» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

January 4, 2008
A startup company based in Seattle, Washington, Cadence Clothing is run by Dustin Klein and professes a focus on "creating intelligent, handmade, goods from the ground up." The product line ranges from tee's to caps to outerwear, and even a few imaginative bike accessories thrown in to boot. The Cadence mission is one of creation, in the purest sense of the word, and is influenced by cycling and the evolving experience of life. As an avid cyclist and former apparel maker myself (I started and ran ZOIC Clothing for several years), I was intrigued by Cadence and recently had the opportunity to bounce emails back and forth with Klein. On behalf of Lost at Sea, which is run by another bike fanatic, here follows our conversation.

LAS: How are you doing today, and have you been for a bike ride yet?

Dustin Klein: I am doing well today. I have not been on a ride as of yet today. Although I have plans to go for a one later today with an old friend of mine.

Tell me a bit about you and your background, and how you've come to find yourself at the helm of a clothing line.

I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, obsessed with skateboarding. Knowing that my interests could not be fulfilled in Fargo, I relocated the day after high school graduation to the west coast. I fell into the messenger world completely on accident in 2000 while living in Sacramento. Eventually I ended up in San Francisco, were I really learned that it was possible to create for a living. While in San Francisco I experimented with several different mediums and projects while figuring out what it was I wanted to do. Cadence was one of those projects and it started to slowly gain interest from other people. I kept at it purely as a hobby, eventually decided that I would try and do it full time. I never intended to be a fashion designer and I never attended art school. I have always just wanted to create.

Hip Lid: One of Klein's early products, this Cadence cap mixes the compact lines of traditional cycling caps with a street-styled design flair and hand-craftsmanship.

How about the name Cadence; it obviously has a cycling ring to it, anything deeper?

"Cadence" just made sense. The word looked good, it sounded good, and it was not specific to just cycling. The company references, and reflects, the word's definition - it is multi-dimensional.

When did the company form, and how's it going thus far?

Cadence started in 2003. I created a run of 50 shirts for the CMWC (Cycle Messenger World Championships) in Seattle, sold them and decided to keep it going. I started Cadence purely as a hobby - it wasn't until 2005 that I started to take it more seriously. My recent move to Seattle was a launching point for me to run Cadence full time. I haven't been behind on rent yet.

Are all the designs by one person, and would that be you, or do you have "guest" designers?

At this point Cadence Clothing is just me, Dustin Klein, and with the exception of the occasional intern I do everything myself. All designs and images are produced by me; that is the best part for me. Creating is what I enjoy the most and that is where I feel most at home. Eventually I will be able to hand off the production work to others, and concentrate on creating full time.

You state that production is completed in small, detail-oriented runs. What exactly does that entail - one person at a cutting table and sewing machine?

Exactly. Cadence is a small company with all aspects of the operation conducted within a 600 sq foot studio. This allows for constant experimentation, which is the birthplace for many pieces. All cutting and sewing, all printing, all design - everything is done in-house, by hand. This allows pieces to be so unique: by swapping the fabric for a hat liner or printing something extra on the inside of a shirt, only the person who owns the shirt will ever see it. It is all about details and enjoying the process. Who wants to make the same thing over and over!?

Keep your pants on: Dubbed the "Scout," one of Klein's upcoming editions is a belt made of "dead stock 1.75-inch military webbing" with a snap closure that puts 99% recycled or salvaged material to re-use.

Where do you procure your fabric, trim and other pieces used in production?

Fabric is acquired from multiple sources, ranging from thrift stores, dumpsters, local fabric stores - wherever I can find it.

Any place, aside from the website & showroom, where Cadence can be purchased?

Cadence is available in several boutiques through out the country: Minnie Wilde in San Francisco, Needles & Pens in San Francisco, Olypan in Sacramento, Tandem in Seattle, Young Blood in Atlanta, & Depot in Japan.

Does the clothing have any functional qualities for riding?

Every time I design something for Cadence I think about how it will work on a bike - that is the lifestyle I lead and I want to be able to wear what I create. The tricky part is in that for pieces - jackets, pants, et cetera - to be specific, or as specific as I would like, they have to be manufactured. Manufacturing is a big process that costs a lot of money; Cadence is still a small company that doesn't have a lot of money. I do the best I can with the resources I have available.

With that said, I have a hoodie coming out for winter that has riveted front pockets, ascetically placed reflective strips and snaps at the base of the hood to cover your neck while you ride. New "Bike Scout" belts that also have intelligently placed reflective bits. The "Tartan" cycling caps are created to fit under a helmet and look good after you're off the bike. The biggest jump in this direction will be the denim line that is underway right now. It is thought-out denim that is created to ride in... finally!

