While years of working in denim development for brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Converse and Ann Taylor Loft Years exposed Bill Curtin to the global nature of the denim industry, he found his calling locally with BPD Washhouse. Located in Jersey City, N.J., just a short drive from major denim brands based in New York City, the washhouse is the only full-service commercial denim wet and dry process facility on the East Coast.
Location, location, location, however, has never been as important as it has during a period that saw travel (even on the PATH train) come to a halt. Laser proficiency—achieved by a newly acquired Jeanologia laser machine—and leaning into sustainability while saving time and money are among Curtin’s biggest accomplishments for the year, and both are benefiting local designers. Curtin’s washhouse was a go-to source for London-based heritage brand Belstaff to update items for its new Manhattan store. It also became a hub for one of the biggest pandemic fashion statements: tie-dye.
Now that it is safe to host in-person events, Curtin is passing on his love for denim through hands-on workshops and classes for experts and novices.
What is the biggest misconception that consumers have about sustainable denim?
That being sustainable costs more and is hard to implement.
What can the denim industry do to ensure a positive post-pandemic rebound?
It’s already back.
Skinny jeans: Over or a new staple?
Soon to be mocked.
How can denim retail improve?
Online or [traditional] retail—who cares who as long as it sells.
How many pairs of jeans do you own?
Hundreds and hundreds.
Which jeans do you wear the most, and why?
I am feeling A.P.C. right now. It’s a good gay butch jean, think Buffalo style.