Gemini Chino: Development, Part 2 of 3
September 21st, 2015
We headed into the development stage with full understanding that the Gemini Chino had to strike a very specific balance of tradition and technology. The goal was to carry over Gemini’s platform concept – being, a material that honors classic aesthetic and composition details while regulating temperature and enabling stretch – into a timeless twill chino.
We iterated and iterated until the chino was just right. Of course, we believe that there’s no final solution to a garment. But the product that we’ve landed on hits all the points that we set out to address through design.
Iteration #1 included 2% Spandex, but we quickly realized that this wasn't enough stretch to allow for the unrestricted movement we needed this chino to provide.
So on fabric iteration #2, we upped the stretch content to eliminate the maneuverability issue. But with cotton playing a prominent role in the fabric composition, the chinos were not nearly as wrinkle-resistant as we wanted them to be – and wrinkling was the next hurdle to overcome.
By increasing polyester content, a garment becomes less prone to wrinkling. So we upped the polyester/PCM in iteration #3 for a material that won't hold wrinkles. The added PCM content also means that the fabric is more effective at regulating body temperature. Call it a win-win.
It was time to adjust the rise on our pants. The original Aviator Chinos' rise forced the pant to sit higher up on your waist, but modern chinos tend to boast a lower rise (more like that of jeans). So we designed our Gemini chino accordingly, with a lower rise and resulting fit that are more in tune with current style.
We’d been struggling with the effectiveness of our previous hardware. Clasps were coming undone, tarnishing the vision we’d had for pants with superior functionality. So we decided to take the plunge on what’s literally the best hardware in the world: CobraX snaps and YKK zippers. Even though their cost is about three times the hardware we’d previously used, this was the only way we could completely eliminate closure malfunctions.
Our challenge with earlier Gemini chino prototypes was the durability at the side pocket seams, so we introduced bar tacks. A bar tack is a reinforced stitch used in high strain areas, and here, that meant the spot where the pocket opening meets the side seam. It’s the joint that gets tugged on when you reach into your pocket over and over; and without bar tacks, we were seeing premature seam failure in those areas. We added the bar tacks at the inside of the pocket seams so that they're hidden from view.
The pocket lining is a stretch knit fabric, much lighter than the mesh lining we use on the original Aviator chino. This low-profile lining is more subtle – you can’t see its outline through the pant leg, making for a sleeker appearance. We also decided to eliminate the small inner pocket inside the pocket lining, replacing it with a grippy silicone tape strip that will keep pocket contents securely in place.