Though largely known for their heavy duty, guaranteed-for-life messenger bags, Chrome Industries has been gently dipping a toe into urbanwear for the past two years. Wanting to break out of the cycling mold the right way, the SF-based brand launches their first-ever denim apparel collection with considered thought. The three new offerings, which include 5-pocket jeans, a work shirt and a chore coat, utilize Dyneema—an extremely strong fiber used in bulletproof vests and combat gear—at a high 8%. Chrome found it to be the perfect balance between the 2-4% Levi’s uses and the stiffer 60% that Australian motorcycle apparel brand Saint uses.
The fabric is woven at NC-based Cone Mills’ White Oak plant, then cut-and-sewn at the oldest workwear factory in San Francisco; including the threads and trims (buttons from Kentucky, for example), it’s 100% American made—and true to Chrome’s mission, not high-priced for the sake of being high-priced. “In terms of performance-technical denim that’s made at Cone Mills, it’s exceptionally priced,” Director of Marketing Matt Sharkey tells CH.
“The way that we’ve been designing for the last year on the apparel side, and will continue, is to live the city,” he continues. “We very much want to maintain being an urban brand but with apparel you can live throughout the day in, and if not, indefinitely. We don’t want to have to change outfits. And that’s how we started when we were making stuff for cyclists—but now we are on-and-off the bike, so we want people to be able to have something more timelessly classic.”
The 5-pocket jeans ($150) launch today—available in-store and online directly from Chrome—with the work shirt ($150) and chore coat ($180) releasing five and ten days later, respectively. Only 300 are being made of each piece, as they’re testing the waters.
Close-up shot by Cool Hunting, all other images courtesy of Cassandra Wages