This project's funding goal was not reached on April 22, 2012.
About this project
We are Prospect Denim® and we want you to join us in writing the next chapter in the Great American Love Story.
Our country's fascination and love affair with denim runs long and deep. From its humble origins as a workwear garment to its recent incarnation as must-have fashion staple, denim has throughout its history been the embodiment of individualism, freedom, and that distinctly American "can do" spirit. From cowboy to city slicker; factory worker to farmer; rebel to rockstar; hippie to hipster; bohemian to biker, denim has been the garment of choice. No matter who was wearing it, or how they were wearing it, it always had one thing in common: it represented everyday people who were out in the world, living their lives, doing amazing and inspiring things.
Only relatively recently has high-quality, American-made denim come to be regarded as a luxury item, priced out of the reach of those that it was meant to represent.
Prospect Denim® is a Los Angeles based premium denim brand that was founded in the fall of 2005.
We want to return high quality, American-made, premium denim to its democratic origins and ideals. Thanks to the internet, we now have the opportunity to do it. Our plan is to sell Los Angeles-made, premium denim that is constructed from only the finest fabrics and trims from the world over, exclusively online, directly to you without any middlemen, at a very fair and competitive price (between $75 and $175).
Sustainability and social responsibility are also important to us. We plan on using organic cottons, fabrics with recycled content, and cotton blended with other eco-friendly fibers. More importantly we plan on using ozone and laser finishing to greatly reduce our use of water and electricity. Fair labor practices, paying of competitive wages, and recycling and repurposing denim so that it does not end up in landfills are a few of the other ideas that we are passionate about.
Though she will humbly deny it, the designer and cofounder of Prospect Denim® is a rockstar in her own right. Her heritage and early life heavily influence the design direction and the philosophy of the brand. Born into a family of farmers in South Texas, she was raised by three generations, who served as role models for her. From her grandmothers she learned to sew at an early age (She even made her first pair of jeans at the tender age of twelve). By working in their thrift store, she also learned the value of sustainability by repurposing older garments into new creations. From her grandfathers she learned the value of hard work, social responsibility, and respect for the earth long before it was back in vogue again. Other than Prospect Denim®, she has freelanced with other LA denim companies, created a few lines of her own, and while we line up our funding, she is currently the lead denim designer for a company with three brands under her direction.
Not only do we want to deliver to you the most amazing denim at an incredible price, we want nothing less than to build the next enduring, iconic, American denim company and capture it all on film. We want to share with you our amazing journey over the past six and a half years to get to where we are today. Then going forward, from first sketch to finished product and beyond, we want to show what it takes to build a brand. Along with our feature-length documentary, we plan on providing a private discussion forum and regular monthly video updates that will both inform and inspire.
Building a premium denim brand that can compete with the biggest names in the industry takes a lot of money. Then throw into the mix our new business model: amazing jeans made here at home with the latest advances in sustainability, sold directly to you online at a fair and competitive price. Well, as you can imagine, the upfront costs for manufacturing really begin to add up.
Traditionally, our industry relies on private investors, venture capitalists, banks and the like. Along with a substantial sum of our own money that we have poured into building our brand over the past six and a half years, we have spent the better part of the past two and a half years pursuing funding. From LA to NY and everywhere in between, we have spoken to anyone willing to listen. Our quest to bring our vision to reality has even taken us as far afield as France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. We have heard plenty of "NOs" to be sure, but even when there was serious interest, there were always some preconditions to the deal that would require us to alter our vision or compromise our ideals.
That is why we are reaching out to you. We know there are many of you out there who share our passion for denim. We hope you see value in what we are trying to do, and will support us in this endeavor.
We realize, the amount we are trying to raise is no joke.So rest assured that the funding will go directly towards the manufacturing of the jeans, and the shooting of the documentary ($325,000 for the jeans and $75,000 for the documentary).
How does Kickstarter work?
Our project must be fully funded before the deadline expires, otherwise no money changes hands. Your credit card will only be charged after the end of the campaign, and only in the event that we meet or exceed our goals.
So please join us in writing the next chapter in the Great American Love Story...
I very much appreciated the thorough brief you put together on the history of Prospect Denim’s 6 year journey, the research you’ve done, the niche consumer target you’ve identified, and the innovation you’ve invested in to build your brand. You’ve done a beautiful job of storytelling – which I think is absolutely important in defining your position...I wish you the very best and much success, and will keep an eye out for Prospect Denim in the market.
Robert Hanson (Former President,Levi’s® Global Brands)
Now on to the fun stuff...The REWARDS!
We are offering some amazing rewards. Regardless of your pledge amount, big or small, we want to give you something that reflects our immense gratitude, because we are fully aware that none of this would be possible without your support.
Here is an image from our award winning website from 2006-2007 that will be on our thank-you postcard. I am even willing to hand-write a personal note and sign each and every one of them. It is up to you guys to make me regret it. We are in the process of revamping our website for e-commerce functionality, but the original 3D website can be viewed at our good friend, MediaBoom's webpage (http://www.Mediaboom.com/prospectdenim). While there check out the rest of their site- it is pretty awesome.
To cool for school? Well, then the highbrow is for you. Back in 2009, inspired by our new-found awareness of the issues surrounding sustainability and affordability, we had designed a piece of art worthy of hanging in the Louvre. Fortunately for you they wouldn't take it (I was like,"Whatever, man... At least ours is an original :)". Never seen by the general public, this Michelangelo-inspired artwork is rich with symbolism and meaning, but exactly what that is, we will let you figure out on your own...(Paging Dan Brown, Mr. Brown to the white courtesy phone :). For a mere $22, you will receive a 11" x 8" copy of the original that will be signed by the team. It will be matted and ready for framing, sure to make you the envy of your friends and family, and art snobs everywhere.
