In 2018, I.J. Kim launched his own denim line – TRAVE: ‘a crossbeam or formal support structure – which consisted of a small collection of extremely high quality, vintage-style jeans. When Kim was 13 years old and moved from Korea to the United States, he bought his very first pair of Levi’s jeans and fell in love with denim. He was amazed by how denim ages and how you can learn a lot about a person and their life through a simple pair of jeans. He started collecting vintage, and years later – after quitting his career as a mechanical engineer – he started developing Trave.
With engineering, Kim learned to appreciate the fundamental elements of everything. If the foundation isn’t strong, whatever you build on top isn’t going to last. That’s ethos of dependability became the cornerstone of Trave. Denim should be the foundation of your wardrobe, supporting the other pieces you wear with it. So Trave focuses on the really fundamental basics – construction, fit, and fabric– and making it all more sophisticated and elevated
Kim designs with a focus on the details that others usually don’t look at. Details like designing jeans without a side seam are subtle but are tailored for people who really understand denim and appreciate the craftsmanship. They want a really good jean they can wear over and over without constantly needing something new – and people will find that trustworthy jean at Trave.