When Harrison Ford or the Black Keys need new blue jeans, they know where to look.
Olathe, of course.
Ryan Martin, the founder of W.H. Ranch Dungarees, began sewing at seven years old. He quickly made his way into the denim industry after getting his degree from Kansas State. The Olathe designer started selling lightweight denim ties on Etsy before growing into a business that has made jeans for celebs like Lyle Lovett and Kevin Costner.
“I wanted my jeans to fit like Dwight Yoakam’s, and you cannot find those off the shelf,” Martin says.
What makes his jeans one of a kind? Martin wanted to create a pair of jeans that reconstructed the crotch so that it would be more wearable for bull riders and people doing hard labor. He also makes every pair by hand—from the second the order is confirmed to shipping out the jeans himself. “This is my creative release,” Martin says. “It’s sort of like asking a painter ‘Why don’t you have somebody help you paint your paintings?’” His jeans start at $375 for a standard pair, but he takes custom orders as well.
In the near future, you’ll be able to find W.H. Ranch Dungarees in western stores throughout Kansas.