How It’s Made: AG Jeans
Fact: The perfect pair of jeans can make a woman feel confident, sexy and, somehow, more like herself than any other article of clothing. Once you slip on a pair that feels like it was made for you, you’re hooked. And second-rate jeans won’t cut it.
For premium denim brand AG Adriano Goldschmied, fit is the secret to a pair of jeans every woman will love. And the secret to the brand’s consistent fit lies in its sprawling factory outside Los Angeles. There, AG manufactures every pair of its jeans with a unique attention to detail. In fact, 78 pairs of hands touch every pair of AG jeans during the production process.
Here’s an exclusive look behind the scenes at the AG manufacturing process that keeps your backside looking so good. One of the only vertically integrated manufacturers that still exist for denim, AG does everything from start to finish in one place. The brand does not outsource any part of the process. That means AG has much more control over the end product. No steps are missed and anything that needs to be fixed can be reacted to very quickly.
The loading dock is where each pair of jeans begins. All of the fabric used by the brand is imported from Italy or Japan. AG works directly with the mills to create innovative fabric blends, many of which are patented. AG keeps its fabric stacks low when storing fabric so as not damage or warp the material with weight. Every fabric roll is inspected for any damage and shrink-tested upon arrival at the factory.
AG lets the fabric “sleep” for 24 hours. After fabric is laid out to cut and has been exposed to any moisture or any altering elements, it can warp so AG gives it one day to retake its form. The brand loses a day of production, but it’s a critical step in delivering the truest and most consistent fit.
All design patterns are digitized and sent to the cutting machine. The pattern sits on top of the machine, flat and tight, ready for cutting.
The cut pieces then move on to sewing, in carts organized by size.
The owner of AG invented a barcode system that gives every piece on the cart a sticker. So when the piece moves from station to station, the sticker is scanned and removed. This gives the company incredible quality control over even the smallest pattern piece.
The sewing floor at AG holds nearly 700 people. The company has a total of 1,700 employees, up from 1,300 just six months ago. AG is the biggest employer in the city of South Gate, south of L.A.
Each sewing station is assigned a different part of the five-pocket design. Every worker has a specialty. Sewing the waistband is the highest skill position because it requires the most complicated technique.
All AG buttons are imported from Italy.
Workers sew and iron on the back pockets with the AG signature.
AG also invented whisker molds that make “painting” each jean less labor intensive. Every jean gets placed over the mold in order to ensure consistent whiskering.
Recently, the brand has transitioned to create aged whiskering through lasers rather than sand blasting. Not only is it more eco-friendly, it’s more efficient in getting a more consistent look.
Some jeans are also “baked” in an innovative process AG invented that creates a more aged, three-dimensional look.
Each jean is hung, coated with resin and baked in oven rooms, then hung to cool outside.
Washing happens after full jean construction. Massive washers can act as paint mixers to create special dye combinations. These wash treatments can give the jeans an extra finish, soften the color or play up the vintage feel.
Next, final “distressing” touches are made and each pair is inspected for quality.
Then hang-tags are added. The company hang-tags are made from recycled boxes. Each is stamped by hand.
The result is your perfect pair of jeans.