How does your line relate to what you see as the cycling lifestyle?

When you decide to adopt cycling into your life it changes the way you approach everything. That should not mean that you have to give up looking like a normal person. Not all cyclists want to look like a cyclist. This is where Cadence comes in.

Nice bits: Along with boutique-style wool caps and lycra arm warmers, Cadence also finds clever ways to use even the smallest fabric scraps, a case in point being the new "Supiun," rugged little wallet/change purse/dope stash made from a 99% recycled twill shell with a wool liner, velcro attachment straps for quick mating with the "Scout" belt or any number of messenger or backpack style bags, and a reflective detail for added touch.

Aside from cyclists, who else do you view as potential Cadence customers?

Anyone who appreciates visual aesthetics and handcrafted goods.

Any ideas on making helmets a bit sexier?

There is now !!

Seattle can put one in a soggy state, especially if he or she is committed to bicycle commuting year-round. How does one negotiate rain gear with their particular style, or do you advocate the "suck-it-up-and-dry-out-later" approach? Along the same lines, what's your take on fenders from an aesthetic point-of-view?

I am a firm believer that function advocates style. The trick with the rain is: waterproof jogging paints, wool or no socks, a good rain jacket, and fenders. I love fenders because they serve a purpose and they can also be an indication of an experienced cyclist. For me, those two things cancel out aesthetic issues.

Bike messengers have become urban sex-symbols of a sort; any thoughts on why they always look cool? Have you ever been a messenger?

Simply put, it's freedom, represented in all aspects of the messenger and what it means to be a messenger.
I have been a messenger off and on for 5 years in Sacramento, San Francisco, and Seattle. I periodically still do fill in work, here in Seattle.

I used to live in San Francisco, a great cycling town, and the first city to host Critical Mass. In the grand scheme of getting more bikes used as alternative transportation, how can Cadence help the cause?

The first Friday of every month I throw a rotating event called Fast Friday. I started it to help build the bike community here in Seattle by bringing people together and showing them that bike gatherings are not just for people who compete. Fast Friday, and showing people that being a cyclist doesn't have to mean looking like a total geek.

Maxed out: The award for the points leader at the end of the Cadence-sponsored Fast Friday events series next year will be a beyond-hip, 100% custom bag designed by Klein and assembled by R.E.Load Baggage.

The photosets on your website are amazing - do you take all the shots?

Yes, Thank you! Photography is such a terrific medium - how else can you create something through its documentation?

Your models have some great tattoos. Do you have the inside scoop on where to get skillfully inked while in Seattle?

Curtis at Anchor Tattoo.

The Cadence Team riders look radical; just what exactly do they do for you?

All the guys on the team are all amazing people and so good on their bikes. I wanted to encourage them to keep doing their thing. I give them products and they go out filming and shooting flicks of their skills. It is win-win.

Are there any companies that you admire, either in your industry or outside of it, that you consider models worth emulating?

RELoad Bags, Consolidated Skateboards, Nice Collective, D squared, Volcom (before they were purchased by Quick Silver), anyone and everyone who has done it for themselves.

The bike world is full of colorful characters - have you met any worth noting?

Ellie Lum Roland of RELoad; Seyia with the Depot in Japan; Mike Marten-Gabe Morford and the MASH San Francisco crew; Jonathan, Andy, Dirt, Willis, & Emi; Rob "East Bay?!?" Solimo; Seattle family: Falty, Patches, Kia, & Nick; & Big Mike - the only kid on a fixie in Fargo, North Dakota!

I ride a fixed gear and love the simplicity. What's your take on the recent wave of fixies out there, especially among hipsters? Are they the new skateboard?

I used to get bent out of shape about the surge of outside interest in fixed gears. I feel it will level itself out; those who are false will fall to the side and those who are real will shine through. If this is the new skateboarding, then what does that make skateboarding?

How long have you been into cycling and what kind of bike(s) do you ride?

I have been serious about cycling since 2000. At the moment I only have a road bike and a track bike, but this changes constantly. Seriously, it's all about just riding bikes, and different bikes: tandems, cargo, cruisers, tour, cyclocross. I love them all and switching it up keeps it fun.

With the growing popularity of iPods, more folks are riding with their personal soundtracks. Can you comment on this unsafe but enjoyable trend? Are you a culprit?


Final question: clipless or toe-clips?

Devout toe-Clips!!!!!

SEE ALSO: www.cadencecollection.com
SEE ALSO: www.myspace.com/fast_friday
SEE ALSO: www.reloadbags.com

Ari Shapiro
A staff writer for LAS, Ari Shapiro mixes up pretty unique smoothies at XOOM in hot Tucson.

See other articles by Ari Shapiro.



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