meet sam and dan. together with our design team, they’ve put a lot of thought into (and logged some serious hours) creating the shorts you’ll be living in this summer. from the Stanton short in hand-painted DPM (the acronym for “disruptive pattern material,” a fancy British way of saying “camo”) to our military tent short, consider them your marching orders.
Into the Wild
First used on the Denison smock (named after its designer, Major Denison), which was issued by the British army in the 1940s, the original camo pattern was created using light green, dark green and brown brushstrokes made with a mop. A similar look was recreated by our own visual designer, Sam, with a long paintbrush. “We wanted the effect to feel more painterly than graphic,” says Sam, who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before joining the J.Crew team four and a half years ago.
Sam hand painted more than 200 yards of fabric (for our tried-and-tested Stanton short in a summerweight chino) over the course of a week. It took a bit of time to nail down the paint type and colors, but he eventually landed on a red ochre and a sap green. After the painting was completed and dried, we washed the fabric again to give it a worn-in feel.
Around the same time, our men’s designer, Dan, began working with vintage suppliers in Minnesota and California to source the material for our military tent short. (This is our third season carrying it, and this time we’ve made only 30 pairs—the most limited run of the style yet.) “We were looking for nuances,” says Dan of the tents he chose. “Stamps, repairs, stains, seams—signs they’d been worn in.”
The shelter-half tents went through two or three rounds of washes (since many of them dated back to the 1940s), then our team placed the patterns by hand to ensure we were maximizing the details—the signs of wear. The tents were then sent off to our factory to be assembled to our specifications.
The Real McCoy
The hand-painted camo shorts and military tent shorts arrived in our office within the same week. The team went to work numbering each pair by hand, and our graphic designer created paintbrush and tent motifs, which appear on the inside of each pair. Most important, no two are identical.
To shop the Stanton short in hand-painted DPM camo click here
, and to shop our military tent short, click here