2007: Introduces Full Cut and Sew
Mikhail: The thing that I remember most about the first cut and sew line is when we introduced it at Magic, which was only a couple of months before we released it. Nobody expected it. We had already been working on it for a while, and we saw other brands like The Hundreds start their cut and sew line. 10.Deep had little bits of cut and sew for a while at that point, but then we rolled through Magic and we had this gigantic collection of everything from backpacks to jeans to jackets to buttondown shirts to this, that and the other, and most people walked in and were taken aback by it. Not necessarily by the designs, like, “You guys reinvented the wheel,” but more like, “Whoa, you guys are actually a real brand now.” That’s what basically cut and sew symbolizes in this world.
Greg: The intro to the cut and sew line directly stemmed from Japan. We had done some sweaters and some little pieces here and there, but when we linked up with our Japanese distributor, part of the agreement was that we needed cut and sew. We needed more than hats and shirts. We needed a full collection, so the company that linked us with the distributor also linked us with production in China. We started producing a full range to offer, essentially for Japan, but the concept was different than a lot of other deals. Generally speaking, the kind of deal that most Japanese distributors would do is that they would produce the cut and sew collections in Japan, and then pay the brand a royalty. We had a different situation.
Mikhail: It used to be that you were basically licensing your brand out to the Japanese to create a cut and sew collection that they kind of controlled. You would import back in and it would be super expensive.
Greg: That was just sort of what was going on with the streetwear scene, at least with a lot of the brands that we were friends with.
Mikhail: This deal was more like, “We’ll help you do it and sell it, but you guys are doing it.” It’s funny because when we look back it at now, it was kind of like being a kid in a candy store. They let us do whatever we wanted without guidance when we really needed somebody to tap us on the shoulder and say, “You really shouldn’t do that because there’s no way you’re going to be able to sell that.” [Laughs] It was a huge learning process.