Rebels with a cause are pretty appealing to us, and this time the cause is true blue American denim—R13 denim is the brand we’ve got our eyes on. The spring collection refashions classic fits and introduces new styles, like the boyfriend fit known by R13 fans as the ‘slouch skinny’. They pioneer avant-garde silhouettes like the R13 signature crossover and harem jean styles, as well as sporty separates like the skin-tight back-seamed denim “panty-hose” (go ahead, giggle). Read on for our exclusive interview with the R13 design team!
Check out our favorite images from the R13 spring 2011 lookbook below:
Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning. How did you know you wanted to be a designer?
R13: It was a dream of mine to start a denim company for years, but the opportunity did not surface until two years ago while traveling in Italy, I met someone that was able to connect me with the right people to make the jeans.
DT: Are there other denim brands you consider your immediate competition?
R13: On the one hand no, because I fell that we are unique in our brand vision. But on the other hand,the denim community is also a family and I really admire all the denim company out there trying to make it work because I know how hard that is, so I support all of my “competition” out there.
DT: How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?
R13:It’s definitely hard to differentiate yourself out there, but staying true to who I am and what inspires me is one way that to do that. Every human being is unique, and as long as I can stay true to who I am then I hope that self expression will be a unique one.
DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?
R13: My pre-design rituals is always the same. right about the time when I am about to design, I would spend a month or so of inputting as much information into my brain as possible, it could be anything, art, books, magazine, movies, etc. then I forget it all and start designing. Some how all the input get blended in my mind so that the output is an expression of that moment or period in time.
DT: Describe your ideal target customer—the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.
R13: I design what looks good to me rather than focus on a customer image. The men’s collection is what I want to wear, and the women’s collection is what I would like all the women out there to look like. Strong and very sexy.
DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next?
R13: We are always looking for new ways to express our brand image. This spring I’m looking for some loose-weave denim fabrics out of Japan to cut more oversize styles with. I’m looking at new ways to do black jeans and also new ways of doing white jeans.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?
R13: My dream collaboration would be with Emmanuelle Alt and Hedi Slimane.
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?
R13: Our most popular wash is a vintage blue with little paint splatter on it. My favorite fit is our low skinny. It’s low but very square fit. Extra skinny legs, really sexy with an over size White shirt or vintage torn surplus jacket.
DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high end labels rather than vice-versa. How much does street style influence your designing?
R13: The blogs have a huge influence on me. I love all these hip girls from around the world with a voice in fashion. One of my favorite is 10th muses out of Romania…
DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?
R13: About a hundred personal pairs and I have a library of denim for R13.
DT: Favorite celeb wearing your brand?
R13: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley!
A big thanks to R13 for answering this Q&A and providing us with an inside look at the design process & what’s hot in the line right now. Be sure to follow them on facebook!
—Jackie Racer & Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: American Denim, designer interview, q&a, R13, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley