Denim Therapy had the opportunity to revisit the world of Resin Denim’s creative director Chantel Valentene and ask her a few more Q’s we’ve been tossing around our heads since we recently hung out with them at Brooklyn Flea for some denim & lemonade (were you there too? So much fun!). Before that we were amped about the incredible denim collaboration between Resin Denim and Made her Think… seems like this brand has us on our toes non-stop! Read on to meet Chantel, see just how easy it is to adore her, and get the scoop on those amazing mustard and red jeans that are going to be your go-to fall denim…
Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning. How did you know you wanted to be a designer?
Resin: I was in love with fashion and the glamour of clothing from really young. There is a picture of my Mom draped in turquoise fabric that she made into a dress for the Ms. Barbados pageant that I can always remember being captivated by. She wore heels to work everyday, was always dressed up, and loved clothing. My fascination with how fashion can transform people started with her. When I discovered through a family friend who went to FIT that making clothing was an actual job, I became obsessed with the idea. That was around 6th grade.
DT: Are there other denim brands you consider your immediate competition? How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?
Resin: Our mind-set isn’t confined to just the box of “denim brand”. We are looking at the present but thinking about the future.The goal as we move forward is to make the “voice” of Resin clear among the crowd of brands. We do it through our washing, aesthetic and presentation to our customers.
DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?
Resin: Play air guitar to Black Sabbath, do the running man to Bel Biv Dovoe or practice the Uh-Oh dance to Beyonce. No real rituals, but you never know what’s going to happen when folks are feeling creative.
DT: Describe the person who represents your ideal target customer—the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.
Resin: The Resin customer doesn’t hide behind their clothing, they live in it. The kind of people I’m inspired by when walking down the street, are the ones I would want to stop and get to know. We really try not to limit the ideal to one type of person, because even in a singular person there are many facets and reasons behind who they are and what they wear. It’s a confidence I’m drawn to that our customer has, not one type of look.
DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next?
Resin: For this coming Fall/Winter we have a great selection of fresh clean whites, new fabrics and finishes that we are all excited about.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?
Resin: We do collaborations about every other season, so we’ve worked with amazing artists and designers like Meredith Khan from Made Her Think, Ibrahom Ahmed III and Dan Funderburgh. As far as dream collaboration I would have to say Azzedine Alaia or Rick Owens. Those are big “Oprah” sized dreams.
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?
Resin: Our Phoenix Red wash in our Lariat ankle skinny, and Jameson short are popular. People love the different option on how to wear color. My personal favorites are the Resin x Made Her Think Jameson shorts with gold brass discs on the side seam. I’ve been wearing them with a basic tee and simple sneakers. I’m also in love with our Resin x Made Her Think Lanphear vest with a brass spine. Wear it over a simple maxi dress, throw on some heels and I’m good to go.
DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?
Resin: Denim is a staple, not really in love with one particular trend. I love seeing people re-mix a classic.
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?
Resin: Street style influence has always been there because it’s the actual customers wearing the clothing in their everyday lives. It’s immensely important to understand how your customer lives in your clothing.
DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?
Resin: Couldn’t say exactly, but definitely too many. My little sister is drooling for the bags of clothing and jeans from my spring-cleaning.
DT: Resin- what does it stand for? And why did you choose that as the name of your brand?
Resin: Resin represented the future of denim. As a process and chemical it propelled the industry into a new era, we loved what that symbolized and chose the name with that in mind.
DT: Favorite celeb wearing your denim?
Resin: My favorite is when I see women walking down the street wearing Resin. That’s priceless.
You can learn more about Resin Denim by visiting their website or “Like” them on Facebook.
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Last week, we were introduced to Chantel Valentene. We learned she likes to burn the candle at both ends as the Creative Director at RESIN DENIM. Resin Denim’s mix between edgy, workwear grunge and clean, classy lines, incorporating T-400 Kurabo denim, known for its excellent stretch recovery, is another incentive to check them out.
The design schedule must be crazy! How do you keep from burning out?
[My friends and I] try and do small things to take our minds off of work since we are all artists of some sort and keep similar schedules. We recently rented a cabin in Rhineback, NY for a weekend. Swimming, cooking, laughing and a vicious game of charades made for a time.
You have beautiful skin! How do you stay so radiant through your rigorous schedule?
Wow, thanks. I hope it’s not disappointing but MAC StudioFix in NW45 is the secret. My sister is a MAC Makeup Artist and recommended it for me since I don’t like spending more than a couple minutes on make-up. I should have said drinking lots of water J…
Azzedine Alaia SS 2011. Via NowFashion.
What are you currently obsessed with?
Givenchy’s last couture collection still has me dreaming that Riccardo Tisci will gift me one of those insane pieces. Truly breathtaking. My constant and everlasting obsession would have to be anything by Azzedine Alaia.
Seems that next year, we may see some more corduroy and hybrid-denim type jeans. What do you think of that?
The market seems to be moving in that direction, and I’m for things that push us and allow for modern and new ideas. At the moment I’m really feeling classic denim. I want the type of jeans that are familiar but treated and washed specially.
Workwear inspiration! RESIN DENIM Catalyst Signature Skinny in Mechanic. Available at REVOLVEClothing.
Work this for winter! RESIN DENIM Lariat Super Skinny in Ikat. Available at REVOLVEClothing.
View RESIN DENIM’s LookBook for more of their latest looks.
— Kathy Ng Hassan
Tags: Chantel Valentene
From Resin Denim's FW 2010 Lookbook.
We love everything about the look, feel and process which makes up a pair of great premium denim jeans. But, we rarely get a good snapshot of the person at the helm of today’s hottest denim brands. Who is Chantel Valentene, the Creative Director (and sometimes company bartender) of Resin Denim? Inquiring minds want to know!
Chantel Valentene, RESIN Denim Creative Director.
What is your favorite stylish city?
Anywhere in Italy because the style isn’t only in the clothing; it radiates through the architecture, the people and the pace at which they enjoy life. St. Michael, Barbados, is on the list because my family is there and the culture of living happy, easy and laid back has been ingrained in me and manifests itself in my approach to fashion.
How do you relax?
Friends, Haagen Daz rum raisin, and Jameson. It works in any order and can be done separately or together. Hanging out in Williamsburg or the LES with my friends is how I decompress most often.
What’s your forecast on winter wardrobe essentials?
Anything voluminous and knit, like big scarves and chunky coats worn with great jeans in updated washes. Love the idea of our new black garnet and mechanic jeans paired with shearling buckled booties. Always invest in great boots for fall and wear jewelry that is personal to you.
Resin Denim inside Barney's Co-Op at The Grove L.A.
Resin Denim's design team, Ibrahim and Kev, burning the midnight oil.
What jeans styles will be hot this winter?
For both men and women our Black Garnet wash, which is deep burgundy with overlaid blacks, is a great buy for fall. It’s a new easy way to wear color. Also waxed jeans like our Spectre wash is hot for fall.
RESIN DENIM Catalyst in Black Garnet (Shopbop) and Aslan Skinny in Spectre (OakNYC).
What’s next for RESIN?
I’m knee deep in designing Fall 11, which is an amazing step for us because we are finding our footing; and, with every jean making a better product for the customer. There is something special in the works that should be coming out at the beginning of next year.
Next Week: The World of Resin Denim’s Chantel Valentene, Part 2.
— Kathy Ng Hassan
Tags: Chantel Valentene, Resin Denim