Motorcyclists are an odd bunch, and no issue is more divisive amongst us than gear—especially when it comes to anything less than ATGATT. Obviously, impact resistance is the most important in protecting us from serious or catastrophic injury, but abrasion resistance is required in a much higher percentage of offs. So how does Melbourne, Australia’s Saint’s denim gear figure into all that?
It was only a week after the first time I saw Saint’s denim jacket that the company’s wares started popping up in my Instagram feed—not to mention all the questions I got about them.
I thought the gear looked great, and my curiosity got the better of me, so I contacted them for a quick interview to try and understand what all the fuss was about.
The thing about gear choices, just like motorcycle choices, is that they’re personal and individual. Sure, we can say that, with gear, it’s a little less subjective in what’s best—but motorcycles are irrational and unsafe decisions and, at some point, we need to accept that being a human means having free will.
So ATGATTers, realize that this article may not be for you and politely move along, or leave some super clever comment about how the article is about safer denim but the guy in the top shot doesn’t have sleeves. You’ll feel better atop that high horse of yours. (I can’t wait until I’m able to post about gear that isn’t ATGATT without this sort of rant, but we’ll get there.)
For the rest of us, here is some gear that’s a little better and a little nicer looking than what you already own. Because everyone deserves to have gear they might like covered, and because some of this shit is so cool, I’d wear it whether I rode or drove (I’m looking at you Eastside knit wing sweater.)
Here’s one of the company’s bosses, Mike Lelliott, on what makes them tick.
Sean MacDonald: Why did you guys decide to create a moto apparel brand?
Mike Lelliott : I’m third generation apparel. Nan was all lingerie and ball gowns, Dad is sports and lingerie, Mum is all knitwear. It’s in the blood.
The Saint crew are all about riding. Our style of riding is about going to that place where fear becomes exhilaration—this place is also where things can go... random. Saint is all about looking how we want and having backup no mater what we are doing. Work. Ride. Play.
SM: What hole in the market does this fit that other brands didn’t fit?
ML: Our Saint question, is how do we make single layer protective fabrics and how do we make them fit how they should? We didn’t really see anything out there like that, there wasn’t something we found ourselves lusting after or saving for.
SM: Why is this better than the other shit out there?
ML: We break the formula. Saint combines Ballistic, Industrial and Military technology designing the strongest single layer denim and workwear out there. Our apparel are technical classics. Lot’s of people use super, suuuper heavy denim that you can’t move in or cut to a shape that looks nice in order to get this kind of protection.
SM: Which item or items represent you best?
ML: I’m loving our Unbreakable Jeans. Been wearing mine daily for over 10 months now—getting better by the day, they just don’t wear out. Even I’m surprised how good they are. We’ve seen lots of brands use Kevlar paneling or 16-18 oz. denim, so these really stand out.
SM: Which one was the reason you started the company, and why?
ML: Oddly enough, I was out riding with Keith Flint from the Prodigy and we were talking fabrics. One beer later, we had designed the concept of Saint’s Kevlar/Merino blend base layer fabric. Why? To make apparel that looks right and is the toughest out there.
But it was that concept of all-day wearable protective gear that got us started, which then sort of led us to trying to do denim better. I was actually surprised a month or two ago when I finally realized we were a denim brand—but it’s our technical approach that’s gotten us here.
SM: What is unbreakable denim?
ML: It is a tri-weave of the worlds strongest fibre Dyneema® and denim. Saint denim is stronger than steel and float on water light. Soft as a second skin, it is a denim with 360 degree torsional strength—motorcycle tested impact, burst and abrasion resilience. You won’t break it.
I was initially playing with fabrics with a kevlar fibre base, but I just kept thinking that there must be something more. Then we found Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE), which is as strong as steel but can float on water. We’re now working directly with Dyneema, the company that invented it. It definitely ain’t cheap, but our denim is 133 times stronger than standard denim and we think it’s worth it.
SM: What should we expect to see next from Saint?
ML: Saint is all about a new way of wearing what we wear. This month will see our technical denim jeans, jacket and vests drop. Women’s and men’s standards that are 300 percent stronger than your average denims. Cut right, they are for everyone. Bikers, skaters and hard workers.
Is Saint’s gear really as bad ass and well cut as they say it is? Stay tuned, because Lanesplitter aims to find out soon with proper, thorough testing.
Anyone want to see me get pulled through the LA River?