On my radar: Paleo Denim

 Photo cred: Kirsten Swanson Photography

Paleo is no longer just for all your CrossFitters and cavemen out there. Yeah, I said it. It's now denim. 
When I was in Austin for SXSW, I ran into the Neighborhood pop up shop on 2nd Street and stumbled upon this gem of a concept. The mastermind behind the label is Richard Cole and I got the chance to speak with him a little about his designs and inspiration behind his line.

Paleo denim isn't based off of the paleo diet or anything of that nature, it's actually a nod to Cole's father who is an amateur paleontologist. The two used to go fossil hunting all over the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. "It's a funny way to spend a day, sometimes ponderous and fruitless, sometimes rewarding and exhausting," he said. 

As you can imagine, fossil hunting can be tough on one's clothes, which therein lies the inspiration behind creating this new line of denim and leather goods. "The clothing and accessories all have to be tough as nails," said Cole. "I use some of the best leathers, the best denims and best threads to make sure everything lasts a long time." He credits this emphasis on quality products on remembering his clothes being "shred to pieces while fossil hunting." And to Cole, a quality product is really the only option for his business. 

"There's no point in making disposable things, it's bad for the consumer, bad for the environment and bad for the character of the producer."

One of the things that I loved most about his designs were that they were almost all made out of selvedge denim. What is selvedge? Basically it's the end of the role of denim and it has a finished edge. This is great because your jeans are stronger and won't fray like other denim will. Plus, it just looks cool and more put together if you're one of those guys who likes to roll their jeans. Most selvedge seams are red, but can also be other colors depending on the manufacturer/supplier. 

Here's an example of a selvedge seam:
Photo via Levi's

In the future Cole plans to work with some stretch, organic, recycled, and hemp denims. He's all about environmentally friendly production which is always a plus.

Another plus? He jeans have a button fly. Now I know for some of you, this may seem annoying, but in reality, it's actually a better option than a zipper. A button-fly is sturdier than a zipper and will last longer. Aka you should really try and get used to it if you can.

And for all of you tall guys and athletes out there, you're in luck! Paleo denim has three different fits: full cut, slim straight, and slim, and they all come in a 36 inseam length, which we LOVE. For those of you who you aren't as vertically inclined, you can just get them hemmed or roll them. Just make sure whenever you hem denim to wash and dry it first because it will shrink about a 1/4 of an inch the first time. Bring your shoes with you to the tailor and have them give you a "full break" in the front and to re-attach the original hem. This always costs more, but I think it looks better that way. 

Most importantly, don't let the simplicity of his designs fool you- that's all part of the plan. You see, leather and denim were meant to be worn and should look better with time. That is, if they are a quality product, and that's exactly what Cole is striving for. "Quite a bit of my work looks under designed largely because I'm trying to account for how the material will change over time, jeans fading, leathers darkening etc." he said.

 "I want a piece to look good over every part of it's life cycle"

The concept is simple, but that's the beauty of it. After all, jeans shouldn't be difficult. They should just be jeans. 

Sorry ladies, there are no current designs for women but they ARE in the works.

Check out Paleo Denim's website here and make sure to follow them on Twitter.


SXSW 2013 Recap: A little insanity, a lot of fun.

WOW. So South By was INSANE. I used to be an ACL girl through and through, but I have to say, this week may have changed things. Maybe. Fair warning before we get started here: this is bound to be one of my LONGEST blog posts yet. I'll try to keep it interesting. Promise. 

