Can This Skateboarding Legend Bring Denim Production Back To The U.S.?

If you know the history of skateboarding, then you know about George Wilson. The man is a straight legend — one of the famous Z-Boys who marauded across the sport’s competition circuit in the late ’70s and early ’80s. A godfather of the scene.

What isn’t as widely known, is that when his skate career ended Wilson started producing jeans under the name Rivi Goods. He’d clocked how Levi’s moved their factories out of the country and it left a bad taste in his mouth. So he tried his hand at making the nation’s quintessential garment, right in Los Angeles.

“They’re like the grandfather of everything,” Wilson says of Levis. “But don’t know how you could be the iconic American brand and take everything you do out of the United States.”

Over the past 20 years, the man has carved a niche for himself. He stands for the same retro-rebel-all-American-vibe as Levis, but he makes his stuff in the U.S.. Every bit of it — from the samples to the stitching. The lure of money and increased profit margins don’t sway him, he wants fairness instead.

“It’s like a pie,” he says. “Hopefully everyone involved in an expensive garment is getting a slice.”

It’s a classic skate punk move: Draw your line in the sand and stick by it, ignore the naysayers, and don’t compromise your ideals for anyone.