Marc Nelson Denim Inks Deal as Exclusive Provider of Rocky Top, Tennessee Licensed Products

Marc Nelson Denim Inks Deal as Exclusive Provider of Rocky Top, Tennessee Licensed Products

Knoxville-based denim brand and Tennessee town join efforts to create jobs and build community

Knoxville, Tenn. – September 8, 2014 Rocky Top Tennessee Marketing and Manufacturing, along with Marc Nelson Denim today announced a new partnership in which the Knoxville-based denim brand would become the exclusive licensee of Rocky Top, Tennessee apparel and souvenirs. The former mining town in East Tennessee changed its name to Rocky Top, Tennessee in late June 2014 as part of an effort to revitalize tourism and economic development in the area.

“We see this deal as the first step in bringing about revitalizations efforts that started when we changed our name,” said Tim Isbell, president at Rocky Top Marketing and Manufacturing. “We wanted to partner with Marc Nelson Denim because of how the brand’s values and commitment to community-building naturally align with what we’re trying to do in Rocky Top, Tennessee.”

Marc Nelson Denim was founded in 2011 by Knoxville-native Marcus Hall. After growing up in the same neighborhood as the now defunct Levi’s plant, Hall saw firsthand how local industry can have a positive impact on a community, not just by creating jobs but also with the sense of pride they instill. This has been the driving force behind his plan for Marc Nelson Denim, with all products being designed and manufactured in the USA. For the past year, Hall’s focus has been on moving his production to East Tennessee.

“It’s important to me that we maintain our commitment to building a stronger community,” said Hall. “This isn’t just about the products we create or sell. There’s so much more at stake here. We want to promote the idea that buying locally made goods and products is a way to invest in the lives of our neighbors.”

“The reason Marc Nelson Denim is so excited about partnering with Rocky Top, Tennessee is that both of us are on a mission to restore and breathe new life into our communities,” said Hall. “And by working together, we can accomplish so much more.”

Details about types of products and souvenirs as well as where they will be available are still being worked out.

Marc Nelson Denim is currently preparing for the grand opening of its flagship store, which is to be located at 700 E. Depot Avenue, adjacent to the company’s current warehouse space on Randolph Street in the Old City.

The Marc Nelson flagship store will stock all things Marc Nelson Denim, as well as other USA Made products that have been carefully curated and chosen to fit with the aesthetic of the overall brand. The store is outfitted with a window that gives visitors a glimpse behind the scenes where the denim production takes place.

The public is invited to attend the grand opening weekend of the Marc Nelson Denim flagship store for a celebration of local music, food & drink, arts, culture and fashion. Doors will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 20th.

The festivities will include a showcase of art and goods made by talented local artists and craftsmen as well as a fashion show featuring the latest Marc Nelson Denim styles. Knoxville’s Saw Works Brewery will be on hand for the event, as well as Smooth Ambler, a small batch craft whiskey brand based in West Virginia. 

Marc Nelson Denim Rocky Top Tennessee 14.JPG

Whiskey Wash, Oh so Smooth

So this week we just got in the new Whiskey Stained Jeans! We partnered with Smooth Ambler Spirits to create these one of a kind jeans.  They are white denim jeans that have been soaked in an oak barrel of whiskey to get this amazing rich light brown color. They look so amazing! The color is that perfect light brown that can easily work year round.  The cut is a slim straight which makes the jean look modern but the color gives is a classic/rustic look. It's a super versatile jean.  A guy could dress is up for work or a nice event or they could go hiking in them.  They are kind of the perfect men's jean thats not blue. We actually created this awesome promo video that shows the process of making this unique jeans featuring Marcus, the Smooth Ambler team, and Cruz Contreras of the Black Lillies.

Flagship Store Grand Opening

Marc Nelson Denim, Knoxville’s premiere small-batch denim brand is set to open the doors of its new flagship store September 20th. The Marc Nelson Denim flagship store will be located at 700 E. Depot Avenue, adjacent to the company’s current warehouse space on Randolph Street in the Old City.

“Opening a flagship store has been a dream of mine for a long time,” said Marc Nelson founder and designer Marcus Hall. “Our brand is focused on the customer experience, and what better way to take customer experiences to a whole new level than with our own brick and mortar storefront.”

