Asbury Park Leather Patch

Asbury Park leather patch
Design inspired by historic Asbury Park
amusement park tickets.
Photograph | Sugarcube

 

Asbury Park Clothing Company rocks American-made jeans workwear — an homage to raw denim heritage

Every once in awhile a person surfaces, not by accident but by necessity. Action and vision collide for that person, often with the help of outside influences. Jimmy Hankins is such a person. With a single act of creating American-made jeans, the breadth and multifaceted history of Asbury Park is entrenched. His homage to American jean history, mines not for coal, iron ore, nor minerals to inform his talents; it’s the diversity of American culture, the intensity of the East Coast and the cultural depths of Asbury Park.

Sugarcube is pleased to present our introductory interview with Jimmy Hankins of Asbury Park Clothing Company and share his truly American-made and crafted jeans with you.
 
 
 
 
The Battery Electric

The Battery Electric
American rock band from Asbury Park, New Jersey
Guitarist Brent Bergholm, Asbury Park 1877 Boardwalk Straight
Vocalist Ron Santee, Asbury Park 1888 Skinny
Bassist Alex Rosen, Asbury Park 1888 Skinny
Photograph | Chris Spiegel

 
 

Jimmy please tell us about your early years in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

I‘ve been hanging around Asbury for as long as I can remember, first with my parents back when the old rickety roller coaster and the Swiss Bobs were still on the boardwalk and the Palace Amusements was still up and full of rides. That was a long time ago…

As a teenager, Asbury was a fantastic place to get into all kinds of “teenager trouble.” We would hang out, smoke pot and drink beer in the parking lots across the street from The Stone Pony or the Fast Lane and listen to our favorite bands crushing it on stage until we looked old enough to get in with a fake ID. We would also go and check out the local garage bands at The Hot Dog House.
 
 
 
 
The Battery Electric wearing Asbury Park Jeans

The Battery Electric
Guitarist Brent Bergholm wearing Asbury Park jeans
1877 Boardwalk Straight
Photograph | Chris Spiegel

 
 

Which band performances stand out as pivotal moments?

My first show was Judas Priest with my older brother at Convention Hall, I was like 11 years old. The lead singer, Rob Halford, road a Harley out on stage, it was totally off the charts!!

Some of the greatest Rock and Roll moments of my life were catching bands like Iggy Pop, Dictators, Ramones or the Stranglers at the Fast Lane or Alice Cooper at Convention Hall just to name a few. We were heavily into the Punk Rock scene coming out of C.B.G.B’s and would catch whoever was playing in town that week.

Before my time, you could have seen any and every band in Asbury. In the 60’s and 70’s, you could have seen Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, The Doors!! You name it, they all played in Asbury. I still have a bootleg tape of Black Sabbath playing Convention Hall that my brother gave me from 1975.
 
 
 
 
Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal

Jesse Hughes
Eagles of Death Metal
Asbury Park 1877 Boardwalk Straight
Dried lake basin of the Coachella Valley
Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival
Photograph | Barna Nemethi

 
 

Asbury Park Clothing started during The Great Recession. What lead up to you making jeans?

It was the end of 2010 and we as a country just got the shit kicked out of us from an economic stand point. I wanted to get back to the fundamentals that made our country great and if you think about it, it all started with some hard work and a pair of dungarees.
 
 
 
 
The Battery Electric

The Battery Electric
Vocalist Ron Santee, Bassist Alex Rosen, Drummer Kevin “Danger” Troeller, Guitarist Brent Bergholm
Guitarist Brent Bergholm, Asbury Park 1877 Boardwalk Straight
Photograph | Chris Spiegel

 
 

How does the Jersey Shore sound, a mix of R&B and rock become embodied characteristics in your jean design?

Funny… I never thought of it like that. Asbury jeans just kinda ended up on the asses of a bunch of guys playing kick-ass music.
 
 
 
 
Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal

Jesse Hughes
Eagles of Death Metal
Asbury Park 1877 Boardwalk Straight
Dried lake basin of the Coachella Valley
Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival
Photograph | Barna Nemethi

 
 

Which contemporary musicians wear your jeans?

The first time I saw them on stage was Skinny Lister at the Nokia Center and main stage at Coachella. Its been the best of times seeing them on Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal, Joey Castillo of E.O.D.M, California Breed and Bl’ast!, Jon Theodore of Queens of the Stone Age, Phil Caivano of Monster Magnet, Breathe Carolina, The Battery Electric, Young Rising Sons and a shit load more…. They were even on Xfactor and Queen Latifa’s show.
 
 
 
 
Asbury Park Clothing Company | Tillie

Asbury Park Clothing Company Jean Button
Design inspired by historic images of Tillie
Photograph | Sugarcube

 
 

Tillie is a historic figurehead for Asbury Park. Can you tell us why? Please elaborate on the mythological significance of Tillie.

Tillie traces its roots back to a man named George Tilyou who was responsible for creating many of the boardwalk attractions of Asbury Park, Coney Island and Atlantic City Boardwalks in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. George came up with all kinds of rides that made the guys and girls bump into each other or fall down on each other. A dude would be like “holy shit I just fell on Sally and saw her ankle!” which was about as close as he was gonna get to getting laid before he was married. He and she where definitely going on that ride again! Thats Genius….

It is rumored that Tilyou pissed off his ex-business partners and they decided to make a bit of a mockery of him. They recreated his image as a clown.. ta dah…. Tillie was born.
 
 
 
 
Asbury Park Rivet

Asbury Park Jean Rivet
Design inspired by local Asbury Park manhole covers
Photograph | Sugarcube

 
 

In this post-heritage fashion period, how important is authenticity and personal history for your brand?

Authenticity and personal history are most important!!! Without it you have no basis for who or what you are creating.

Most brands create a jean and a fit and then go about figuring out who and what it represents. I’d like to say I had that all figured out before I stitched a jean but in actuality it was there all along… Asbury was just waiting for someone to bring it to life as a denim brand.
 
 
 
 
The Battery Electric

The Battery Electric
Vocalist Ron Santee
Photograph | Chris Spiegel

 
 

‘Made in USA,’ what does it mean to you?

EVERYTHING.
Nothing is more American then an
American made jean!