Denim Dudes is giving merch a shot.
After five years of business as an author, designer and consultancy, Denim Dudes founder Amy Leverton said the company is dabbling in e-commerce by “exploring the exciting world of merch” through collaborations with friends and artisans she encountered along her denim journey.
Last week Leverton introduced the Fifth Pocket Friend, a small plush doll featuring Denim Dudes’ smiley motif. Made with dark blue twill-effect jersey or indigo-dyed jersey to match jeans, the bendable figures fit comfortably inside jeans’ fifth pocket or can be worn as a pin.
The “friends” are hand sewn in Japan by Putpet, an artist turning old and repurposed fabrics into made-to-order dolls.
A long-time admirer of Putpet’s work, Leverton said the idea came from one of the artist’s existing creatures. Leverton asked if he could re-make it on a slightly smaller scale to suit the oft-overlooked small front pocket.
“It was honestly just a little stroke of inspiration but it’s so fun to think about that infamous coin pocket and to make more use of it in playful or practical ways,” she told Rivet.
Fifth Pocket Friends retail for $38 each and are available on Denim Dudes’ online store.
Sets of three limited-edition patches designed by Elmer Gomer are also available and retail for $35.
Whether pins, patches or new pocket pals, Leverton’s foray into the odds-and-ends that help add personality and eccentricity to jeans falls in line with her own passion for denim.
“Much like many denim heads, I love collecting little mascots and memorabilia related to denim, so I came at it from a fan girl perspective,” she said.
“We have a strong and nerdy following, so we are tentatively dipping our toes in the water,” she added. “Collaborating with creatives we already admire and creating products that we really resonate with is the obvious first step and we couldn’t be happier with the results so far.”