AW Selvedge is the newest brand to be stocked at Dutil Denim. The brand isn’t only new to our stores, though. ‘AW’ is relatively new to the denim scene, too. In fact, this is their first season on the market — though, you wouldn't necessarily think so looking at (and trying on) their jeans. We sat down with AW Selvedge founder Andre Williams to learn more about the brand.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Andre Williams. I am 27 years old. I earned a Bachelor's in Applied Psychology and Human Development in 2013 from Boston College before being drafted to the NY Giants in the 2014 NFL draft after a senior season that earned me unanimous All-American honors, the Doak Walker award for the nation's best runningback, and 4th place in the Heisman voting.
Apart from being an athlete, I am a husband, father, great cook, and a serial entrepreneur. I love to build things from scratch. I spend my free time doing that with recipes in my kitchen or at my fragrance lab.
There are plenty of entrepreneurial efforts a professional athlete can pursue. Why denim?
My first foray into fashion began in 2015 when my marketing agent introduced me to a man by the name of Eamon Walsh. He was building a shoe company called Oneground Footwear and he offered me the opportunity to create my own shoe under a private label. As a Runningback in the NFL, it appealed to me to build my own signature shoe from scratch.
In this way, I learned the ins and outs of creating apparel by working with his designer, putting ideas to paper to create first sketches & tech packs, and then communicating with the factory for sampling and production.
Is fashion (or denim specifically) always something you've felt attracted to? Or was AW started as a result of some other force?
I was extremely proud of the shoe I created with Eamon. The Runningman Red Herring was an ultra low-top leather sneaker done in all white and all black colorways. I took inspiration from classic brands like PF Flyer, Vans, and Adidas.
I was fascinated by the creative process and decided that I wanted to continue to explore this process. I could wear anyone's shoe, but I had a really hard time finding jeans that worked for me. The "athletic" fit was an under-served niche in the denim market. When I did my research I realized there were well over 500 million people that had the same issue I did. The only logical thing left to do in my mind was build something from scratch.
What inspired AW's design features?
When I decided to put AW together I knew I wanted to put together a pair of jeans a young, modern, professional would want to wear everyday for any kind of activity, on any scene. I feel like the opening season's 9 styles reflect that.
AW stands for 'All Weather Workers & Travellers'. It speaks to the idea that whether it's work or leisure, denim is appropriate when done properly.
Who are your jeans made for?
These jeans are made for men with "athletic" builds. This is anyone who has larger thighs for their waist size. Some people might be shocked by the room in the thigh when they first put the jeans on, but these fabrics are meant to be worn in. The more you wear the jeans, the better they fit, especially after the first wash, though you need not wash them at all for them to begin their contouring process.
Tell us about your first collection of jeans.
AW starts with 3 fabrics in it's opening season. The Brad, the George, and the Tom. Each denim fabric is done in 'Raw', 'Ripe, or 'Antique' finishes. Each fabric has its own unique properties. These fabrics are unique to AW and will never be repeated under another brand.
People buy 'Raw' denim for one of two reasons. They need a pair of jeans to dress up, or they are starting a new fade project. I wanted to make jeans that could do both.
The 'Ripe' styles are classic blue jeans that you wouldn't mind rocking every day. The term 'Ripe' represents a '6 month' factory wash. These styles exhibit minor/medium distress marker detailing.
The 'Antique' denim styles are blue jeans with heavy distressing. Thigh rips and pinstripe reinforcement are the recurring theme in the George and Tom jeans. The Brad has hidden distressing that will reveal itself over time according to your body and how hard you wear them. 'Antique' is a '24 month' factory wash.
Check out our AW Selvedge brand page to see more pictures and learn more.