Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Field Trip: Blue Owl Workshop

-I was looking for a place to get my Baldwin 77s hemmed with a chain-stitch in the Seattle area when someone told me about Blue Owl Workshop in Bellevue, Wa. I checked out their website and found myself wondering how I hadn't heard of the shop yet. A few weeks ago I took a trip down to the Blue Owl showroom to drop off my denim and check out owner Jay Doughten's unique space. Follow me after the jump for some photos and thoughts from my visit.

-Seattle denim aficionados may remember Doughten as the owner of the shop's former iteration, a downtown retail location called Atsui Tokyo. After closing Atsui and taking a season off from sales, Doughten relaunched as Blue Owl Workshop and showroom, which sells through its website and appointment-only visits to the Bellevue showroom.

-Mr. Olive shirting.

-I don't consider myself a hardcore denim head, but I wanted to bring Blue Owl to the attention of my audience because of the stock they carry, which includes denim and a well-editied selection of pieces from hard to find labels such as Mr. Olive, Denime, Triple Works, Sunny Sports, and Man of Moods. The shop also carries denim from Kicking Mule Workshop, Left Field and Naked & Famous, which though they may be better known, are still relatively hard to find outside of the country's few worthwhile menswear locations.

-Triple Works denim.

-While I was at the showroom Doughten, who seemed to know more about the history and processes of the Japanese denim industry than anyone I've talked to, online or elsewhere, broke down some of the finer details or well-made denim for me. Comparing a few different pairs, he pointed out stitch placement and other things a casual observer like myself might miss. With budget always on my mind, I asked Doughten for his opinions on various brands and how they compare at certain pricepoints. Blue Owl's profile has continued to rise lately as they've come out with collaborations with Triple Works and Left Field. Momotaro just landed at Blue Owl, and the shop is slated to carry 3sixteen next fall. What struck me about Blue Owl was the rapport Doughten maintains with the people behind the brands he carries. The fact that a shop without a traditional retail location is one of few places in America, and in the case of a few brands, the only place, speaks volumes about the ownership and their commitment to serving the West Coast demand for quality denim. I might not be pulling the trigger on new denim anytime soon, but when I do I'm definitely heading back to Blue Owl to try on a few pairs before making a decision.

-Left Field chinos and denim.


-Some of the much sought after Sunny Sports shirts.




-Leather goods from Corter.

-This post sounds a little more PR-ish than my usual posts, but I was sincerely impressed with the selection, and I'm always pumped on gems in the Pacific Northwest.

1 comment:

p.m. said...

excellent post man, informative and honest. looks like a truly killer selection.