Getting rid of the vowels was just the beginning.
When denim-industry veteran Johnathan Crocker was brought in to consult for Kansas City denim line Baldwin, he saw the potential for a complete reinvention. Instead of taking inspiration from vintage Americana, Baldwin would focus on defining the new American style. It would be based out of Los Angeles instead of the Midwest and it would now be styled BLDWN, serving a customer who wears jeans as well as patent leather pants and slouchy drawstring trousers.
Crocker’s clear-minded and confident vision for BLDWN inspired Matt and Emily Baldwin—the husband-and-wife duo who founded the line in 2009—to bring him on as president of the brand and let him do the damn thing. (The original cofounders now sit on the board.) BLDWN’s first official collection debuted in September at New York Fashion Week.
As the collection hits shelves this month, we talked to Crocker about his work for the brand, the challenges he’s grinding on and what pieces he’s banking on customers connecting with most.