Make way for AW Selvedge, the incoming freshman Selvedge brand made with comfort, style, and athletes in mind. In March, I posted an interview with Andre Williams, owners of AW Selvedge, and learned a hell of a lot about the brand. If you didn’t get the chance to read the interview, AW Selvedge is the brainchild of former NFL Runningback (NY Giants/SD Chargers) Andrew Williams.
While an active pro athlete, Andre, a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, started two denim brands, DK Shin and AW Selvedge. While the brands were established well before, Andre made waves on the Raw Denim Facebook page last November by offering free jeans to the group members while supplies were available.
I was able to get my hands on a pair of AW Selvedge George Raw selvedge jeans for review. As a heavy skeptic, especially after a previous seems-too-good-to-be-true experience, I didn’t expect much, let alone to actually receive jeans. Turns out I’m kind of an asshole because not only did the jeans arrive, I was pleasantly surprised with the product. Andre had done his homework.
As with all reviews on this blog, we break things down into three categories: aesthetics, quality, and value to give an overall assessment at the end. This review is part one of a two-part series, with Tristan’s review of the AW Slevedge Tom Raw to follow on our YouTube channel.
If you’re wondering, and, hey, even if you aren’t, why we haven’t back-linked to the AW Selvedge website, it’s not because we are jerks. Currently, AW Selvedge is in the process of revamping and rebranding in preparation for their sophomore season. This means two-a-days in the dead heat, no leg day skips, and a total overhaul of their entire web presence. OK, enough of that.
AW SELVEDGE GEORGE RAW
AWS provides two wash options, in general, for their jeans. Raw, like we all love it, and washed and distressed. I suppose that’s for some, you know, the ones who don’t want to put in the work. It’s nice Andre accommodates them.
I got my hands on some George Raw’s, an athletic tapered cut, generous in the top block, and taper heavily down to the ankle. Sure, this sounds like a standard taper cut; however, Andre designed these jeans with thick thighs in mind. As a former pro-athlete / human tank, Andre struggled to find selvedge jeans that could accommodate his tree-trunk-esque and decided to make some him damnself.
George Raw is Kuroki milled RHT Redline selvedge, made exclusively for AW Selvedge. Both the cotton and the dye are organic, and impressively, the indigo holds fast. The weight clocks in just shy of 13.5oz, making it very wearable even in the heat. The denim has a nice texture and slubbiness while retaining a smooth hand feel.
The denim is unsanforized; stay frosty when looking at the size charts and order up to account for shrinking unless you’re keeping them dry till you die. One thing I noticed right away was how soft the hand feel of this denim was, almost like it had been washed but is definitely still raw.
The fit is very athlete-friendly and will definitely help those twice-a-week leg trainers feel like they aren’t trying to force fresh ground sausage into casing every time they try and don their jeans. The shockingly soft hand feel of these jeans paired with the fit made them stupidly comfortable right from the jump. There was none of that “I’m wearing a cardboard box for pants” experience.
There are a few callouts that I really loved from these jeans. First, deep back pockets. Part of my gripe with many of the Japanese and SEA brands are small pockets. I have giant, meat-hoof hands and need a little room to maneuver when it comes to pockets. It also gives me a greater sense of security that I’m not going to lose a phone or wallet to a couch cushion or sneaky hands in crowded streets.
Second, I love the “darted” accent on the pockets themselves, creating AW Selvedge’s Arcuate. It’s a subtle detail, but it really stood out to me. Finally, there are some really nice finishes, including two-tone stitching throughout and chain stitching where you’d expect to find it.
If I were presenting this to a crowd, I’d imagine an audible gasp over this following statement. The jeans from this freshman release were cut and sewn ethically in China. I know this can get some folks’ backs up, but there’s no sense in not addressing it. Someone would eventually ask why I didn’t mention where the jeans were made.
Andre has informed me the cut and sew operation will be moved stateside for future releases, combining incredible proprietary Japanese denim with American-made quality. The fit and measurements were spot-on. I also love the look and smooth texture of the Kuroki denim. There was just a little slubbiness. Overall, the craftsmanship is solid, with a few loose threads which might otherwise be tidied by more established brands.
I did notice, along with Tristan, that the chain stitching along the top of the waistband at times was noticeable and a little uncomfortable. I have concluded that it is likely due to the gage and type of thread used during manufacturing. It appears a little heavier from touch and sight than I have seen across my collection of SDA’s, Nama’s, Fullcount’s, etc.
While I have to commend the branded buttons and rivets, they turned out to be my one drawback to the entire pair. Well, that and my legs are a little too small to really fill out this cut, but that isn’t the jeans’ fault. Back to double leg day for me. The buttons are an alloy compound rather than a pure metal like brass or copper. This has lead to some oxidizing rather than patina. I’d like to see that change in the next release.
It’s hard not to be happy in this department. Even if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to receive my review pair of jeans on the house, These jeans don’t top the $130 mark, putting them on par for price with brands like (some of) Naked and Famous and Brave Star.
For a first at-bat, all things being equal, AW Selvedge smashed it, suitable for a double if not a triple. Andre is new to the market, a crowded market at that, has already identified a top mill, established inroads with them, and identified what aesthetics are essential to be taken seriously. This is no small feat.
Considering the proprietary Kuroki denim, I’d say that’s not so bad. I’m sure Chinese production might have had some part in cost control, and that future release might experience a reasonable bump in price to account for US production. There were some headaches and improvements I’d definitely like to see in run two, including a definite hardware swap to copper. Overall, I think the juice is worth the squeeze.
WHO SHOULD BUY AW GEORGE RAW’s
- People who are looking for high-quality Japanese denim at an entry-level price.
- Athletes and gym-rats with thick thighs that save lives will love these jeans. They were designed with that purpose in mind.
Who shouldn’t buy AW GEORGE RAW’s
- People with chicken legs should stay away as they may also ctrl + alt + delete your ass. Tiny legs and no rear is a bad look.
- People who take issue with where products are made might be wary of Chinese manufactured jeans.
- People who get gunshy when it comes to new companies.
AW Selvedge is the new kid on the block but offering a really nice product. There’s not much to offer those with more developed legs than the average human outside of a straight cut. This is fine for some but not all-encompassing and leaves our more muscley friends out of a modern silhouette. AW Selvedge meets a need in the industry and does so at a comfortable price for high-quality denim.
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