RPMWEST – The Perfect Pair of Denim Delivered Right To Your Doorstep

RPM West Jeans Views

If there ever was a year for denim-related projects on Kickstarter, 2013 would certainly be it. The crowd funding platform has been no stranger to bright raw denim ideas, and we’d be remiss to leave RPMWEST off the list.

Building off the success of other funded denim projects, RPMWEST intends to execute their idea in similar fashion to GUSTIN and Brave Star. In essence, they aim to eliminate the middleman (i.e. the retailer) and bring quality selvedge jeans directly to the customer at wholesale prices.

The Brand

Manuel Rappard - RPMWEST Founder

Manuel Rappard – RPMWEST Founder

RPMWEST is the brainchild of New York University graduate and former Google employee, Manuel Rappard. Based in San Francisco, California, Rappard grew tired of how difficult it was to find quality clothing, like raw denim, at a reasonable price.

He believed that there was a divide in the denim industry where consumers had to choose between low quality, factory produced, cheap denim, or more expensive, artisanal selvedge denim. With his brand he is looking to fill the gap, bringing high quality Japanese selvedge denim directly to consumers at a reasonable price.

The Idea

RPM Denim Selection

The main innovations of RPMWEST come from two areas. The first is their pricing structure. By cutting out retail mark-up and selling the jean wholesale, RPMWEST is able to take what would be a jean that costs $200+ and sell it for a modest $95.

The second innovation is in their home try-on system. Purchasing clothing online can be a frustrating and cumbersome process, especially when clothes don’t fit as planned. To cut down on the hassle and increase customer satisfaction, RPMWEST is looking to incorporate a system where they send three pairs of jeans with each order; allowing the customer to try them on in the comfort of their own home and decide which pair fits the best.

Once they decide which pair to keep, the customer will be able to simply attach a prepaid label to the box and return the other pairs.

The Jeans

RPM Details

The jeans themselves are made in the USA from premium Japanese selvedge denim. The denim comes from the Nihon Menpu mill, in a sanforized red selvedge that clocks in at standard 13 Oz. Also in the works for RPMWEST is a heavier 16 Oz. special edition jean, limited to 100 pairs.  They are offered in two fits, the “New Classic” and the “Slim Straight”.

RPM Details

Despite costing only $95.00, the denim has seemingly no shortage of quality details, including a chain stitched hem, leather brand patch, metal tack buttons, tucked belt loops, and reinforced front and back pockets. As well, based upon their customer-friendly purchasing model, there’s no denying RPMWEST is a great option for those looking to make the foray into the raw denim world, or even for the veteran denim enthusiast looking to try something new.

Be sure to hop over to their Kickstarter listing to learn more. Though they’ve well surpassed their initial $20,000 goal and $50,000 stretch goal, you still have a chance to back the project and pre-order yourself a pair of their denim.

Darius Lalier

Darius is currently a student living in New York City, attending New York University. Darius has a strong interest in all things raw denim and a specific interest in American manufacturing. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @dlalier.

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  • Grandier

    “RPMWEST is
    looking to incorporate a system where they send three pairs of jeans
    with each order; allowing the customer to try them on in the comfort of
    their own home and decide which pair fits the best.”

    i’m not exactly sure about this….some douchebag could just take advantage of this and nab the other 2 sizes or sell it for their profit….

    • Harry

      Warby Parker manages to make it work. There must be some sort of credit card deposit/security system.

    • http://www.rawrdenim.com Rawr Denim

      Definitely a risk, but Frank & Oak has also had success with their “Hunt Club”

    • Zelch

      You give them a credit card to pay for the shipping. They charge you for the jeans you don’t return within a certain time period.

      • Grandier

        that’s true. i didn’t thought about it at first, but i guess it could work that way !

      • RPMWEST

        Yes, we are storing your credit card credential as collateral.

  • Devan Prithipaul

    Problem is, they don’t offer that handy try at home service if you don’t live in the US. so for me, as someone who lives in canada it’s not that helpful.

    • anonymous

      problem is…..CANADA!!!!


