Based in a small factory in Dromana, Everwear Denim specialises in bespoke and small batch jeans handcrafted from Japanese selvedge denim.
Owner and maker Lee May spent seven years working as a bespoke tailor in London, learning the trade from some of the world's best before returning home to the Mornington Peninsula to start his own label.
For May, Everwear is the result of nearly two decades in the industry. Having taught himself to sew as a teenager, he started working in the destressing facility and wash laundry at Nobody Jeans in Fitzroy while studying fashion at RMIT. May was drawn to the craft of handmade high-end clothing which led him to undertake a trouser-making apprenticeship at an Italian tailor in Armadale.
Following his apprenticeship, May jetted off to London to pursue a career in high-end tailoring, working nights for coat makers before securing a full-time cutting apprenticeship at No. 14 Savile Row, Hardie Amies. Over three years, he learnt the art of pattern cutting, measuring, configuration and trimming before landing a coveted position at No. 9 Savile Row, Alexander McQueen. May soon became a bespoke tailor for London’s fashion elite, with rockstars and royals amongst his regular clientele.
After three years at McQueen, May returned home to set up a small denim workshop in Dromana Industrial Estate. He spent 12 months sourcing period-correct equipment, from vintage Singers to ex-Levi’s Union Specials and original Reece button-hole machines. Even the cutting board in May’s workshop is a relic, an old mechanic’s bench that belonged to his grandfather. May’s love of vintage extends beyond his craft, and with room to spare in the factory, it soon became home to a collection of classic cars and motorbikes with which he often tinkers.
May has crafted two key offerings for Everwear Denim: bespoke and small-batch ready-to-wear. The bespoke option is informed by the individual, beginning with a consultation, measurements and fitting to determine style, fit and fabric, and draft an individual pattern. The small batch drops are informed by quality vintage that Lee has collected over his journey, using raw materials imported from Japan. Every garment is hand-cut, hand-sewn, and made to last.
“As you wear your jeans, they just keep getting better,” says May, “That’s what I love about denim." The bespoke nature of custom-made denim offers a sustainable alternative to fast fashion, and every piece from Everwear Denim holds a lifetime guarantee.
“We want you to wear them forever. If you pop the button, we'll fix it. If you blow out a knee, we'll darn them using our beautiful darning machine. We want everyone to wear their clothes longer and to repair and reuse them to help reduce our impact on the planet."
Everwear Denim is open Tuesday – Saturday, with bespoke consultations via appointment. Small Batch Jeans start at $495, and bespoke starts at $750.
For details on the bespoke process, and other Everwear garments visit the website.