Superstitch is a recently opened venture, with Arthur Leclercq at the head. The atelier is located inside the very hip Holiday store in the posh 16eme arrondissement of Paris, and if you’re into high quality vintage denim, Arthur is your man.
He’s very knowledgeable in the history of denim, and will meticulously bring your old cloth to life, using original American machines, the way jeans were once created before quality lost out to profits. He told us the incredible fact that originally quality jeans were built using 15 (15!) different machines. Arthur is a cool guy, easy going, yet you can see the passion and the drive. He’s young and full of ideas and definitely hungry. He’s no show off, but you can tell he’s got a lot cooking.
ARBOL- Where did you grow up?
AL- In Poitiers in the Southwest of France.
ARBOL- Did your environment help play a part in your passion for denim?
AL- Not really, I actually was passionate about motocross and spent all my time on tracks all over France until I was 18.
ARBOL- How is the French way of wearing denim different than in the U.S?
AL- In France, people have a more preppy way of wearing denim, whereas in the US denim is worn more transversally since Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler have been created in order to respond to all kinds of demands such as workwear, casual, student life etc…
ARBOL- Even though denim cloth is originally from France, do you think it’s still very much considered an American staple?
AL- Of course. Still today few know this fact. There are a lot of stories going around though. Unfortunately Americans closed their last famous denim mill, the one that allowed workers to build America. It will stay the most beautiful denim in the world, since it was made with passion.
ARBOL-Do you design jeans also, or is your specialty solely repairing them?
ARBOL- What was the main reason for opening SuperStitch?
AL- Although it was not in my environment, I was always fond of denim. My grandfather raised me around mechanics, and Superstitch was just the perfect mix of all these elements.
ARBOL- What are your thoughts on denim quality today versus 30 years ago?
AL- It all depends on where you have it produced… Japan is still great for weaving and sewing, USA offers less an less quality due to the fact that Cone Mills White Oak shut down, but there are still up and coming good small outfits around like Roy Denim, Bowery Blue Makers, Ben Viapiana...
ARBOL- Is Levi’s today still number 1 when it comes to denim quality? What is your favorite brand?
AL- Levis is still number 1 when it comes to vintage, especially before the 80s. My favorite brand today is RESOLUTE.
ARBOL- What is you favorite pair of jeans, ever.
AL-The one that I might be working on right now….
ARBOL- Are people still enamored with the American Heritage spirit that helped shape the history of denim, or have perceptions evolved and people have moved on?
AL- In general, I think that people respect the American heritage spirit because denim is the wardrobe base.
ARBOL- What other services does SS offer?
AL- All type of alterations and fixings, embroidery and personalization and…. Secret….
ARBOL- What are you plans for the near future?
AL- Keep making a living doing what I love.