We've all done it… the jump 'n' shake to squeeze into an uncomfortable, stiff pair of jeans. Done squats and wiggles and worn them wet while praying they give a little. That move where you lay down on the bed to zip the last inch, and then consider never getting up to start your day because your pants are just too painful.
Grace and Adelina Prochnow are sisters and co-founders of thrifted denim company Desert Denim, which is based in Albuquerque. The three of us are laughing about these tried tactics when Adelina sums up the general feeling about the denim dance and says, "You're like, 'is this worth it?'" We can all relate— no pants are the best pants—but a good pair of denim is a staple in every closet, and a great pair is the creme de la creme and something you'll wear through every season.
The Prochnow sisters have a mission, and it's to help you find a really good pair of denim. That dream pair that's made of 100% cotton and hugs your butt so well they're like your skin, but better. "This idea of something that's soft to wear, and easy to have on. When we came to denim," Adelina says, "it was like that idea of a soft pair of jeans that kind of molds around you."
Not only do Adelina and Grace want to find you a pair of jeans, they want you to be able to afford them. Grace says Desert Denim kicked off a year ago in the summer of 2016. " We decided we wanted to pursue it after we'd just been looking online and a lot of the places that were selling reclaimed denim were really expensive, like, hundreds of dollars," Grace says. Adelina agrees, adding that "it wasn't accessible,"
The sisters are the youngest of five and grew up in hand-me-downs inherited from older siblings. Their appreciation for broken-in jeans probably started there and with, practice, it's turned into a gift. These gals know what they're doing when it comes to curating a selection of denim in the softest iterations of cool blue hues. "We categorize them by color, texture and then size. So, we're looking for specific markers that will make them the most comfortable," Grace says.
The Desert Denim ladies have only hunted in Albuquerque thus far, and say they have their hometown mapped out in a style grid. "If we were specifically looking for a Levis Mom Jean fitted look, we go to a certain area of town," says Adelina. "When you think about where you're getting your denim supplies, you have to think about the demographic that's donating them."
Part of thrifting is spending strange hours peering through windows of small donation centers wondering "Are you open?" or "Am I in the right place?" But all hunters know there's time involved. "We wanted to help people skip that process" Grace tells SFR. "You can just look at the tag and try it on, if it works it works." They tag their denim with its true measurements (waist by inches and inseam by inches) so you don't have to do any guesswork. "We try to be all inclusive within sizing," Adelina says. "And everything we've ever carried has been unisex." They also do hand distressing, and look for pairs with special details, like a wallet or cigarette pack worn into the pocket. Says Adelina, "there is always a story behind a pair of jeans."
You probably want to peruse their inventory for yourselves now. And you can do so in a few ways. You can head to Spur Line Supply Co. (800 20th St., Albuquerque) and shop partof their collection in person, including jeans, shorts and denim jackets. You can also head to their online shop at etsy.com/people/denimdesert and you can keep an eye on their Instagram (@desertdenim) to catch limited releases or even purchase via direct message.
Grace and Adelina have a lot on the drawing board when it comes to the future of this thrifty company, including baby soft unisex tees. If they're anything like their pants (in which I now live), I can't wait.