“I put on my jeans and I feel all right” sang the British pop musician, David Dundas, in the 1970s. Many still agree with that quote today. Because for decades jeans have been a popular piece of clothing for young and old. They are not only comfortable, practical and timeless. They also often accompany their owners through life, with all of its highs and lows.
These are the stories that inspire the jeans maker, Mike Hodis, in his work. For him, a pair of jeans is not just a practical denim material reinforced with rivets. Instead it is a revered trade which reflects the free American spirit and gives people a sense of home. That is why quality, ethics and sustainability play such an important role in Mike Hodis’ production. “Just because technological progress has given rise to machines which can produce more efficiently, faster and greater quantities, this does not necessarily mean that the quality of the goods automatically improves”, explains Mike Hodis, thus contradicting the general development of the clothing industry. That is why in 2004, he gave up his job as a designer and consultant for large-scale jeans productions after 28 years and founded his own company in Los Angeles: The Rising Sun & Co.
At The Rising Sun & Co. Mike Hodis puts the focus on the product. Every one of his clothing articles is manufactured with high-quality materials and great attention to detail. The passionate collector only uses antique sewing machines and tools from the 1920s and 30s for the production. Mike Hodis describes these decades as a “golden age” because they reflect the pride and honor of the trades and also the technological progress which drove mass production and the pioneering spirit. Mike Hodis explains that during this time the manufacturers and the consumers placed great value in the high quality of the production and of the product itself. With his jeans production, Mike Hodis continues this “golden age”, orienting himself on the master tailors of the past. The hand-made jeans production poses a number of challenges. However, Mike Hodis and his team of roughly ten employees tackle these challenges every day at The Rising Sun & Co. in Los Angeles – Successfully!