The Story of Hiut Denim

As a huge denim fan, I’ve several pair of jeans. Those that I’ve retired are worn to the extend they are better off framed up. They’ve served me well over the years, standing up to my constant wear daily.

Most recently, I was introduced to Hiut Denim after Craig Mod posted a picture of his pair on Twitter.

Awesome fading, I thought. I assumed he wore them for hiking those long and challenging trails. No, he replied. It would be asking for trouble…

He wore them for everything else – like city bicycling. He must have worn them hard. It has to be…to get those kind of fades.

I love it.

The first thing I did back in the office was to fire up Google and search for Hiut Denim.

Aha! This is it. Didn’t look like something enticing. On the homepage, the striking Nike sneaker is so distracting I thought they are actually selling them.

The price of £230 scares me. I read the descriptions and didn’t find it impressive enough to warrant the high price tag.

I didn’t think much of them except feeling they’re overpriced piece of fabric, sold to unsuspecting buyers who have little knowledge of denim.

That’s until I read on their story. I like to read the story behind brands. They’re typically a crucial factor in my affection for them. I like to know their values, the people behind it and why do the brand exists.

In this case, Hiut Denim does a brilliant job in storytelling.

The Hiut Denim Company wanted to bring manufacturing back to Cardigan. A small town of 4,000, where 400 of them used to make jeans for over 30 years.

Then one day the factory closed.

Hiut Denim decides that this quint town will make jeans (dreams) again.

It reminds me of Shinola and their noble vision of bringing manufacturing jobs back to Detroit and back America.

Then, I came across the user manual – their guiding principles, their values and how they function. It’s long-winded, cheesy even. But at the same time it’s enchanting.

Many of them resonate with my own.

It’s like a human being selling to another human being. It doesn’t feel I’m buying from a giant enterprise. Buying from them feels good, like I’m directly contributing to a worthy cause.

I’m a marketer and I understand the value of a good story. It’s a lovely story. Whatever the founder has learned in his previous stint as a copywriter serve him well here.

A bottle of water remains a water unless you see it differently. Think Evian, Fiji and Perrier. They quench our thirst and replenish with fluid. Fundamentally, they are still liquid and there’s nothing special in them that an ordinary bottle of water doesn’t contain.

But they do feel special. Our perception of them are different because of the meaning, emotions, philosophy behind those brands. The power of branding turn essential everyday products into manifestation of lifestyles and personalities.

But that’s not all.

They have a interesting concept called The History Tag.

Each jean will come with a unique number. You go to the HistoryTag website and register. Then you can upload pictures of where you went, what you did, who you did it with…to the HistoryTag website. So those memories get saved. The more memories you add to it, the more fascinating it becomes. So if in the future, your jeans get handed down, or end up in a second hand jeans shop, their memories will go along with them.

Suppose I bought a pre-loved pair of Hiut Denim. I log onto the platform and read those stories – places it has been to, things it did, how was the weather, the lifestyle it led, the evolution of the jeans etc.

It’s a novel approach, and the platform will be more valuable as more people use it over time.

The story behind this denim could sway people into buying them. As for myself, I just got started on a pair of Pure Blue Japan bought from the recent trip to Tokyo. Until I break them in sufficiently, I won’t be wearing any other pair.