Last but not least, the reason why we are all here...
Both mens and women's will be made of the finest Italian and Japanese Denim. And at least one for each gender will be made of selvedge denim. These jeans are an amazing reward, something that you will be proud to own, and love to wear for years to come.
In a traditional retail scenario, these jeans would retail between $250 to around $300, if not more. But since one of our goals is the democratization of denim, we will be selling these particular styles, on our website for approximately $150 to $175 (once we get started our prices will be between $75 to $175, so these will be among our higher end products).
To show how special you guys really are, we are practically giving them away to you for the low, low price of $94 a pair (which includes free domestic shipping), and you have the option to purchase as many as you like. This is one of the few times it is okay to be selfish. Or if you like, you can buy a pair for your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife- heck, even your ex. At these prices you can afford to be generous... Although we've set ourselves a modest goal for this kickstarter campaign (the minimum production run to meet our factory requirements); the factories we work with also produce denim for some of the biggest names in the business, so they can handle production of over a 100,000 pairs per week, so by all means, have at it...
Don't worry, if for some reason, they don't fit, we will be more than happy to exchange it for the correct size or a different style. Free domestic shipping in both directions, always. In the rare event that there is just no pleasing you:) , we have a 90-day return policy for a full refund (as long as they are unworn and the tags are still attached). Need more reassurance? We are so confident in our jeans that we also have a one-year guarantee against defects (beyond normal wear and tear). If we can't fix it, we will replace it. So pledge with confidence!
In your video and write-up you say that your jeans are going to be more affordable, but they still seem pretty expensive to me, why is that?
Great Question. Premium denim has always been more expensive than your typical jeans due to what I call the 4 Fs: fit, fabrication, finish, and where it is from.
1.Fit. We spend many hours perfecting the fit, which is an art and science in itself. We have always been known for our great fit, which vastly exceeds your average pair of jeans.
2. Fabric. All denim fabric is not equal. You can find cheaper denim fabric for under a dollar, to super high end fabrics that can cost as much as twelve to fourteen dollars a yard, and all prices in between. We have high standards in everything that we do, which means that we only use the finest fabrics that we can find, from the world over.
3. Finish. This includes all the intricate wash details that give your jeans the look that it does. This can add anywhere from $5 to $20 per pair.
4. From. You have to take into consideration, where they are from- meaning where are the jeans made. Premium jeans are most coveted from places like LA, which is considered to be the denim capital of the world. LA is home to some of the finest denim smiths, and denim professionals the world over, and they are paid very competitive wages that far exceed labor in other parts of the world.
All those things add up to where a really high end pair of jeans can cost $50 to $65 just in manufacturing costs alone. Our goal is to make it more affordable by selling directly online and cutting out the middle man. So you could pay $80 for a pair of jeans made overseas of lesser quality, or you can have an amazing luxurious pair of Prospect jeans for a little more. Remember we are a luxury brand, if we were to sell our jeans through retailers, it would easily cost $175 up to $350, and not the $75 to $175 that we plan on charging.
We are currently not in any stores. After Kickstarter, our goal is to be sold exclusively online and in the future we plan on having an exciting new retail concept. But to get back to your question, though you have never heard of us, we got off to a very promising start as a very small boutique brand, and we even had a bit of a following in LA, with some celebrities wearing our brand. We were known to be a very innovative brand with many firsts in the industry that set the trend among our peers. We were also asked to be part of the MTV movie awards in 2008, and won prestigious awards for our groundbreaking website from 2006. We were about to launch in a major department store when the economy tanked. This made us re-evaluate and take stock of everything we were doing. We became more aware of both the economic and environmental impact of denim, and we decided we needed to make a change. The changes we wanted to make unfortunately cost a lot of money. We could have continued on as we were, but we would have felt like hypocrites, so we decided we would not produce any more jeans, until we could do it right. We want to be part of the solution, not the problem. Since 2009 we have been trying to find the right partners who shared our values, and here we are in 2012 reaching out to you. As consumers you have more power than you realize. So it is up to you to support the brands that are doing the right things, and we are asking you to support us so that we can help be part of that change for good.
No, we do not. Everything shown in the video and images are our older designs. The fun part of Kickstarter and the crowdsourcing idea is that everyone gets to participate. That is why once we get funded, we want to include you in the design process. We want you to see first hand, from the first sketch, to fabric selection, all the way to final product what it takes to make the jeans through behind the scenes videos and discussion forum.
We are here to build the next enduring American denim company. So, we want you to be customers for life, and we will ensure you are happy with your reward. If they do not fit, send them back, we have free domestic shipping in both directions. We will replace them until you are satisfied, or return them for a full refund. So please pledge with confidence.
Our six and a half year journey as been an amazing one with many ups and downs, and is sure to inspire others to follow their dreams. Also, we want to shed light on the industry, the environmental and economic impact that it has because it is an important story that needs to be told. Also, over the past six and a half years we have had a steep learning curve that at times proved to be very costly. We want to be completely transparent and show all aspects of the business to help future designers and brands to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls. We will teach you what you don’t learn in design or business school.
I am Imron Hussaini and I am the cofounder and CEO of Prospect Denim. Other than my six and a half years behind the wheel at Prospect denim, I have over 10 years of retail experience, and 13 years as a telecommunications consultant working with some of the biggest companies in the industry. I spend my time between Dallas where I grew up (I was born in Canada and moved to Texas when I was six years old) and LA. My partner and cofounder is the actual designer of the brand. She is one of the most creative people that I know and an awesome design talent. She has over ten years of experience in denim. The reason she is not named, is because she is currently the lead designer for a major company with several brands under her direction. This is a very sensitive industry, so we want to keep her identity under wraps until we are funded.
- (22 days)