“I always say: there are five iconic American things that all start with ‘B’. Can you guess what they are?” Jason Trotzuk takes a sip of his coffee and sets it down next to his poolside chaise at the Four Seasons Los Angeles before answering his own question: “The blues, barbecue, blue jeans, bourbon, and baseball.” It’s an acutely studied observation that is perhaps only so easily discerned from Trotzuk’s rather removed position as a Canuck.
But Trotzuk is a student of classic American culture, and he gets the equivalent of straight As. The founder and creative director of Fidelity Denim moved his Vancouver-based company to Los Angeles in 2013 to further his lessons and soak the brand in United States authenticity. As he puts it, those aforementioned “Bs” are best when they come straight from the source. “I figure that if you want to do one of those, you might as well do it in America,” Trotzuk explains. “All of those things, they’re well-storied, interesting pasts, a lot of passion and history. You can’t just make barbecue; baseball is a national pastime; you can’t just play the blues, you’ve got to feel the blues; bourbon is an art; and blue jeans are an art.”
Fidelity was founded in 2005, and now can be found in boutiques as well as Nordstrom locations across North America—not to mention on the famous gams of Charlize Theron, Gigi Hadid, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Honing in on denim in the traditional red-white-and-blue sense, the brand’s simple washes and classic cuts set it apart from the very beginning. Being design puritans and eschewing the ornamented and low-slung styles that haunted the aughts allows more time for perfecting a jean down to the cellular level, focusing on fit and fabric. The straight-forward designs harken back to the golden age of denim: hugging the legs of Bruce Springsteen and Cindy Crawford.
Though not one of his beloved “B” words, something else entirely American is rock ‘n’ roll—and Trotzuk’s devotion to it is channelled through his products. “For me, fashion and music are forever intertwined. You can’t have one without the other,” he explains. “When I go back and see Kurt Cobain on the cover of Rolling Stone, Farrah Fawcett, Cher, I always think, ‘They had a choice to wear anything, and they chose to wear blue jeans.’” Much like a favourite song, blue jeans are part of a current identity of self—they feel true, reliable, and individual. “They become your best friend,” Trotzuk says. “They become like a trusted companion.”
In fact, the name Fidelity was chosen as a tribute to one of music’s most dedicated players. “I owe Prince for the name,” Trotzuk says, and then takes a long pause, struck by the eerie timeliness of his recollection: the iconic performer had passed away mere hours prior. “I was reading an article about Prince and he talked about how he had a ‘fidelity for music’, and I realized I didn’t know what that meant. So I looked it up and it said that the meaning of fidelity is faith, love, or devotion to someone or something of the highest calibre.” The name commits him to music, but also to denim, and to the American dream that he sews into every design. It’s the jean of the free, the pant of the brave.