Our Favorite Instagrammers – @indigo_proof
Name: Rain Delisle
Instagram Name: @indigo_proof
Amount of followers: 10.6k
Residence: Portland, OR
Occupation: Owner/Boss at Indigo Proof Denim Repair
Hey! I’m Rain, the woman behind the #crotchshots at Indigo Proof! Visions of ripped jeans keep me awake at night, as well as my dog Goo clicking around the house looking for snacks at 3am. I’m repairing jeans and working in my shop 6 days a week, but when I’m not at a sewing machine I’m usually hanging with my dude @sisterlysilence, and drinking old fashioned’s or cheap wine. I will eat salsa on almost everything, and I wish shrimp cocktail counted as more than just an appetizer. I love going to shows when I can and listening to records while cooking dinner (which usually happens after 10pm- we’re night owls!) I watch a lot of Simpsons, and I also have a passion for KISS!
I try to maintain that work-life balance, but I’ll be honest- it’s hard to not be “on the clock” when you’re a one-person operation. So I try to unplug when I’m not working, and do something different and creative like shibori dyeing, and when I really need a break there’s nothing better than camping in the NW forests.
Why do you share your outfits? And why Instagram? & 2. What makes your Instagram feed so special?
I’m probably a little different from most of your features, because my page consists of photos I take of all my favorite jeans that don’t belong to me! I love sharing the beautiful jeans I come across in my work because I really do receive the most amazing denim, and being able to share that with others who can appreciate it like I do is so cool. That’s what’s so great about Instagram! Most of my customers who send me jeans are in the middle of their journey with that particular pair, and I love seeing not just the fades or the denim evolution but also the kind of personal and unique damage done to the pair. I think I’m most known for my photos of seamless crotch repairs, and I love how dramatic the before and after’s can be! I like to think sharing that kind of result each time helps new people discover that repair is possible, even for the most thrashed denim, and changes people’s perceptions or expectations of what a repaired garment can look like.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I’m inspired by the jeans themselves as works in progress. I’m totally obsessed with denim as a fabric, and how it shows every movement and wear pattern in shades of blue. I’m also very inspired by the challenge of something considered “beyond repair,” and I become possessed to find a way to repair it! Exploring new and better ways to repair something has always been a passion for me, and I get to work on that every day.
Where does your love for denim come from? When did it start?
My love for denim comes from working with it! I have a technical background for my denim love— I have a BFA in Fashion Design, so I view denim through a nerdy textile and garment-construction eye. Since I don’t personally wear the jeans I repair, I see them as works of art in their own right, and the variations of weave and shades of indigo as defining characteristics of the work in progress. I experiment with blending threads like painting with darning to match the spectrum of colors of the faded denim and wear patterns, and no two repairs are the same. It’s rare for me to see jeans I work on, on actual legs, so seeing photos of people wearing jeans I’ve repaired is an incredible feeling, and always refreshes my passion for repair. After all, people wearing and loving their jeans is the main reason I get to do what I do every day!
Your top 3 favorite (denim)brands?
Because of my focus on denim as a fabric, I favor brands that push the envelope on textile development. Pure Blue Japan with their slubby weaves, Iron Heart’s beautiful 21 oz flagship denim, and Naked and Famous for not being afraid to do the unheard of. I can’t answer this question without also including Roy, he has been so instrumental in my denim love and education that I have his Big Bro illustration tattooed on my arm. And finally, RGT’s are my favorite jeans to repair, and probably the brand I repair the most, and I have a soft spot for Momotaro’s signature pink topstitching.
6.What is your favorite accessory?
My GoodArt long silver skull necklace. I don’t wear accessories really, I also don’t really like jewelry, but when I put this on I feel like a badass. I also wear a lot of pins from my friends at @goblinkomegamall.
7.Which items do you wear most at the moment?
I’m usually wearing Naked and Famous women’s denim or old Levi’s and a vintage KISS or Ace shirt. I try to wear women’s jeans mostly, because I want to encourage more brands to make good women’s jeans, and show that we are interested in quality denim! Also, fall means jean jacket weather, and I get pumped to pull out my overdyed Iron Heart jacket. I had a custom chain stitched portrait of my Singer 47w70 backpiece made for the jacket by the master: Jerry Lee of @hoosierbuilt/@unionwestern, so it’s like my one-woman club jacket.
What is your favorite shop? And what is your favorite webstore?
I don’t shop new much and almost never have time to shop in a physical store, so I mostly look at vintage stuff on Etsy and Ebay when I do shop online. Of course, I follow a lot of denim shops on Instagram— I think Snake Oil Provisions has one of the best and most entertaining shop feeds, and I’m really looking forward to their upcoming women’s collection! I also like to check in on Okayama denim and Tate and Yoko.
Do you care about the production process?
100% yes. I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to own my sewing business, have control of my work, and be paid fairly for the work that I do. There are so many women (and men) in the world who do not have control over pricing of their work and are not paid a fair wage for sewing labor. Today the production process can be so disconnected from the consumer that it is easy to forget about the fact that someone made your clothes, and that is why I take consumer education so seriously.
The question to ask is: “How can we, as consumers, ensure that other human beings are paid fairly for their labor?” And also, can we use our position as consumers to support the people that are paid fairly, even though the cost of the item or service will be higher because of that?
The raw denim community is an amazing group of people who care about knowing where their clothing comes from, how it is made, who makes it, and get what “quality” means. They also understand repair as an investment in the life of that clothing, and a way to keep clothes they love out of landfills. When you take an active role in deciding where your clothes come from, and you know that your clothes were made (or repaired) by fairly paid humans, you can love your clothes even more.
What are your dreams for the future?
To grow my business! For the first time ever, I had to close web orders for the year because I’m already booked to the end of 2017 with repair work! I’m over the moon excited about the amazing support from the denim community, and I’m really looking forward to bringing more to the table for 2018. More services, better processes, fun creative and collaborative stuff- it’s gonna be good! See you then!