Stan Ray's New Collection Is a Limited Lot of Repurposed Vintage Clothes

The stock was sourced in collaboration with William Ellery, one of menswear's most promising young brands.

william ellery
William Ellery

Most times, collaborations yield new products — never before seen designs attributable to at least two parties. But in the case of Stan Ray's newest collection, Live Slow Die Slow with upstart American label William Ellery, everything is already in its second life. The ultra-limited collaboration — only 50 pants and overalls and just a few jackets — features vintage Stan Ray painter pants and overalls that were once set aside because of defects eventually recovered from the brand's factory, Earl's Apparel, in Crockett, Texas.

Earl Beard founded Stan Ray, and Earl's Apparel has been in the family since 1972. There, if something had a small stain, a subtle rip or even a lost tag, it wasn't fit for sale, but they didn't scrap these. Clearly, since some of the pants have tags that pre-date their name change from Stanley to Stan Ray, the brand has been holding onto its leftovers for a long time.

stan ray
Leather patches, chainstitched logos and appliqué letters are hallmarks of the William Ellery label.
William Ellery

William Ellery founder Trevor Davis, a disciple of designer Tom Sachs, has worked with these sort of discoveries since founding his brand just a few years ago. Under a family name on his father's side, he repurposes old sneakers, tinkers with boot samples, builds bags out of scrap material, adds accessories to old hats and fashions jackets, pants and shorts out of other jackets, pants and shorts. He turned Stan Ray's stuff left for dead, which had its own history already, into a cohesive campaign inspired by desert explorations and the four guiding principles for any good trip: Confidence, Perseverance, Luck and Style.

Sure, each piece comes with its own inherent nicks and dings but that shouldn't dampen interest. Davis tells quite a story through these repurposed Stan Ray garments, and while it's a story the brand certainly couldn't have told on its own, even if it aligns with the brand's history.

william ellery
These vintage painters pants have hand-done side stripes.
William Ellery
william ellery
This jacket isn’t Stan Ray, but it suits Ellery’s storyline.
William Ellery

Davis, who's loved vintage clothing for as long as he can remember, says William Ellery operates "with the belief that the things we own can hold a special value when they are accompanied by a story or experience" — hence the richness of this story. Further, he explains that he'll "rewrite the story of garments half way through their life cycle, and sometimes even starting at the beginning" with the "intent is to enrich the garments, encouraging use and abuse, while embracing stains and scars."

With this collection, even though it's all technically vintage, everything has been reworked by Davis to fit back into the world he's built around them.

william ellery
The Lost Boys Auto Club is a fictional group in this collab’s universe.
William Ellery
william ellery
The chainstitched W<-->E logo embodies William Ellery’s ethos: to make the old new again.
William Ellery

"The Nomex racing jackets are all vintage, stripped down and restored. [There are] some replaced zippers here and there, but overall in great condition. The Stan Ray painters pants and overalls are all defects from the factory, Earl's Apparel — little marks or stains disqualified them from sale. Some are so old they say Stanley and predate Stan Ray. They are in pretty great condition once you embrace a couple scars," he says. "They are all a bit unique, having different pocket shapes and not all being the exact same fabric, from being produced over the span of 50 years."

Speedy shoppers will have their pick of painter paints with hand-drawn side stripes, overalls with custom Lost Boys Auto Club patches and racing jackets with similar insignias. It's all a little Evel Knievel, kind of camp, mixed with a bit of Bode, the CFDA Menswear Designer of Year in 2021. Best of all? "They are fully laundered, and have never been worn," Davis says.

The full collection drops on Sunday, July 10th at 12 pm EST.

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