Rarely do you find denim manufacturers that reference Rocky Balboa as their design inspiration. When such a striking image is matched with impeccably crafted menswear, you can imagine it turns a few heads in an increasingly saturated market. So when we first discovered Freenote Cloth last year, it felt as triumphant as watching ol’ Rocky pick himself up from his corner to give Apollo Creed the match of his life. We knew we had a prize fighter on our hands.
Brothers Andrew and Matt Brodrick initially moved out to California for their respective degrees in Economics and an MBA, but they honed their design and sales chops for a decade in upper management positions at the sunglasses company, Electric. When the company was eventually sold to Volcom in 2008, the brothers began imagining a brand born of their own blood, sweat and tears, and thus; Freenote Cloth was launched in 2013.
We spoke with Andrew a few weeks before the debut of their Fall and Winter line at our Vancouver and Toronto stores, and the excitement and sincerity in his voice was palpable. He professed, “People say this loosely, but this is our baby…. Talking to our first retailer, he could just see the passion and trust in our eyes – that we’re not just trying to create some gimmick.”
They say that when you’re pursuing your dream, the first ones you should turn to for investors are the twenty people you would invite to an intimate dinner party. That’s exactly the route the brothers Brodrick took, rallying the support and confidence from their inner circle of friends and mentors. By the time they brought their custom-patterned denim to the market, they had already been through the ringer and were in prime fighting form, with conviction and veracity seeping out of their pores.
Freenote, an amalgamation of words like “freedom” and “noteworthy” has strong American roots, but the brothers resist categorizing their brand as purely “Americana”. They do take being an American brand very seriously – and everything from the rivets, to zippers and threads are sourced in America. Some of the denim comes from the Kuroki Mill in Japan, all garments are sewn on US soil after being expertly drafted by their in-house pattern maker, Leo.
The utilitarian history of America is clearly reflected in Freenote’s railway and western inspired pieces, but the brothers also draw inspiration from movies like Gangs of New York, and from bands like Nirvana, giving the label a certain grittiness that helps to set them apart from other American labels.
dutil. is excited to announce that we will be showcasing the entire Freenote Cloth collection during a trunk show held at our Vancouver location on November 18th, 2014 from 4-6pm and at our Toronto location on November 20th, 2014 from 5-7pm. You will be able to view the entire collection and meet Freenote cofounder Andrew Brodrick for an inside look at the brand.