Dearborn Denim & Apparel, the city’s only “Made in Chicago” denim jeans manufacturer, opened its Hyde Park location just over two years ago in May 2017 at 1504 E. 53rd Street. Since making the leap from online sales to a physical store location, the company has expanded to include stores in Andersonville and Lincoln Park (opening in fall 2019).
Owner Rob McMillan, formerly a Chicago Board of Trade bond trader, started the company in 2016 when his wife Katy mentioned that the expensive jeans she was buying would start sagging midday, becoming stretched out and unwearable after just a few washes. McMillan was inspired to create a great pair of jeans made in Chicago, and now his Garfield Park factory employs 20+ people.
The company initially launched with five different styles – tailored, slim, and relaxed fits for men and skinny high-rise and straight leg fits for women. Waist high and waist high curve fits were added for women, and Dearborn just introduced “The Commuter” fit for men – “designed for moving, sitting & riding” with an extended back rise for better coverage while sitting, a double reinforced seat, and darted knees that reduce pull while squatting, sitting, or moving. This new style seems destined to become a classic, especially with Chicago cyclists.
With the success of Dearborn Denim jeans, it was a natural progression for McMillan to offer quality t-shirts and belts. Customers can now shop for classic and fitted Supima cotton crew and v-neck t-shirts in white, grey, and black for men; and white and black scoop-neck t-shirts for women. Dearborn Denim belts are hand-crafted with Chicago’s own Horween Leather, embossed with a Chicago star in tan, dark brown, black, and oxblood for men, and brown for women.
The company’s latest product is a limited edition Tailored Fit Dark Wash V2 with dark thread on dark wash for a more formal look – with 30+ five-star reviews online, including “these are definitely the best jeans on the market,” “the only jeans I buy,” and “the fit, form, and style is subdued and all around perfect. I’m very impressed by these jeans!”
Stop in the Hyde Park location to select your perfect pair of jeans, hemmed free while you wait. Dearborn Denim & Apparel is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.