A couple of years ago, one of the more known bloggers from South East Europe got the idea of creating the ideal protection for his iPhone and other gadgets. It wasn't a new type of a case rather something else, gadget friendly jeans.
They started it all: Anamaria Ursa, Dean & Pedja Puselja
Pedja "Blogowski" Puselja teamed up with his brother Dean and friend Anamaria Ursa, and they started working on creating a fashion statement for geeks and hipsters alike. The result of their work became known as wtfJeans, or jeans designed for mobile phones, USB sticks and the like.
Full name of the product is: wtfJeans V2 2013 Wear Them FTW. Short enough?
The first model became a success, only dwindled down by PayPal's inability to process pre-orders longer than 30 days. Thus, if you have a business startup and are considering using PayPal, bear in mind that you might end up with tens of thousands of Dollars and Euros on your account - and no way to access them.
WTF… Take Two
Following their experience with PayPal and having a small company, the team decided that the second attempt had to be much more serious. After negotiating all the intricacies with the Croatian government and their red tape (for example - did you know that in Croatia, for exporting goods you have to go through a 19th century-like Austro-Hungarian legacy paperwork service called Spedition, even if you're shipping one single piece?), it was decided to set up offices and production in Serbia. WTFJeans LLC was registered and after couple of months of hard work, Pedja & co launched WTFJeans 2.0.
Given that PayPal and Croatian red tape didn't want the project, Serbia and Banca Intesa are the new homes, geographically and fiscally
While the first model was "loose fit", the team decided to go between regular and "slim fit" type, resulting in a design that can be worn with a casual outfit, or sports coat / blazer with no style issues at all. The team was lead by the idea that it should fit the Apple iPhone 5, as the first design was catering to the iPhone 3GS/4/4S crowd. However, during the design phase of wtfJeans, Apple stopped being the "king of the hill" when it comes to smartphones, as we've seen the growth of Android and Windows Phone platforms. Thus, a bit of extra space was left to fit growing sales of superphones like the Samsung Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Note, HTC One XL, Panasonic Eluga and others 4+ inch designs. However, running a boot-strapped startup means that you can't go and buy all the phones you're making a design for.
Every pair of jeans comes with a serial number... Anshel was lucky enough to receive Number 69
The decision was made to make a limited edition out of 2048 e.g. 2 GigaBytes jeans for 2013, and see what interest can be sparked from potential investors and the market itself. When we contacted them for the first time, we were surprised to see that the company which received a lot of attention from the leading world media, such as The New York Times, Time magazine, Mashable and others - did not receive more attention from gadget makers. After all, creating jeans for gadgets means not just higher ASPs (Average Sale Price), but also becoming a fashion statement, for what majority of gadget makers would pay dearly.
Jeans for the 21st Century
For starters, the jeans are designed with Italian measures in mind. If you're an American, you might opt to purchase one size larger than what you usually wear. Before purchase, the best thing to do is to visit the wtfJeans website and check the Size Guide. Be that as it may, we've purchased several jeans in different sizes (W32/30, W34/32 and W36/L34), and for example, I typically wear Waist 36, Legs 32 - WTFJeans W36/L34 fit just perfect. My colleague Christian typically wears W32/L32 and he ended with W34/L32, while Anshel wears W32/L30 and W32/L30 is the size for him. As far as the materials go, this is the quotation from the official website:
"WTFJeans is made of high quality, 10.5 oz, 100% cotton Denim from Italy that you can wear no matter the season. Every WTFJeans is made of 39 pieces that are made from 390 yards of heavy-duty threads (60% polyester, 40% cotton). Washing is a very important feature; WTFJeans are treated with an Enzyme wash. For WTFPocketTM we use an exceptionally soft microfiber. Several studies have shown that microfiber textiles clean on the nanoscale and reduce bacteria by 99% while conventional cleaning clothes reduce bacteria by only 33%! During manufacturing, every pair of WTFJeans is checked in detail several times to ensure 100% expected quality."