But this isn’t your average retail clothing boutique. The Marc Nelson flagship store will provide visitors a complete sensory experience, serving as a destination that celebrates the rich history and culture of the area.

Located next to Saw Works Brewing Company, the building which houses the Marc Nelson Denim flagship store is the site of the former Dick Wright Hardware, a Knoxville landmark. After several iterations as various businesses, Marc Nelson Denim is excited to see this space once again become an integral part of the community.

Part event space, part entertainment hub, part store, the flagship is a dynamic and luxurious new brand environment. The space has been designed with rich texture, vintage hardware and other visual elements that create a welcoming atmosphere where people can foster community while shopping for beautiful things.

The Marc Nelson flagship store will stock all things Marc Nelson Denim, as well as other USA Made products that have been carefully curated and chosen to fit with the aesthetic of the overall brand. The store is outfitted with a window that gives visitors a glimpse behind the scenes where the denim production takes place.

The public is invited to attend the grand opening weekend of the Marc Nelson Denim flagship store for a celebration of local music, food & drink, arts, culture and fashion. Doors will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 20th.

The festivities will include a showcase of art and goods made by talented local artists and craftsmen as well as a fashion show featuring the latest Marc Nelson Denim styles. Knoxville’s Saw Works Brewery will be on hand for the event, as well as Smooth Ambler, a small batch craft whiskey brand based in West Virginia.

“It’s important to me that we maintain our focus on building a stronger community,” said Hall. “This isn’t just about the jeans. There’s so much more at stake here. We want to promote the idea that buying locally made goods and products is a way to invest in the lives of our neighbors. From people who serve locally sourced food and drink to craftsman who create local goods and products, there are so many incredibly talented individuals in our region and around our nation.” 

At Marc Nelson Denim We Teach

So this month we have been teaching a Fashion Merchandising and Design class through the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.  We have six eager students who are so far (hopefully) loving it! Our designer Kelly and our two fashion interns Paris and Olivia are teaching this fabulous class. This week was about photography and how you photograph clothes for a clothing brand. So the students learned styling, lighting, how to pick the right photographer and model, how to make the clothes the focal point of the picture and everything in between. The students seem to be having a lot of fun and also learning a lot. I almost said sign me up for this class, everyone needs a good refresher every once in a while!

Shibori What?

This weeks blog comes from one of our fashion interns Olivia Miller. She is showing is a dying technique using bleach. Enjoy!

Shibori is the term used to described Japanese resist dyeing techniques that date back to the 8th century. Using both stitch and clamp resist methods, these techniques greatly resemble modern tie dye.

This tutorial shows how you can achieve Shibori-style patterns on your own jeans.

For this project you will need:

  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Two Buckets/tubs (deep enough to fill with enough water to fully submerge your denim)
  • Rubber bands
  • Protective gloves
  • Scissors

Begin by gathering all of your materials. I would recommend doing this outside, and wearing old clothes in case of spills.

2. Lay out your jeans on a flat surface, and start twisting small bundles of the jeans, while making sure to keep the front and back of the pant legs separate. This will enable you to create twists on both sides of the jean. Try to create a variety of sizes of twists to create more visual interest. Use the rubber bands to secure the twists you create. You can experiment with overlapping the rubber bands, and using bands with different thicknesses.

3. Once you are satisfied with how you have bundled your jeans, you are ready to bleach.

4. Fill your bucket with enough water so that your jeans will be completely submerged. The exact amount of water/bleach you use does not matter, HOWEVER, you should have a 1:1 ratio of bleach to water. If you have too much bleach, it will eat away at the denim.

5. Thoroughly stir the bleach and water mixture. While wearing your gloves, add your jeans to the bucket, and let the jeans soak. The amount of time depends on how light you want the jeans to become. If you have a denim that has a pre-applied wash, it will take a little longer for the bleach to penetrate the fabric. Periodically check your jeans until they have reached your desired shade. 

