TAILOR PROFILE SERIES VOL. 22 WITH TRISTAN THOMPSON
In Vol. 22 of our Tailor Profile Series, we celebrate Earth Day with Tristan Thompson in Los Angeles, California. His sustainable-focused designs and hand-crafted creativity coalesce into stylish new concepts that utilize bits and pieces of our past to help preserve our future.
MEET TRISTAN THOMPSON
Tell us about your start of picking up a needle and thread to where you are at now?
I first started sewing in my basement when I was about 15. My friend and I used my mom’s sewing machine to make these really crude hoodies and jackets that eventually, after years of practice, got better and better.
I then earned my BA in Fashion Design from Columbia College Chicago and made my way to LA to work as a tailor for Levi’s® in Century City.
Tell us about how your daily creations help better the planet.
The huge push in up-cycling in fashion has ignited a trend of reusing fabric and breathing new life into old garments destined for the landfill. Same holds true for fabric scraps. Each time we cut a hem at the tailor shop, a few inches of scrap is left over. That scrap still has life!
Clearly the 501® is your fav fit. Tell us about the pieces you created for Earth Day.
The pants I created are all designed off of a straight leg 501® silhouette. Each piece features tailor shop hem scraps, bits of damaged garments, or recycled materials that I collected from 3 different Levi’s® Tailor Shops in California. Over a hundred recycled bits of denim came together from people who have all lived different lives, at different points in history, all around the globe to create one unique piece that represents this current moment.
Over a hundred recycled bits of denim came together from people who have all lived different lives, at different points in history, all around the globe.
What music plays in your headphones while you stitch away?
I like a good comedy podcast or true crime doc. If it’s a music day, it really depends on the mood. If I need to work quickly, I’ll get motivated with some EDM. If it’s a design day, I might go to a dramatic movie score (Hans Zimmer rips!). Otherwise, it would probably be some Drake, Future, Kodak… new age rap.
I am sure it will be tough but tell us about your favorite experience helping someone extend the life of their garment.
Custom repairs are always a treat because of the history of the garment brought in; the story behind the rips and tears, and how we can create something even better out of the damage. Repairing or altering old Levi’s® that were found in someone’s parent’s closet from decades ago is always a thrill. Extending the life of forgotten garments and giving them new character is pretty special.