Origin & History:
Founders Matt and Carrie Eddmenson met first as schoolyard friends in Kentucky, later becoming coworkers at Carrie’s family business, a denim company that developed fits and washes for jean giants like Levi’s and RRL. When the company shuttered, Matt and Carrie (now husband and wife) did the only thing they knew how—they kept making denim. Using selvage fabric made exclusively for them by North Carolina’s revered Cone Denim (recreated from a vintage bolt and woven on antique shuttle looms), the fits are based on thousands of interactions with customers, not models. Some makes are then finished by hand in an old bathtub next to the fitting rooms, imbuing each with a unique personality. “We see jeans on so many body types that that really gives us an advantage,” says Matt. “At the same time, we create a product that’s a reflection of them.” And the name? That’s an appreciative nod to Carrie's maternal grandparents, who are a lasting source of inspiration, always reminding them that doing something well means coming by it honestly. It can’t be “staged, whatsoever,” says Carrie. “Everything about it has to be the way it is.”
After opening Imogene + Willie in July 2009, Matt and Carrie Eddmenson were adamant that we would only sell their jeans in a little gas station of a store in Nashville, Tenn. They wanted to know every single person who took the time to walk in the door as well as see the jean on each of them. They also wanted to validate that the fit was perfect for his or her body, and if not, they would (and still do) tailor it to make it just right. Meanwhile, they both kept lots of notes about what details and tweaks would be incorporated into new fits that would be developed and added to the collection in time.
Throughout this short journey, Matt and Carrie have been encouraged (and prodded) to consider offering their product to other retailers. They kicked and screamed like two stubborn mules, until one morning, they woke up and knew it was time.
The Gentlemen of The Class Room are excited to be one of a small number of retailers in the nation able to carry the Imogene + Willie pants in both the Willie fit and Barton fit. If you're still not convinced, stop on by and try on a pair for yourself...you'll be thanking us in no time!