Where Breeks Are Born
I had a meeting last week at the contract factory that makes all the Bicycle Fixation clothing (except the socks), and I dragged the camera along to take some pictures. Now you can see where the knickers are born, and meet some of the people who make it possible for us to realize our designs.

The actual sewing crew are subcontractors--real ones, not the employees disguised as "independent contractors" so beloved of American corporations these days: the needlefolk work for a variety of factories, on-site or at home, and come and go according to work flow and specialties needed for various projects. They set their own prices for the work--as I well know, having absorbed two increases in sewing costs recently for our fairly complex Classic Wool Knickers!

The people you see here are the permanent employees of our contractor: The boss, the coordinator, the cutter, and the sample makers. The space you see is where the patterns are made (by the boss herself), and where designs are argued out, refined, tested, and finalized, and where most of the fabric cutting for our actual products occurs.

Where all our Secret Meetings take place!

High techonology is here as well.

But it all comes down to needles and thread in the end.

This is as close as the Boss gets to a private office.

The middle room, where samples and product runs wait to be picked up.

Patterns waiting their turn.

Under the cutting table. Somewhere in all that (and they know exactly where!) lie more rolls of cloth for Bicycle Fixation.

Another corner, another pile. (And Trevor waiting for me by the door.)

A bit of thread at hand....

...And more waiting in reserve.

Stitching samples.

Martin, who has cut almost every Bicycle Fixation garment so far.

Left to right: Jessika, Lanana (the boss), Pai, Sawat, and Martin.

That's the place, and those are the people, that make it all possible. Near Ninth and Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles!

Text and photos by Richard Risemberg