The Weathered Project: Inked

The Weathered Project was created to celebrate style, individuality, the creative process and raw denim. You might wonder how these things relate, but ask anyone who has worn raw denim and they will attest, they are deeply intertwined.

Raw denim is a rare fashion item that, like fashion, evolves with time. Your life becomes documented, stamped, stained, torn and faded into the denim with wear. There is no other item of clothing, which allows you to literally create a statement about how you live your life like raw denim.

We will document the journey of the individuals and their jeans through the Weathered Project. This will provide a glimpse into their lives, what drives them, how they find themselves and how all of this impacts the look and feel of their jeans. We hope you will join us on this journey of discovery.

Inked is our first chapter on this journey. Stop back here and follow us on social media to be a part of this project as we watch the evolution of each participant and their raw denim over a 16 month period. You can also participate by posting pictures of your life’s work in the denim you wear by using the #weatheredproject.

We are excited to introduce you to Mitch Kirilo.

Shop inside

Near the bustling intersection at Cordova and Abbott nests Gastown Tattoo Parlour. It is a treasure trove of taxidermy and quirky memorabilia and is home to Vancouver’s best up-and-coming tattoo artists. Mitch Kirilo, owner of Gastown Tattoo, can often be viewed in the window concentrating on his craft and amiably chatting with his clients.

Mitch’s career as a tattoo artist began in 2007 when his father bought him his first tattoo machine. The support and encouragement from his father propelled him into following his dream career and Mitch learned early on that pursuing what you love in life is absolutely paramount. After a few years of apprenticing and working his way up in several shops, he opened Gastown Tattoo Parlour in 2011. There is no doubt that Mitch has earned every bit of his success through hard work, drive and passion and chalks it up to the age-old adage of “the harder you work, the more you gain”.

We asked Mitch what advice he would give to anyone pursuing their passion for a career: “Best thing I could suggest is to keep pushing and going for it. Practise makes perfect and everything works out in time.”

Being a tattoo artist isn’t always plain sailing: “Keeping up with the demand and trying to please everyone can be pretty challenging. Also, always trying to progress the craft.” It’s clear that Mitch is consistently overcoming these challenges as Gastown Tattoo Parlour continues to gain momentum, and his work is well recognized and greatly appreciated by his clients. Mitch has achieved a lot in his career, but he states his greatest success in life as marrying his wife, Amanda. “She’s been the number one cause to anything great in my life.”

To start the project off, Mitch needed a new pair of raw denim. Having been a dutil. customer for a while, we asked Mitch about his choice to purchase raw denim and why he shops with us: “I like how sturdy [raw denim] is and the break in process making it the perfect fit. dutil. always has what I’m looking for and rad people to help me out!”

To help Mitch find that perfect pair of raw denim for the project, one of our denim experts, James, started by asking him what fit and type of denim he wanted. Mitch was looking for a durable slim cut and after discussing and trying on several brands and different types of denim, Mitch settled on the Tellason Gustave slim tapered 14.75 oz.* A great jean, with the durability necessary to keep up with the hard working Mitch Kirilo!

Let the Weathered Project and life begin.

*The Tellason Gustave is made from Cone Mills White Oak red line, sanforized, raw selvage denim. It has a button fly, extra heavy pocket bags and the bottom of their back pockets are lined for durability. A USA jean through and through — Tellason jeans are made in San Francisco and the leather patch is by Tanner Goods in Portland, Oregon. Available in our stores or online here.

-Photography by Jacquie Shaw.