July 17, 2006

Into the Blue
David Lipke


Luxury, cutting-edge style and environmental consciousness all come together in the new Sling & Stones denim label, launching for spring '07. The Seattle-based line will showcase jeans fashioned from organic Japanese Supima denim, dyed with natural indigo and laundered with environmentally friendly ozone washes. A tasteful element of bling is added with 24-karat-gold-plated hardware, including button flys and rivets, all hand-cast by jewelers in India. Real gold thread is also used for stitching the jeans together and a small embroidered ampersand logo on the back pocket.
"We are focusing on sustainable manufacturing techniques and fair-trade practices," says Aiden Dinh, who founded Sling & Stones with a group of idealistic 20-something friends who all went to school together in the Seattle area: Salil Jain, James Hua, Sam Franada, Haley Ha and Carl Ng. The do-gooders even teamed up with like-minded financial backers, including a lawyer who started an orphanage and a doctor who works with suicidal teens in Japan. (Sling & Stones is donating some earnings to the two nonprofit organizations.)
But the lofty intentions of the Sling & Stones crew doesn't distract them from the design aspects of the business. "We're making a super-clean jean with true vintage washes that will last a lifetime," says Dinh, adding that the ultra-premium jeans will retail for $260-$350.
Also part of the debut collection is a group of organic pima cotton T-shirts, with bold, English-style designs of lions, bears and shields-printed with 24-karat-gold ink, of course.


The same group of friends who founded Sling & Stones will also debut a line called Fannypack for next spring. As the name suggests, the label aims to rehabilitate the much-maligned accessory most often associated with middle-aged tourists.
"We're trying to reinvent a really nasty item that has been destroyed by Middle America," explains Aiden Dinh, one of the line's founders. "But we live in Seattle, one of the technological hotbeds of the world, and the fannypack is one of the most functional accessories you can have."
Fannypack's lineup of waist-hugging pouches will be made from luxe materials like Harris Tweed, Italian leather, organic selvedge denim, or ballistic nylon, all in sleek, modern designs. Retail prices will range from $150 to $250.

Sling & Stones