R. Perkins MFG is a bespoke denim and menswear company in Kalamazoo, Michigan, founded by clothier Ryan Perkins. RPMFG goods are handmade in entirety by Ryan with rugged, natural materials sourced from all over the world, and are constructed with the finest threads and hardware for years of everyday use. A trained mechanical engineer, Ryan is inspired by quality materials and elegant, intelligent construction.
In 2010 Ryan was in Ann Arbor, studying engineering and machining parts for a research laboratory, when he found an abandoned Singer 401 sewing machine on the side of the road. He took it home and taught himself to sew. Ryan's first project was a pair of selvedge denim jeans.
RPMFG was founded in 2011 after Ryan bought and repaired a mid-century Singer 211 industrial sewing machine. Working with these two machines, he has expanded RPMFG's offerings beyond bespoke jeans to include jackets, duffel bags, knapsacks, scarves, neckties, and wallets. Every item is hand-sewn by Ryan out of natural materials like denim, chambray, waxed canvas, wool, and vegetable-tanned leather.
RPMFG is now located at 213 E. Frank Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in a former garment factory repurposed as a studio for a number of local craftspeople and entrepreneurs. Released in short-runs, one-offs, and custom orders, the RPMFG line is continuously changing, and new fabrics are sourced regularly. Yet its modest, classic style with simple details will always remain central to RPMFG.
Besides running RPMFG and maintaining his two mid-century Singer sewing machines, Ryan consults on other denim labels, repairs sewing machines, machines custom parts, and works on motorcycles and mopeds from the 1970s and '80s. A love for a well-designed machine and what it can do inspires his work in cloth and metal.