As far as a brand concepts go, it doesn’t get much better for me than the Los Angeles based Stonghold. The company was founded in Los Angeles in 1895 as the area’s first denim manufacturer, and operated continuously until its closure in 1949. Fast forward to 2004 when Michael Paradise and Michael Cassell revived the defunct work wear label as a contemporary brand with every bit of authenticity as the original.
The Stronghold of today operates in a sort of time warp, making its products to the same quality and standard as in the early days. Staying true to its roots, Stronghold still manufactures all of its products in the U.S. The company operates a store on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach, California (1625 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291 (310) 399-7200), that stocks the house label, as well as an edited collection of classic brands. Revered American companies like Filson, Pendleton,White’s Boots, Russell Moccasins, American Optical sunglasses and Stetson hats.
The store’s helpful manager, William Sack, explains the concept behind the store’s merchandising: “We carry only brands active while the original Stronghold was still operating, so they have to be pre-WWII. In addition, they have to still be made in America, and made on the original patterns.”