Chip Foster is one half of the twins who founded Chip and Pepper, the high profile denim line worn by everyone from Matthew McConaughey to Naomi Campbell. Chip is still the design director for the brand, but we caught up with him to mark the debut of his new line, Chip Foster — which has all the quality as Chip and Pepper, but with selvedge denim at its core — on Gilt.
What made you want to start your own line?
Obviously Chip and Pepper has a big following, but I wanted to do something that was just pure selvedge denim with everything really clean. You can flip my product inside out and see the quality, and you could probably wear it inside out, that’s how good it is. I wanted to make a pant that’s tight and clean and bound with no raw edges so that when you put it on, you’re not putting your toes through threads.
How would you describe the Chip Foster guy?
The Chip Foster guy is going to be wearing beat-up Red Wing boots and a beard, or he’s going to be in the Hamptons wearing flip-flops and a cool tank top, drinking a cold beer. Our logo is a shark tooth, which you can see on the rivet inside of the pants — it’s not just some bogus, blank rivet — and that’s inspired by everything from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic. I’m not trying to block anybody out — I’m not that guy, and never have been.
Tell me about the quality of the denim.
I think Japan and the US make the best denim in the world, so everything’s sourced from there. Everyone has a different flavor — some people like pizza, some people like a hamburger — but my heart is in American and Japanese denim. On the Chip and Pepper side, we’re actually in the process of designing an American-made car with an interior of 100% American-made denim.
What are some of your favorite pieces from the ones we’re selling on Gilt?
We did a beige-colored 5-pocket selvedge, and we washed it so it almost looks like a broken-in pair of chinos, but it’s denim. It can be preppy and you can dress it up, or you can dress it down with some boots.
Our buyers mentioned that you put them through a workout — what was that all about?
When they first bought the line, we all dressed up in Chip and Pepper stuff and did a little fashion workout — you should ask them about it, it was awesome. [Editor’s Note: According to the buyers, the Chip Foster fashion workout includes cartwheels in the street, dips on benches, and pull-ups inside SoHo restaurant La Esquina.] I’m going to start doing the fashion workout with Gilt each year.