Brooklyn Magazine: The Steve Jobs of Denim?

Man wearing raw denim shirt by Maurice Malone for the Williamsburg Garment Company brand

In the closing days of 2011, I brought the Williamsburg Garment Company to life within the cozy confines of my Brooklyn apartment. With an investment of just $1,600 in premium Cone Mills denim and a humble $180 for a website template, I embarked on a journey that was about to challenge the conventional wisdom of the fashion industry. As I meticulously refined the website and its imagery, I was stepping into a world where SEO was still a nascent concept. The unexpected surge in sales that followed the site's launch was a clear indicator of the untapped potential of a thoughtfully crafted online presence.

The retail environment at that time was at a crossroads, with traditional brick-and-mortar stores thriving even as the digital landscape burgeoned. In this evolving marketplace, I encouraged my retail partners to recognize the power and necessity of a strong online platform. As Williamsburg Garment Company grew, I found myself wearing many hats: designer, webmaster, customer service rep, order processor, bookkeeper, marketer, PR manager, photographer, and editor. This all-encompassing approach to business was more than just a strategy; it was a necessity, and it didn't go unnoticed. Soon, I was being referred to as the "Steve Jobs of Denim" in interviews, a title that acknowledged the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that defined the brand's early days.

This multidisciplinary approach wasn't just about managing a brand; it was about redefining what a fashion brand could be in the digital age. It was a testament to the fact that, in the right hands, limited resources could be stretched to create something exceptional. It was a journey of discovery, challenge, and triumph.

Now, let's explore the original article that ignited it all, "The Steve Jobs of Denim?" authored by Clément Pascal and published by Brooklyn Magazine on May 31, 2012. Here below, Pascal captures the essence of what made Williamsburg Garment Company stand out in an industry ripe for disruption.

The Steve Jobs of Denim?

Images from Brooklyn Magazine's article "The Steve Jobs of Denim"
By Clément Pascal Published by Brooklyn Magazine on May 31, 2012


Maurice Malone, the man behind the one-man operation The Williamsburg Garment Company, produces boutique denim named after local streets—Kent Ave., Berry Street, and Union Ave. But don’t mistake high quality for a high price. Selling at low cost straight to retailers for cash—to avoid unpaid invoices and other “costly expenses”—allows prices to be close to factory-direct.

“I could charge more money and easily make more money at market-standard prices,” Malone tells us, “but I cut all the expenses that go into why brands traditionally charge what they charge for their products. So I think it all evens out.”

Why the unique business model? “The denim market is very difficult to break into, especially when working with very limited cash or resources,” he tells us. “When I started this brand, I wanted to do something as groundbreaking and as radical as some of the tech companies, like Facebook and Apple. So I took a hard look at the market and came up with a formula for success that no one has tried before.”

So far, so good—he’s adding new retailers every week. But “to me, the number is not as important as the quality. I’m not trying to have a big volume of stores; I’m trying to be in only one account per city. So the stores I choose have to be the best fit for my brand while also being high-quality, well-respected designer boutiques or denim specialists. I’m spending my time securing my brand’s foundation, so the numbers aren’t the game plan.”

Read the original article: The Steve Jobs of Denim?

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