In the world where a top brand product is manufactured by cheap labor in Turkey, Costa Rica, Philippines etc., something manufactured in Good Ole' Europe represents a refreshing change. All in all - one neat boot-strapped startup from the Mediterranean.
From $39.99 to $699.99, all front pockets practically look the same - wtfJeans changes that
Back to jeans - first thing everyone notices are the originally designed front pockets. Regardless of your brand of choice, the pockets on pants and jeans traditionally all have the same appearance. As you can see on the image above, we took pants for $39.99, $249.99 and $699.99, and they all have very similar pocket design. With wtfJeans, that appearance is (finally) out the door, since the pockets are sewed on the main fabric. This is also the downfall of the design, since we've all grown accustomed to keeping a hand in the front pocket, or leaning on the front pocket. With this model, you'll have to grow used to eventually keeping one finger in next to the cellphone.
Anti-bacterial design - all wtfJeans come with micro-fiber pockets which wipe the devices of grease, bacteria and more
The fact that both pockets have micro-fiber in them means that every time you take the cellphone out, it is clear of microbes and grease which our faces and hands leave on the devices themselves. This feature alone is a nice touch and is one that will pay in the long run.
The back pockets are compact, but fit a full size wallet (tested with Armani Exchange, Croata, Gucci, Guess, Hugo Boss and Kenneth Cole wallets of different sizes) while the tight fit design will visibly raise your behind, which isn't a bad feature at all.
Smartphone compatibility: Not just for the iPhone
One pair to rule (fit) them all: Apple iPhone 5 in the right, Samsung Galaxy SIII in the left pocket - both fit just fine
Even though three co-founders repeat the Apple-ism mantra of iPhone 5 compatibility and other hipster terms, the fact of the matter is that WTFJeans v2 are more "Android-friendly" than the original 2010 model. We have tried WTFJeans v2 with Apple iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, and yes - it fits nicely. But what was much more impressive was the compatibility with phones featuring larger screens than the 4" on the iPhone 5: HTC Desire HD (4.3"), HTC One XL (4.7"), Samsung Galaxy SIII (4.8") and even the first-gen Samsung Galaxy Note (5.25") all fit, while the front pocket had to surrender to the Galaxy Note II and its 5.55" screen.
My everyday configuration: Croatian phone in the right pocket, US phone in the left one... as I change continents, the phones change their position. The small pocket fits Corsair's 32GB USB 3.0 drive.
Personally, I am carrying HTC One XL and Galaxy SIII every day, and WTFJeans v2 hasn't shown any signs of bulginess. For the end of our smartphone compatibility test, we leave you with a picture of Samsung Galaxy Note on AT&T network:
AT&T's Samsung Galaxy Note Phablet - Fits.
WTFJeans v2 2013 FTW Edition is not cheap by any standards. The price is set at $159, putting it in higher class of jeans. Truth to be told, the price does include free shipping worldwide, which is not something we've enjoyed with other online stores. Still, this is more affordable than Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange or other upscale brand, while the quality offered by this product rivals well-known design firms.
The second generation wtfJeans carry a refined message for all of its potential owners. While the regular clothing designers spend time making their pockets bigger and bigger (to fit the gadgets of today), the small team behind this concept made bulkier smartphones look fresh and compact. In fact, wtfJeans made something which few fashion items did - I look forward to getting up in the morning and putting them on casual clothing. Even a sports jacket combo works for a more formal appearance. Hope they have more designs in store, 'cause they have found a new customer.
For all what we've experienced with v2 2013 Limited Edition Model (068/2048, 069/2048, 083/2048), we have decided to give them our coveted Innovation award. Congratulations to Pedja and the team:
Special Offer: $10 Off
We have contacted the team behind the project, and a select number of BSN* readers can enjoy a $10 discount on the jeans themselves. Apply the code BSN1337WF and enjoy in your new wtfJeans. As the tagline says, "Wear Them FTW".