To speak of Stevenson Overall is to speak of the past and of the obsession of two men with learning about and deeply delving into the 19th and 20th centuries. Stevenson Overall Co. was founded in 1920 in Portland, Indiana, to make workwear for the area’s workers, executing quality details such as buttons engraved with the company’s name. A few years later, during the Great American Depression of the 1930s, the Stevenson factory closed its doors.
In 2005 Zip Stevenson, a California-based American and a lover of denim since childhood who had been involved in the past in various vintage clothing businesses in Santa Monica, happened to find an old, more-than-80-year-old invoice issued by a Portland company called Stevenson Overall with which Zip intriguingly shared a surname. It was at this time, fed up with the exorbitant prices that icons of second-hand vintage clothing were commanding, that he decided to relaunch the Stevenson Overall company together with his Japanese friend Atsusuke Tagaya, intending to make garments inspired in the workwear produced between 1800 and 1960.
One day Zip and Atsu were presented with a second magnificent chance while strolling around Tokyo’s Harujuku district, when they encountered a pair of original 1920s Stevenson Overall jeans tucked away in a corner of a small vintage shop. This gave them more impetus to push ahead with their project. Those jeans were probably the only legacy left in the world from the original Portland company, and they happened to find them one day in Japan.
Ever since, the new Stevenson Overall manufactures entirely in Japan on antique machinery. It produces incredibly durable and characterful garments featuring some unique construction details. With Zip Stevenson in the role of creative director and Atsu as the craftsman, the Stevenson collections offer a reinterpretation of workwear executed to perfection, with unique details such as the characteristic rounded back pockets of their jeans and lavish textile techniques such as the high number of stitches per inch in their seams.