L.C. King: Unspoiled American Manufacturer

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by Jenni Avins on August 15, 2013


Don’t miss today’s New York Times Style section. Cathy Horyn takes a Tennessee road trip to apparel manufacturer L.C. King, and blows the cover off a great opportunity for designers to work with a domestic factory with a heritage pedigree. (Low minimums!) The company’s current president, Jack King, reluctantly left his dream job in Atlanta to take the helm in 1999, when his father’s health failed. It sounds like King, 50, has since warmed up to the job, thanks to a forward-thinking social media guy and faithful employees, who were initially skeptical of his city slicker ways. (It also kind of sounds like the plot for a musical.) In any case, I love this story and it must have been so fun to report. Kudos to Cathy Horyn for calling up the factory and hitting the road after King smartly sent her an email. And kudos to King and crew for keeping up the good work for a century!

It’s going to be fun to watch more fashion designers manufacture with the factory and follow in Junya Watanabe’s footsteps, modifying L.C. King’s own Pointer Brand pieces for the high-end market. Steven Alan could do a bang-up job, and transparency-touters like Of-a-Kind, Everlane, and Zady would probably do great work with King too. Although for my money, these Hickory Stripe overalls look pretty sweet just the way they are.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ben Collins September 9, 2013 at 8:46 am

Thanks for the mention! We have definitely seen a boost in our contacts from designers and new potential partners lately. This is in part due to the article, but also because of forces already under way in the marketplace. One of our basic requirements for working with others is a visit to the factory. Gotta come see it first hand to fully understand who we are and to ensure maximum quality.

We are in the process of making higher fashion garments. For the first time, we are doing product development with a design approach and capacity we’ve never had before thanks to new partners. It’s exciting!

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