So where to begin? For those of you who know me, you probably know all too well of my phobia- that being of bows. Oh my lord, I simply cannot DEAL with them! They literally make me gag. Always have, always will. I used to cut them off of my clothes when I was younger, much to my mother's chagrin. I'm also not much of a girly girl. It's not that I don't like pink... OK, well, I just don't really like pink. So anyway, I ordered my birthday cake from my FAVORITE bakery in Austin, Walton's (it's Sandra Bullock's bakery off west 6th). All I said was that I wanted a red velvet cake with an owl on it, because I was a Chi-O and love owls.. blah blah blah. Long story short, they gave me THIS. 
I mean, what am I, FOUR? Not only was it pink, but it has BOWS ALL OVER IT. Good lord, I almost died. I couldn't eat it. Seriously. OK, that's a complete lie, but they truly couldn't have missed the mark more. I guess it's the thought that counts?? Still love you Walton's, but let's take it down a notch next time.
After that DEVASTATING mishap, I somehow managed to pick myself back up and carry on with my week, and let me tell you, it was a WILD one. I had a badge for the first time ever this year and I don't think I'll ever go without one again. It was so nice being able to skip the lines and get into almost everything that I wanted. Key word almost.
Just a tip for you SXSW newbies out there: Create a separate email account for South By to RSVP for parties, etc. That way your actual email won't be bombed with random spam and music flyers after the week. 
One of the first Interactive sessions that I went to was one with the founder of Reddit, Alex Ohanian. He spoke on entrepreneurship beyond Silicon Valley and the importance of unrestricted creativity in our society. Afterwards we found out that he is a Skins fan and I work for the Cowboys, so we weren't sure if we could be friends. But after a few tweets back and forth we decided that we're good. :)
After that, my Jayhawks lost to Baylor, but let's just go ahead and skip over that part COMPLETELY. 
I know it's cliché, but walking around on 6th is always bound to produce a good time. Well, interesting at least. I ran across Amy Phillips, my favorite Rachel Zoe impersonator, filming a skit on East. She's kind of hilarious.. y'all should check her out
 While on 6th, we were interviewed by KassemG, the YouTube sensation. He didn't end up using our clip in his final video which I'm actually OK with, because I'm pretty sure I just sat there the entire time and threw a random "Rockchalk" in there at the end. Cool, Kels. REALLY COOL.
At SXSWi, we got to meet LaMorne Morris and Jake Johnson from New Girl. I'm kind of obsessed with that show, so I had to try really hard to play it cool when we took this picture, which obviously ended up in me not even looking in the camera. FAIL. Of course, Jake aka Nick Miller, HAD to do the "Panic Moonwalk" while he was there. :)
With Daniel Sunjata from Graceland at the USA TV party
 Hanging out with some awesome guys from the Austin Fire Department.
And then this happened. One of the highlights of my life so far. Maybe. He actually tried to card us too. Good stuff.
Now I don't know about you, but I am a music freak. I pretty much owe my entire week's success to AltNation on XM and Jake Fogelnest. WOW. That was quite possibly the cheesiest thing I've ever written in my life. That's besides the point. Anyway, I saw some really awesome shows and I'm tired of writing about them so I'm just going to leave you with some pictures and videos of my favorites and a few random things here and there. (OK, a lot of random things).
 Sirah at The Belmont
 Sirah getting up close and personal
 Blondfire at The Belmont
 Icona Pop at The Belmont
 Charlie XCX and Icona Pop at The Belmont
 Rockie Fresh at The Belmont
 Macklemore at The Belmont
Check out this next video at around :25 for a good laugh.
 The Neighbourhood at Clive Bar
 The Neighborhood: So hot, they burnt the speakers!
 Blondfire at Clive Bar
 Dan Croll Band at Red 7
 Local Natives at Lustre Pearl
Wolfgang Gartner at La Zona Rosa

        Callie and I's sorry attempt at showing how RAD this show was. TAKE 12.
And what festival would be complete without an UNREASONABLE amount of photo booth pictures/selfies/photo shoots?!
 WAY too into this viking helmet
Rave sticks are always a plus


 So if you're still reading this, I'm shocked. But if you haven't gathered by now, we kind of had the best week ever.

A little advice for all of you going to South By next year? Don't over think it and don't come in with crazy expectations. Austin is a spontaneous town and just because you didn't get into that super exclusive Green Day show, doesn't mean you won't have the time of your life elsewhere.


Photo cred: Kirsten Swanson Photography, Callie Musick, Kelsey Charles