Denim designer Scott Morrison was born and raised in Palm Springs, California, and attended the University of Washington, Seattle, on an athletic scholarship for golf. A professional in the sport by age 23, he developed an interest in the clothing industry while in college, and soon accepted a position with local clothing designer, Derek Andrew.
Two years later, in 1998, Scott was hired to oversee the sales and marketing of a new denim division of Mudd Jeans, based in New York City. Jack Jeans, as it would be known, had been developed to compete with the likes of Diesel and Replay but closed the following year. Scott chose to remain in the city he still calls home and subsequently founded ‘Paper Denim & Cloth’ in 1999.
Scott’s reputation in the industry grew over the next four years at Paper Denim. As both President and Designer, he began incorporating other areas of personal and cultural interest into the lifestyle concept, collaborating with artists such as Faile and Bast and offering limited edition pieces built upon the aesthetic. The worldwide exposure that followed prompted Morrison to publish a retrospective on emerging underground artists, Boredom, in 2003.
After almost five years of developing, designing, and managing one of the first American success stories in the ‘Premium Denim’ market, Morrison left Paper Denim to launch a new denim brand called ‘Earnest Sewn’ and clothing line known as ‘An Earnest Cut & Sew’ in 2004. Both reflected his passion for quality, the Japanese aesthetic principle of wabi-sabi (i.e. beauty in imperfection), and his love of American heritage.
Earnest Sewn became a modern day testament to quality, tradition, and the ever-present influence of denim in a continually evolving world culture. Scott continued to develop his love of architecture and interior design during those years, designing all three of the Earnest Sewn stores, and the Milk Bar at Milk Studios in New York City. Morrison chose to move on from the brand in 2009, and briefly helped with the rebranding and repositioning of Japanese cult denim label, ‘Evisu’ from 2009 to 2010.
In February 2011, however, Morrison took what may be his most personal vision, and launched ‘3×1’. The name “3×1” is derived from denim’s standard weaving construction, the ‘3×1 Right Hand Twill’, and also references Morrison’s third venture, following Paper Denim and Earnest Sewn. As a label, 3×1 is defined by its transparency, quality, and uniqueness with the one and only location at 15 Mercer Street housing a 4,000 sq.ft. retail and gallery space, an entire manufacturing facility as well as their 3,200 sq.ft. design studio.
Each pair of 3×1 jeans is created on site and tailored for each specific customer. Offered as either Limited Edition, Custom Made or Bespoke jeans, 3×1 is truly the world’s first denim atelier. Limited Edition are kept in-stock, and made in limited quantities of only 8, 12, 16 or 24 pieces – each to be hemmed and finished, with a button and rivets of the customer’s choosing. 3×1’s Custom Made products are made to order, and include time with a consultant to determine the customer’s preference of back pockets, thread theory, and most importantly, fabric.
The Bespoke service allows patrons to work individually with Morrison and his pattern-maker to create their own pair of jeans from start to finish. The fabric selection offered to 3×1 customers consists of more than 80 unique selvedge denims from around the world, and as many as more than 65 varieties of non-selvedge denims, stretch denims and twills.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
3×1 is my denim atelier in New York City where we use the best fabrics, components and sewing, and allow customers to participate in the design process on every level. The name is derived from denim standard weaving construction, 3×1 Right Hand Twill, and references my third venture following Paper Denim, Cloth and Earnest Sewn. As a label, 3×1 is defined by transparency, value and uniqueness with the one and only location at 15 Mercer Street housing a 4,000 sq.ft. retail and gallery space, an entire manufacturing facility as well as our 3,200 sq.ft. design studio. Each pair of 3×1 jeans is created on site and tailored for the customer as Limited Edition, Custom Made or Bespoke. Limited Edition refers to the styles available for ready to wear, they are typically produced in limited runs of 8, 12 ,16 or 24 pieces and can be hemmed and finished with a button and rivets of the customers choosing while they wait (typically 5 minutes). The Custom Made option includes time with our denim experts to determine all the details of your jean, including back pockets, fabric and thread theory.
Bespoke denim service is also offered, allowing patrons to work with myself or our head pattern-maker to create their own pair of jeans from scratch from start to finish. The fabric selection offered to customers consists of more than 80 unique selvedge denims from around the world (primarily for men), and as many as 65 varieties of denims and twills specific to women.
WHERE DO YOU SEE DENIM GOING NEXT?
In the future, I think personalization (customization) will play an increasingly important role. Consumers are always looking to discover new things and make them their own. It is getting harder and harder to do that, to find something truly unique with most brands selling globally and the easy access to brands via e-commerce.
WHAT CAN BE TAKEN FROM THE PAST?
My experiences from the past 15 years are with me in every decision we make, from fabric selection to fit recommendations for a bespoke customer. I think jeans are, and continue to be, more relevant than ever and have a place in everyone’s wardrobe as they are acceptable in almost any situation from the office to restaurants to nightclubs. Over the years, significant improvements have been made in washing techniques giving designers the tools to create more interest on the product itself. I personally have an affinity for selvedge denim created on a traditional shuttle loom and its subtle imperfections as I feel it gives the fabric a personality.