6. When you’re happy with how your jeans look, remove them from the bleach and water mixture, and move them into a second bucket filled with only water. Remove the rubber bands (you may want to have a pair of scissors handy), and let the jeans soak in the water. Gently agitate the denim, in orde to help remove some of the bleach. If your jeans are washing machine safe, then you can skip this step, and just rinse them in your machine. 

7. After removing the jeans from the washing machine or bucket, hang them up and let them air dry. You may want to repeat the washing process to help remove the bleach scent.

There you have it! There’s no right or wrong way to do this process, so feel free to mix it up, experiment, and have fun!

White Denim, Oh How I Love You!

Anyone that knows me knows I love white denim jeans.  I love how crisp and fresh they look. They are the perfect summer jean.  Not only can you wear them with anything but you look effortlessly chicer. You can wear a loud color top, muted color top, or even go monochromatic white.  Pair that outfit with a hot pair of shoes and accessories and you're ready to go! White jeans make me feel classy and that I could totally rock/own it in the Hamptons.  Luckily Marc Nelson Denim is coming out with white jeans for women, regular and distressed.  When the samples came to the warehouse I about died.  They are not just white jeans they are an off-white which is a plus because stark white is hard for a lot of people to wear because of their skin tone. But not these, they have a creamy look to them that is just so beautiful.  Yes I just called a pair of jeans beautiful... but they are!  That's the beauty of white denim, its just mesmerizing. At least that's how I feel.  For me when I wear white jeans, I feel instantly classier and sophisticated.  I hope when you ladies wear white jeans you feel like this too!

Model: Briannaca Saulsberry Photographer: Eric McKinney 

Model: Briannaca Saulsberry

Photographer: Eric McKinney 

The Many Colors of the Settler

So here at Marc Nelson we don't just make blue jeans. We have a variety of other products we make but out of those one of my favorites is the men's Settler pant.  The original Settler is tan but we just got new samples in! And guess what, we have other colors! We will add navy, grey, black and brown into the mix. Let me just tell you these pants are killer! They are cut like our men's slim straight and with all the new colors men will have plenty of options for any occasion.  We just had a photo shoot to get pictures of all the new product and lets just say the model in the Settler pant made me swoon a little.  Don't get me wrong I really love the way a pair of jeans look on a man but something about the Settler instantly made him look chicer without even trying.  So guys take a note from my love of the Settler because I'm sure your lady or potential ladies will love you in it just as much as me.

Model: Chandler Rasnake Photographer: Eric McKinney

Model: Chandler Rasnake

Photographer: Eric McKinney

How to Use Denim & Chambray for a Wedding

Today’s blog post comes from Kate, a member of our marketing department here at Marc Nelson Denim. Recently engaged, she has weddings on the brain and wanted to share some ideas for how to use denim and chambray for a wedding.

Summer is wedding season and there’s nothing quite as grand as a traditional southern wedding. What used to be a simple ceremony followed by cake and punch in the church basement has evolved into huge affairs with even bigger budgets. But every bride wants to stay true to her style (and let the groom express some style of his own).

Since I’ve been scouring lots of wedding magazines and blogs, I have come across lots of unique things that have inspired me. And since there is no shortage of style inspiration that comes from working with Marc Nelson Denim, I thought I would try to combine the two!

Chambray and denim are timeless fabrics, but even so they are really popular right now. Both make a great choice for a wedding, when done correctly. It doesn’t matter if your wedding is rustic southern elegant or traditional and classic, there are ways you can incorporate denim and chambray into the event.

Marc Nelson Denim - Chambray Skirt 

Marc Nelson Denim - Chambray Skirt 

1)      Bridesmaids Attire – I’m not saying that you could go all crazy with denim dresses, but what about skirts? Marc Nelson Denim chambray skirt is an option to consider since it’s something unique. You could pair it with a gorgeous silk blouse and elegant accessories for a really incredible statement. Finally a bridesmaid ‘dress’ you can and will wear again (and again!).

Marc Nelson Chambray Pant 

Marc Nelson Chambray Pant 

2)      Chambray Pants for Guys – For a while linen was the style du jour for groomsmen and grooms. But chambray has burst onto the scene. This lightweight fabric is perfect for the south’s warmer weather, but is also polished and tailored. The Chambray Nelson is a great option. Plus, since brides and grooms traditionally give members of their wedding party a gift, why not make it a fashion item they can wear for years? Nobody wants to rent another ill-fitting tuxedo.

