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Detroit Denim’s Latest Collab Is Fire

Detroit Denim teamed up with a Motor City artist on a capsule of limited-edition personalized jeans.

The Michigan-based design shop and manufacturer known for its custom denim tapped multi-media creator Paul Johnson, also known as “FFTY,” for its first summer collection.

FFTY’s work explores the experience of being a person of color through bright, bold graphic screen prints and paintings, abstract ceramic sculpture and stitched scenes and portraits on textiles. The artist was featured in Detroit’s “Murals on the Market” outdoor festival, which inspires community engagement through creative expression.

“One motif I play with a lot are flames,” which “were like our first form of entertainment—a lot of movement, a lot of energy,” FFTY said. Detroit Denim named the drop “Torched” after the artist’s vision.

Each pair of custom jeans is embroidered by FFTY using a vintage Singer.
FFTY embroiders each pair of custom jeans with a vintage Singer. Courtesy

The company said each custom jean is made to order after customers complete an online fitting process. Consumers using the Build Tool on Detroit Denim’s website select their preferred fit, fabric, leg, size, fly, and length, and the jeans are produced using measurements they take at home. They can also book a 15-minute virtual fitting with a stylist for more guidance. Then FFTY embroiders the custom jean using a vintage Singer 114 chain stitch embroidery machine.

While each pair is unique, the collection coalesces around black, flame-embroidered Japanese selvedge denim. The jeans retail for $395 on detroitdenim.com.

Detroit Denim's headquarters.
Detroit Denim’s HQ Courtesy

Founded in 2010, Detroit Denim has sought to transform he denim industry by promoting lean, small batch manufacturing and personalized relationships. Forced to shutter its physical storefront during the pandemic, the company has been operating solely online for the past two years, with plans to reopen a brick-and-mortar store in the future.