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R13 Denim: An Exclusive Q&A


Rebels with a cause are pretty appealing to us, and this time the cause is true blue American denimR13 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

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Posted Apr 05 2011 in Denim News » Interviews

Gifts for Denim Lovers


There’s  just under a month left to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list, but if your loved ones are as crazy about denim as you are, you need look no further! We know what you’re thinking—it’s hard enough to find the perfect fit of jeans for yourself, so how could you buy them for someone else? But we’re one step ahead, with a less time-consuming alternative. After all, jeans are only one element of the wonderful world of denim…

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1. For the DIY divas in your life (or anyone who can’t afford to drop lots of cash every time something trendy and fabulous hits the denim market), try this book! It’s the gift that’ll keep on giving until they can’t hold their scissors anymore. 99 Ways to Cut, Sew & Deck Out Your Denim, by Justina Blakeney, Ellen Schultz, and Faith Blakeney ($17) – buy it at Amazon.

2. A good gift isn’t just aesthetically pleasing these days, as you probably know from perusing other gift guides full of tech gadgets and time management tools. But we’re sure your efficient gift recipient will love this stylish, functional belt. It comes equipped loops for holding anything from eyebrow pencils to screwdrivers. See by Chlo? Pocket-detail denim belt ($150) – buy it at The Outnet.

3. A sense of humor is crucial when you can only afford a $1.00 gift, but as long as you make people laugh, no one’s going to blame you! This charming little pin will look great on bags, coats, or  guitar straps So hey, why not? Bean Forest “TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS” Pin ($1) – buy it at Bean Forest.

4. With the rise of Etsy.com and the DIY revolution, beautiful hand-made gifts are more accessible and affordable than ever. We found this classy shoulder bag and wish we could get one for everyone in the office! Hand-made Strapped Shoulder Bag in black denim ($75) – buy it at Definition of Self.

5. For the biker babe or rocker dude on your list, something a bit more bad-ass to make their season bright. These fingerless gloves are half leather, half distressed denim, and it’ll ensure no one thinks twice about messing around at the crazy, intoxicated New Year’s Eve bash. Maison Fabre Denim/Leather Fingerless Mittens ($133) – buy it at Saks Fifth Avenue.

6. No, that price is not a typo, and this gift is truly reserved for the most gung-ho of denim fanatics… or anyone looking to be schooled thoroughly on the entire industry from A to Z. If they want to know it all, this is the closest thing to denim university. The Denim Bible Jeans Encyclopedia II, by Sportswear International ($1,546) – buy it at Amazon.

7. A cute, versatile denim hat to cap off a perfect winter outfit (and keep someone’s head warm). The neutral gray color allows for mixing with any outwear they already have, and the very nice price will keep you as jolly as a Christmas elf. Calvin Klein Martial Cap ($25) – buy it at Calvin Klein.

8. An accessory to wrap around the neck, tie up like a turban, or employ in apartment decor, this Diesel scarf has a vintage charm with contemporary edge. They come in several other colors and designs. DIESEL 2-KRAFS Scarf & Tie ($ 60) – buy it at DIESEL.

9. If you prefer to be remembered fondly during the post-holiday couch potato TV marathon your best friend annually partakes in, perhaps something more suited to lounging is in order. American Denim Square Denim Pillow ($24) – buy it at Specialty Linens.

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Need more ideas? Try the please-everyone Denim Therapy Gift Card, a D.I.Y. version of any of these gift ideas above, or the super-cool MS&Co denim sleeves we featured earlier this week. Have your own ideas? Drop by our facebook page and let us know! Happy gift-giving!

—Michelle Christina Larsen

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Posted Dec 03 2010 in Denim Buys » Gift Guides
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