Our friends Dustin and Lisa from Nothing Too Fancy. Doesn't Dustin look great in his custom jeans? Photo via the talented Dixie Pixel Photography. 

Our friends Dustin and Lisa from Nothing Too Fancy. Doesn't Dustin look great in his custom jeans? Photo via the talented Dixie Pixel Photography. 

3)      Custom Denim for Groom – Marc Nelson Denim has created many pairs of custom denim for grooms. Not only does this give the groom something perfectly tailored that fits his style to wear for the big day, it can also serve as a traditional bride’s gift. Presented on the day of the wedding in our signature gift box, it will make an unforgettable element to your wedding day.

Denim garland via Etsy 

Denim garland via Etsy 

4)      Denim Décor – You don’t have to stop at fashion when it comes to denim and chambray. What about chambray tablecloths for the wedding reception? Burlap is way overused and chambray would add an unexpected element. You could also create custom denim garlands or bunting using denim scraps.

5)      Denim Flowers & Boutonnieres – Fresh flowers are great, but they can get pretty expensive. Why not stretch your budget with some beautifully crafted denim floral creations? Sites like Etsy have options you can buy and if you’re crafty, check Pinterest for options you can recreate. I’m loving these simple denim boutonnieres for the groom and groomsmen.

These are just a few ways you can incorporate denim and chambray into your wedding. I’m sure there are brides out there who have other great ideas and we’d love to hear from you! If you had a denim element in your wedding, what was it? If you’re planning a wedding and feeling stuck on certain things, we hope this post inspired you.

And if you need custom denim or chambray for the groom or groomsmen, we can definitely help! Treat them to a fitting and let our team dress them up in style for your big day! 

Denim Jackets! Channeling My Favorite 90's Fad!

So I couldn't be more excited that denim jackets are back in style!  I  love a good denim jacket. In the summer its the perfect accessory to throw on on one of those starry summer nights.  A nice tailored denim jacket over a flowy sundress for the girls and a looser fitted jacket over a v-neck or button up for the guys.  Denim jackets can go with pretty much anything for a tailored casual look. They are the perfect jacket accessory for the summer because they can come in a variety of shades from white denim to black denim with all the blue hues in between.  You can find a denim jacket to fit your personality too, whether it be a crop jacket, denim vest, distressed, or a classic fit. During the summer months you really can't go wrong with such a classic look, I don't know why they didn't come back sooner!

Marc Nelson Denim Men's Denim Jacket

Marc Nelson Denim Men's Denim Jacket

You've Probably Been Buying Jeans Wrong

I feel like for most people think that buying a pair of jeans shouldn't be that involved.  You find a brand you like you get what you think is your size and wear them till they start to get holes or the trends change.  But see buying a pair of jeans should be more involved.  Denim is the only clothing you can get away with wearing the same pair several days in a row. So don't you want them to make you look as good as possible? Now I am guilty of buying jeans that didn't fit properly but I have been re-educated on denim fit since I've been with Marc Nelson Denim.  Basically when you first try on a pair of jeans you want them to be tight. Not too tight where you can't breath but tight enough that you can tell they're tight.  Most people buy jeans that fit comfortably in the store but that does nothing for you, you know why? Denim is made out of cotton and cotton stretches as you wear it.  I bet you notice you constantly have to wash and dry you jeans (which is a huge NO NO we've already discussed last week) to get them to fit the way they did in the store.  Well eventually they will stop shrinking and you'll be left with a pair of ill-fitting jeans, which no one wants.  If you buy them tight they will loosen up to the proper fit and you don't have to constantly dry them to get them to shrink because they won't need to shrink. So next time you buy a pair of jeans, come to Marc Nelson and we'll fit you properly. Just kidding, not really! But seriously next time you go buy a pair of jeans try the next size down than what you're used to buying and enjoy a better fitting jean!

Marcus fitting PBS anchor Stephanie Aldrich 

Marcus fitting PBS anchor Stephanie Aldrich