able to oversee the whole process and to intervene when necessary.
Starting with the SL-100x Andrew & Johan made one thing very clear, 3sixteen is a denim company. This denim philosophy is evident in the pieces they’ve developed since then; their shirts, jackets, basics and accessories all take cues in form and function from their jeans.
Today, the 3sixteen jeans lineup includes 4 different fits, namely; The Classic Straight (CS), the Classic Tapered (CT), the Straight Leg (SL) and the Slim Tapered (ST). The code behind the two letters indicates the fabric, from lightweight selvedge (101) to shadow selvedge (120) and heavyweight brown weft (140) to double black (220). The x in model name SL-100x indicates that the jeans is made of selvedge denim. Is the last number of the model name the letter ‘K’, the fabric of that type of jeans is unsanforized, which means the jeans need to be soaked before wearing.
The 3sixteen lineup includes a whole range of jackets, shirts, tees and accessories, added to complement the jeans. The lineup is versatile and broad and designed to suit a wide variety of people.
Every pair of 3sixteen jeans carry both aesthetic and functional signatures. First of all, the leather patch. The leather patch is made by the well-respected company Tanner Goods. The heavyweight leather patch will age alongside the jeans; as the denim wears out and fades over time, the leather patch darkens. Another signature of the jeans are the heavy duty pocket bags who will withstand the repeated abuse.
Last but not least; every pair of 3sixteen jeans comes with chain-stitched hems. Not because this type of stitching is much stronger than top-stitch, but because vintage jeans used to be hemmed this way. A nice detail to show that they put thought into every stitch that’s utilized on the jeans.
With their latest release, the Ranch Jacket, 3sixteen came up with another mind-blowing take on an American classic. The Range Jacket is a vintage-inspired jacket, which takes design cues from Wrangler and Maverick pieces. With the longer fit, the slimmer silhouette and the fabric, 3sixteen again created a wonderful jacket that will perfectly fit into your wardrobe.