Dillon Montara – The Up And Coming Denim Brand You Need To Know

Dillon Montara

We’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with brands all over the world, hear their stories and find out about upcoming labels that are doing some amazing work. Once in a while, we come across a brand that somehow flew under our radar and quietly launched not only a line of jeans, but also a whole collection of shirts, jackets, and accessories that resemble work by a long-established company. It’s always a pleasant surprise when this happens and we were definitely glad to have caught wind of Dillon Montara.

Dillon Montara

Started by Robert Patterson and Steven Heard, Dillon Montara is completely based in San Francisco where they are prototyping, cutting and sewing everything in-house. Derived from Dillon Beach and Montara Beach, Dillon Montara may be a new but the founding team are by no means inexperienced in the denim world. For the past 20 years, they have been pattern makers for brands, both big and small, all over the world.

What caught our eye about the brand was the minimalistic aesthetic, reminiscent of fashion brands like Band of Outsiders, but cut in a way which would work for a much larger range of body types. Though their clothes have a more modern look and feel, they still carry the durability and solid construction that workwear is known for.

Dillon Montara currently offers one cut of jean, a slim tapered fit with a medium rise and a roomier top block that makes the jeans easy to wear; especially for those with more athletic thighs. That said, the jeans certainly maintain a slim silhouette.

Additionally, the decision to only have one cut for now was a deliberate one; they wanted to keep the options simple. After experimenting with a variety of cuts, they felt that this particular cut best fit the brand’s aesthetic and their own personal style.

Although the jean may look simple and plain at first glance, they contain some thoughtful and uncommon details throughout. The pocket bags are made from an incredibly tough Destroyer Twill and all the seams are taped with the fabric. It’s a labor intensive process that is usually seen in high-end suiting and both helps increase the jean’s durability of the jean, as well gives the denim a much cleaner look.

One of our favourite details is the swooped back pockets. These make it easier to fit larger wallets and allows the pocket to sit more naturally when worn. They also opted to use a zipper fly as opposed to a button fly. The jean comes in a few denim fabrics including a lighter weight 12.75 oz Cone Mills selvedge, 14.75 oz indigo dyed selvedge denim from Okayama, and a 15 oz sulfur dyed black selvedge denim from Kurobo Mills

Outside of their denim option, they have a robust collection of shirts and jackets made from all sorts of Japanese fabrics. The shirts are all cut in a simple fashion that is slim without feeling constrictive, and have a longer front chest pocket suitable for smartphones. Their indigo dyed chore coat with blanket lining is a standout that should appeal to many. Robert travels to Japan often to pick out fabrics so there will be a lot of interesting options in the coming months.

chore jacket

One of the things that stuck out to me when talking with Robert and Steven was their open mindedness to new ideas; including their willingness to try different ways of designing clothes and also reaching out to new customers. They’re currently in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign which was purposely pursued for reasons unlike other startup labels. Their campaign is intended not to help launch their brand but rather as an avenue to offer their products at lower prices for a limited time and introduce themselves to a wider audience. In a way, it’s their unofficial “sale”.

After walking around their factory space and seeing the different types of prototypes they’re working on, 2014 is shaping up to be a big year for Dillon Montara. Head over to their website to learn more about them and also take advantage of their Kickstarter campaign.

Young Lee

Young Lee

Young is a self proclaimed taco and denim enthusiast who plays in the San Francisco bands, The Soonest , and Theres Talk. He regularly posts pictures relating to denim and menswear on Tumblr, Liverpool and Main and Instagram, Young of The Soonest.

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  • whorebucks


  • Model Citizen

    This stuff looks pretty cool. I’m not a fan of the zipper fly, the other details are nice though. The jacket and the shirts are dope.

  • Johnson Benjamin

    I agree. You think they would have popped up before now. They are completely funded though. That is awesome. I really like their jackets.

  • Devan Prithipaul

    No, we have enough of these 100% USA, clean aesthetic, minimalistic, cutting out the middlemen type brands. its just flooding the market. Their jackets are ok, so I dont know why they dont just do some kind of licensing/ manufacturing for another brand.

    • Young

      not sure where you got the cut out the middleman part because thats not what they’re doing at all. they’re actually making everything in house (meaning they cut sew and product all their product in their own space. nothing is outsourced to another factory/workshop) and selling it through other retailers. their kickstarter is not meant as a platform to launch their business but as a way to almost a presale at a promo price. I don’t know how their operation has anything to do with licensing and manufacturing for another brand but let me know what you meant and i’d be happy to discuss more about your thoughts.

      • Ben

        “nothing is outsourced to another factory” Their jeans will not be manufactured in their own space. Would you be willing to append your statement if this is correct?

    • Chris

      What’s your point re:flooding the market?

      • Devan Prithipaul

        I just meant that there are too many denim brands that are doing the same thing.

        • Devan Prissypauly

          I know right!!! Like seriously, americans should give up on making decent denim completely. Brands that are starting up now and becoming successful shouldnt even try, if you werent one of the first brands making jeans in the states, there is no room for you!!

  • naruto173

    their back pocket is just …copying scotch & soda Ralston fit.

  • Johnson Benjamin

    Looks like things are not going so well with the kickstarter campaign fulfillment.

    • Les Campbell

      Beyond that, I received a pair that was marked incorrectly and when I questioned them about the sizing they lied and said I had measured the waist wrong?? I returned the jeans to them with a promise from them that they’d send me back a another pair. That was in July, months went by an no jeans, got Kick starter involved and nothing. Finally just had my CC do a charge back and chalked this one up to a total screw up. They were complete unprepared for the orders they took..