The jeans are made with the best denim fabrics and are hand-washed, making them the same quality or higher-quality than most premium jeans, said Mott & Bow CEO Alejandro Chanin. How does he accomplish this? By selling direct-to-consumer and saving on inefficiencies associated with physical retailing.
Mott & Bow is taking on one of the denim industry’s biggest issues, fit. Chanin explained that most denim employs vanity sizing, which results in variation of 1.5-3 inches in each size, making it difficult to know which a consumer should order online.
With Mott & Bow’s business model, a customer pays for one pair of jeans but orders two waist sizes; both pairs are shipped to try on, and the customer keeps the pair that fits the best and sends the other back. Chanin noted that men are better customers for the home try-on market. Women are still interested in the experience of shopping and buying items to wear immediately, he explained.
In addition to tackling fit inefficiencies, Mott & Bow benefits from Chanin’s supply chain roots. His father owns the Honduran denim factory Intermoda and the brand Pepe Revolution & Co., which he founded at the same time in 1982. Chanin worked in his family’s denim facility from the age of 14 through his post-college years, then founded Mott & Bow in 2014.
Mott & Bow products are manufactured and washed at Intermoda, giving Chanin built-in quality control, however he was in need for a textile supplier whom he could trust blindly. Chanin said there are only a few companies to work with if you want the best fabric. He ultimately picked the Turkish denim mill Orta Anadolu for its product and the support it offers in wash development, bringing in professionals to offer ideas and present suggestions of what they have done in the past.
His partnership with Orta is shared on the brand’s website; Chanin said he feels the collaboration is important to share with the end consumer. Mott & Bow joins a small group of companies including J.Crew and Everlane that are making an increased effort to publicize their transparency efforts and attract the conscientious buyer.
The brand keeps its styling simple and classic. Three fits and styles are updated monthly with new fabrics or washes. Designers are inspired by New York; the brand is named after Mott and Bowery streets in New York, and the same is true of each denim fabric: Rivington, for instance, is a 12 oz. denim in dark indigo. The brand’s dark washes and resin washes are the most popular. Chanin said he sees the company’s style as characteristic of New York style, with “internal confidence.”