For denim designer Richard Cole, creating the perfect pair of jeans is like paleontology.
As a child growing up outside Cleveland, Cole would accompany his father—an amateur paleontologist—on fossil-hunting adventures. “On those trips you get plenty of opportunities to broadly ponder evolution and the changes in time,” he explains. “Also, no tools that you bring survive the quarries—they’re too tough—so whatever gear you bring gets torn up and changes on a much faster scale.” For Cole, these early observations evolved into an overarching philosophy about work and craft, and a personal interest in intricate craftsmanship and old-school techniques. His ultimate medium of choice? Denim.
His Austin-based line, Paleo Denim, officially launched last year after a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. In Paleo, Cole aims to create a ready-to-wear line of jeans that regards every element—from stitching to cut—with a history-influenced but local sensibility. “In general, I’m inspired by anything that explores or exposes time,” Cole says. “Denim is so transfixing because it is in constant flux and only gets more beautiful as it ages. The pair of jeans you bought last year is not the same as the one you have now.”
Cole is a self-taught designer; his mother showed him how to sew when he was home on college break as a film major at Syracuse. The process sparked an obsessive interest: “I started tearing apart old Levi’s for the patterns and hunting down industrial sewing machines,” he says. Inspired by meticulous, intricately stitched Japanese denim and old-school construction methods that allow for lengthy labor time (“If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well”), Cole spent the last four years in Austin learning more about the craft, hauling a growing collection of vintage sewing machines with him along the way. Researching denim and the best way to source it has taken him from West Texas to North Carolina to Japan.
He spent 2013 figuring out how to transform Paleo from a hobby to a full-time endeavor. Cole recently showcased his wares at several artisan markets and pop-up shops and has since seen the project evolve from “three machines and a kitchen table to a full production workshop.”
Photography by: Bill Sallans
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more