      Hi Devan, we hope to offer the home try-on program in Canada soon as well. Stay tuned!

  • Li Huang

    My first time here (directed from RPMWest Facebook page). Great article, good price point for selvedge denim, and I love simple design. The concept seems to be similar to Gustin’s with the exception of the Home-Try-On system (I’m sure they can charge your credit card if you decided to take the other 2 pairs). Besides @ $95, you are already paying for shipping both ways given Gustin jeans are at ~$81. I hope their quality is on par with that of >$250 as claimed for I wasn’t impressed with the Gustin that my friend has pledged (uneven chained stitch, lose threads etc.).

    • Les Campbell

      Hmm, I have to disagree with you in regards to Gustin’s jean’s. I also backed that project and the product I received was on par with most premium denim, no issues at all.

      • Li Huang

        Well based on my experience. My friend got his first pair missing bar tack on the fly. The second sewn the selvedge part as folded (minor detail). We has to get rid of a lot of lose threads when we got the jeans and some stitching are lose and will sprun off in time. However, given their price point of under $100, it is by far the best around especially for the tiny details and chain stitching, not to mention great customer service. However, when comparing to those at $200+ range they seems to fall below my expectations.

      • Li Huang

        This is the old pair without the bar tack (as far as I know my friend got a replacement at lightning speed and they were very friendly to him). Then again he could be bias for having actually met them up in person

        • Les Campbell

          My response to your comment was based on the idea that its not fair to characterize a brand by one example..while I don’t doubt that there where some denim that got shipped below par the guys at Gustin are quite responsive and quick to fix any issues.

          • Li Huang

            I think 2 pairs for one person is a little too much and as I have mentioned it’s based on my observation/experience that my friend has. Yes they do provide good customer service (as mentioned) but the replacement wasn’t on par either, so what does that say? Now I’m quite picky about my denim and like to have threads that stay in place and sewn in nicely so I rather not take a chance with a seemingly hit or miss situation. As for my friend he doesn’t care and will continue doing business with them. Again, they have good price point but from my observation they did not justify being on par with those in the $200+ range. Just my 2 cent

  • SkyBlue

    I seriously doubt they are manufacturing these in San Francisco like he said.

    • szfofa

      It should be noted that San Francisco, supposedly, has the largest Chinese population outside of China. Interpret that as you wish.

      • SFdenim

        San Francisco has one jean manufacturer that’s named Skyblue. They make all of 3sixteens, tellasons, stovall and young, and gustins. If they are making these, they won’t be ready till 2014.

  • Hon

    Just a question… let’s say someone gets 3 pairs that are too small for them and stretches or messes up the pants. Let’s say we have thousands of people doing that… what is rpmwest going to do with those pants?

    So are others going to get pants that possibly were “pre-worn” already?

    • Mister

      I don’t own underwear. I am definitely going to test out all 3 pairs.

      • Freeballer

        cool…I never wear underwear under jeans either!

  • Kleetz

    Pre-ordered a pair. Very exciting!


      Thanks Kleetz. We really appreciate the support.

  • szfofa

    Gustin is already set up and running with constantly changing denim. Gustin will probably sit back wait and see if this 3 to try keep 1 model will work and then easily implement it if does.

    If the fits are the same and the fabric changes, couldn’t rpmwest or gustin have a set of loner pairs that are constantly lent out for fitting purpose (until they lose shape)? Or Set up a system where select retailers carry these “fitting” pairs of jeans and can place a direct order of jeans thru the retailer (the store will never actually carry the jeans) and instead of the retailer getting a full mark-up on the denim, they get a small handlers fee per jean sold.

    Or not, I dunno. just thinking out loud

    Comparing the two, I really like all the little details Gustin keeps in mind. RPMWest seem to be an upgrade to unbranded and gustin an upgrade to both.

    • szfofa

      The loner pairs when retired, which i imagine would still be in decent shape, could be donated to someplace where they will be needed and they would get a tax write off the cost of the loner jeans.

  • BillygoatsGruff312

    These and the Gustins look like they could give Unbranded a run for the money.