There is no definitive answer as to why painter pants are white, but there are some theories. In the 19th century, union painters adopted a white uniform to distinguish themselves from their non-union counterparts. Clean white pants were a sign of skill--a veteran painter could do the work without splatters. This value system has shifted, however, and today it's usually the veterans whose uniforms show multi-colored traces of past jobs, whereas a rookie would have a fresh white and clean uniform.
From a practical standpoint, painters often work with white paint and drywall, both of which would stand out on colored garments. Since it reflects sunlight, white also helps them keep cool on hot days. On busy job sites, painters are usually the only ones wearing white, making them easily distinguishable.
Symbolically, the color white is associated with purity, safety, perfection and cleanliness--qualities a painter would want to be known for.
We wanted to reference these ideas when we designed our Painter Pant, and they seemed appropriate for a spring collection. White suits the time of year, and we replaced paint splatters with flowers. The pattern is both a symbol of rebirth and rejuvenation of Spring, and a sort of camouflage for any future splatters.
Our full-leg-fit, made-in-Japan Painter Pant comes in both this white, 100% cotton twill floral pattern and an indigo, 100% cotton solid denim. Both feature all the traditional utility pockets and hammer loop to keep them functional, along with a custom woven label on the back pocket. They're hardy and durable, but much lighter and airier than traditional selvedge denim.
The Miami-born, New York artist Juan Jose Heredia is shown here painting in the Floral Painter Pant on a New York City beach. An artist of many mediums, Juan is best known for his sculptural crowns, drawings, and paintings, and can adapt to any surrounding to make it his studio.
Juan’s work has been widely exhibited, and he is often tapped to collaborate and bring his artistic approach on shoots for ID, Vogue, and V Magazine (to name a few). He's worked with such photographers as Bruce Weber, Stephen Shore, and Oliver Hadlee Pearch, and he has also operated a gallery, Secret XVI, in Montauk.
This summer, his work will be featured in group shows in Safe Gallery in upstate New York and Auto Body on Long Island, and he is currently preparing for an upcoming solo show.