The good people over at Heel Bruise put me up onto a very interesting brand recently by the name of 1939. I recently had the chance to meet the man behind the operation, Victor Paredes, at the recent Agenda trade show, but prior to that, we had been chatting via email in regards to the brand. I conducted an interview to get you all familiar with a label that I personally look forward to seeing and hearing more about.
SXH: I first got exposure to your brand via a mutual friend: Robbie Jeffers at Heel Bruise. Can you shed some light into 1939 so that our readers can brought up to speed?
Victor: 1939 was established to supply the U.S market with simple classic American staple pieces, made in the U.S.A, priced reasonably. There is a handful of Brands out there that make “work wear” clothes, but they sell exclusively to Japan, or are priced very high and are made anywhere but the U.S.
SXH: Prior to 1939, did you ever have any previous experience in fashion or heading a label? And if so, can you tell us more about it?
Victor: My background is sales. I have worked for Ezekiel, Elwood, and Stussy. I have always wanted to design a line specific to a lifestyle and not a trend.
SXH: Where did you grow up? And did that area influence the label in any way?
Victor: I grew up in Bellflower, California in Los Angeles County. It definitely laid down the foundation for how I think men should dress. I am very much influenced by the traditional Los Angeles lowrider scene. If you look at what they wear it’s usually a lot of wool shirts, chore jackets, chambray shirts and jeans from American brands like Ben Davis, Dickies, Levis and Pendleton. Its that timeless working man look. It worked back in the late 1800s and is still fashionable today.
SXH: Why does the year 1939 play such a prominent role with the brand?
Victor: It was the beginning of World War II and the brand is heavily influenced by the people, the automobiles and the architecture of that time.
SXH: I see a strong emphasis on American style clothing, are the pieces constructed here in the US?
Victor: Every single piece is constructed in Los Angeles, California.
SXH: I understand there are a lot of great constructional qualities within the pieces. That is something of great interest to me. Can you explain some of the finer details of 1939’s construction?
Victor: A lot of triple stitched seams, bar tacking and rivets at stress points. Also, chain stitching is used instead of overlock stitching; this gives the garment more strength, a cleaner finish and will not fray at the seams.
SXH: Denim plays a significant role throughout the collection and I must say that it looks great. Can you tell us a little more about it?
Victor: Denim is used throughout the line: tops and bottoms. All the denim used is from American mills. 1939 is not a jean brand. I love jeans and felt there had to be some styles within the line, but my focus will be more on canvas and twill.
SXH: There is a nice selection of offerings in the current collection including denim, which we just went over, pullovers, pants, chambray shirts and jackets; is there plans to expand the line in the future?
Victor: Yes. This first collection is what I’m hoping will be the staple pieces that will always be offered in the line no matter what season. Hopefully we will debut Spring 2010; there are additions to the line for that season.
SXH: For anyone looking to pick up some 1939, where can they look in order to get their hands on some?
Victor: We are still in the process of trying to partner up with the right stores. Because of how hard it is now to make clothes in America, our numbers are going to be very limited. We are looking for stores that understand this look and sell other products that are similar to this lifestyle.
Thank you for your time, Victor. This is greatly appreciated. We look forward to hearing more about you and your brand in the near future!
You can see more from 1939 here at their site.