Imogene + Willie

The Nashville staple, founded by Matt and Carrie Eddmenson, was built on ancestry and heritage, even though the business is only three years old. The Eddmenson’s spent their early careers working at Sights Denim Systems in Henderson, Kentucky and was founded by Carrie’s paternal grandfather’s textile rental firm. There, the duo developed denim styles for designers and at its peak, produced as many as 250,000 pairs of acid-and stonewashed jeans a week. When Sights closed its doors in 2008, it left Matt and Carrie with an opportunity to carry on the family ancestry – and the legacy.

In an editorial for the New York Times, Carrie said, “We had been making bluejeans for 20 years. So what were we going to do? Make crepes? We started a mini version of the old company.” They named it Imogene + Willie after Carrie’s maternal grandparents and the rest, as they say, is history.

To start, the Eddmensons made 250 pairs of custom jeans for $100 each, raising enough off the purchases to open a storefront in a former gas station in the Belmont and Hillsboro ‘hood of Nashville. The line, which pays homage to their denim roots, is a contemporary blend of ‘50s well-worn denim with the modern fit of RRL and could hold its own against the southern stand-alone Billy Reid.

Keeping it the family, they named their styles after family members and sell their products ranging from $225 to $375. Even though they revel in their small-town status, Imogene + Willie celebrated a brief Good Company collaboration with J.Crew and is currently sold at Steven Alan and Park & Bond.

Since 2009, Imogene + Willie has sold more than 10,000 pairs of jeans and though they won’t say it, the brand is responsible for catapulting Nashville to the short list of must-see’s on the global fashion map.

The Network
Whale Global