When you get a pair of Shockoe jeans, your order comes with an “Owner’s Manual” notebook. The preface of the notebook includes denim-care suggestions, as well as a short essay entitled "Love and Abandon." In the essay, you encounter this passage:
The American experience isn’t pretty, glossy, square-jawed, or camera-ready. It’s sweaty, bloody, and often fueled by rage mixed with raw ambition.
The word "rage" stuck with me. During our December visit, Matt and I sat down for a chat. We started talking about his decision to leave a venture-capital firm in Richmond and work at Shockoe full-time. The topic quickly changed to rage. It's such a strange word for a company to use to describe itself, but as it turns out, "rage" is the most important single word—besides "atelier," of course—that you need to understand in order to grasp the Shockoe brand as a whole, and Pierre, Anthony, and Matt as individuals.