The story behind the Bridge&Boro really begins in the 60′s, when Carmelo Bari immigrated to New York City from Sicily. An expert pattern maker and tailor, Bari came to New York—then the center of the garment production world—to hone his craft in the famous Garment District.
Fast-forward almost fifty years to 2010, when Bari’s son, Fabio, asked his father to make him a pair of selvedge jeans. At the time, Fabio was going to school in Milan, and few of his classmates knew anything about selvedge denim. The idea came to him to make his own selvedge jeans, but to produce them in New York City and make an authentic product.
He approached his dad with the idea, and Carmelo loved the notion of making jeans in New York. After a few rounds of samples, the pair was able to produce a small collection that Fabio sold to his classmates, giving the family a foundation for their brand. They have stayed true to the original desire to produce in New York City, and all the jeans are cut and sewn in the city.
Bridge&Boro, named for the five boroughs that make up NYC and their iconic connecting bridges, is all about family. Not only do the father-and-son duo bring their energies to the brand, but brother, sister, Fabio’s wife, her family, and cousins all also contribute to moving the brand forward.
All of the models on the website are part of the family, and everything is done within the family, from setting up photo studios in Fabio’s garage for photo shoots to designing the leather patches. Not that it’s all smooth sailing all the time. Fabio relates, “My dad is old school, so we have gotten into some heated debates about fit, but if it ever got to the point where B&B got in the way of family, we would shut down shop.”
When asked about his decision to use raw denim, Fabio spoke of his affinity for the ability of the fabric to become a statement of its owner, each pair unique and personal. He still has his original pair of raw denim (the APC Rescue cut) and loves to hear people unfamiliar with raw selvedge come back a month later and tell him how impressed they are with the quality of the material.
The brand sources all of its denim from the iconic Cone Mills White Oak plant and currently offers two different cuts for men: the Bowery and the Rivington. The Bowery, a slim straight-leg fit with a medium-low rise, is available in three different types of denim: a red selvedge, a blue selvedge, and a unique Eco Blue (more on this later).
The Rivington, a regular straight-leg fit with a medium-low rise, is offered in red selvedge. They also produce a line for women with two different cuts and two types of denim. Bridge&Boro chose to utilize Cone due to its history of excellence and their desire to keep the jeans made and sourced locally. It doesn’t hurt that Cone also has a showroom in Midtown Manhattan, making it convenient for Fabio to drop in and check out the new offerings.
Each pair of jeans sports custom buttons, a leather patch with the bridge logo, and the trademark red stitch on the back pocket—each one done by hand, making each pair of jeans individual.
Since the brand produces their jeans in small lots, they are able to experiment with new materials, which is what led them to use the innovative Eco Blue selvedge from Cone. The denim is a 61 percent cotton and 39 percent recycled polyester blend, the polyester for this denim retaining the original color of the recycled product—in this case, black plastic food trays. This gives the denim a unique blue color, and also affects the feel and weight of the fabric. Not only is it unlike other denim’ it’s also environmentally conscious, which Fabio respects and appreciates.
In addition to their mens and womens jeans, Bridge&Boro also offers t-shirts, as well as a slim selvedge chambray tie, a idiosyncratic accessory that throws a bit of flare into dressing up.
The folks at Bridge&Boro want to continue to experiment with new materials and move forward, hoping one day to grow large enough to have their own production facility so that they can continue to offer best-fitting selvedge jeans possible for both men and women. The family-grown brand is passionate about its commitment to family and the made-in-NYC movement, maintaining its roots in the city that they call home.
To learn more about Bridge&Boro, visit their website.