Lincoln Mayne, New York City
By Interview by Jia Lynn Yang

(FORTUNE Magazine) – IT STARTED OUT WITH MY OWN JEANS. PEOPLE would stop me on the street. So I said, "Bring me your old jeans, and I'll do something with them." Now I charge anywhere from $350 to $1,000 per pair, depending on how complex the design is. I like the jeans to be as worn as possible. If they're not distressed enough, I'll distress them myself. I'm trained as a fine artist and sculptor, so I have grinders and sanders and drills. I actually nail the jeans down onto boards with huge nails, and then I just take to them with a series of carpentry tools. I'll even put them on the floor and use my foot and stomp on them on the concrete. They look like rags before I start putting them back together. I make my own patches, print out my own fabrics. I keep working on it like a canvas. But I've never been one to start painting on a white canvas. I always like to start with marks. You know how you love your old jeans? Each pair I work on is different. And there's just something about denim, besides it's being supercasual. The right pair of jeans on somebody looks fantastic. There's no denying it. It's one of the rare items of clothing that gets better with time. People really do start to have a love affair with their denim.