Welcome to the world of truly fancy pants. Soho denim atelier 3x1 takes custom-tailored jeans to new levels.
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Why throw on off-the-rack jeans—no matter how premium—when you can wear a customized pair that is yours and yours alone? That was Scott Morrison’s thinking when he opened 3x1, a 4,000-square-foot loftlike space in south Soho that offers shoppers a customized denim experience from start to finish. The name 3x1 refers to denim’s standard weaving construction, the so-called 3x1 right-hand twill, but at this shop just about everything else is left up to the customer.
3x1’s customizing options break down into three levels. There’s the baseline limited-edition choice, in which, for around $300, one can choose a style on display and customize the buttons and rivets. The jeans will then be hemmed on the spot. For the more exacting shopper, the custom-made selections run north of $500 and include time with a fit expert to determine preference of back pockets, fabric, and thread. Finally, the most exclusive option is true bespoke, in which, for around $1,200, you can create a one-of-a-kind style. There are 135 unique fabrics to choose from, all displayed on slightly mesmerizing giant rolls against a wall in the shop.
At 3x1, 18 people are involved in the 30-plus steps it takes to see a custom pair of jeans through to completion, which include design, development, cutting, sewing, washing, pressing, and finishing. A typical pair of 3x1 jeans is spread by hand, and each panel is individually hand-chalked and cut by one of the staff’s two cutters. Your pants are then sewn by one of 10 sewers, a process that typically takes about four hours, during which 95 percent of the garment is sewn on a single-needle sewing machine calibrated at an extremely high SPI (stitches per inch) of 11 to 14—almost double the SPI you’ll get in most jeans. Up to 25 pairs of jeans are created per day at the Mercer Street atelier.
“Ever since I visited my first denim factory, I always get a sense of excitement and optimism,” says Morrison, whose stellar denim résumé includes founding hit labels Paper Denim & Cloth and Earnest Sewn. “So I wanted to bring that sense of discovery with me and invite customers into the process. The transparency and effort that go into it really resonates with people. They have the opportunity to get involved, and it makes them excited.”
Check out the video 3x1 put together for a glimpse of the process in action.