So here’s the thing: we love hearing about new, innovative denim-making techniques, but we also love it when the results are, well, something we’d actually want to wear. Thankfully, Analog Clothing‘s Wheel Wash technique doesn’t let us down. The chill sports lifestyle brand eschews the traditional process of stone-washing to break down denim material, substituting–get this–old skateboard wheels for smooth and conditioned jeans. (Who knew that old wheels = fabric softener?) We give them major props for repurposing, but we’re most thrilled about the fact that the jeans made from this technique aren’t limited to one particular wash; the selection ranges from coated denim to cerulean blue jeans.
Charcoal Aged Wheel Wash, Vintage Blue Wheel Wash, Dark Aged Wheel Wash, Indigo Wheel Wash
The team behind Marc Allison Jeans is none other than husband and wife duo, Marc and Allison Flashberg. The veterans of the denim industry had a revolutionary breakthrough when they came up with a completely new fabric that no other denim brand offers— a four way X-fit stretch denim infused with Supima cotton (woah)! The innovation gives the Marc Allison Jean a great fit and even after much wear (day after day, wash after wash) their shape remains flawless. Read on for our exclusive interview!
Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning. How did you know you wanted to be a designer?
Marc Allison Jeans: Though everybody talks about fit and comfort in denim nobody did anything about it. Spending my entire career in fabric I realized in order to have a great fit with real comfort you need the right fabric. Once the fabric was developed it was a natural progression to design a great jean.
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?
MAJ: When Allison and I started the company we kept thinking of the definition of insanity. “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We are the only jean manufacturer whose primary emphasis is fit and comfort. Though we compete with all the premium denim companies for the same dollars, I feel I can say we have no direct competition. I do believe a good part of the premium market will copy our model. Remember, at every price point fabric of 98% cotton/ 2% lycra is manufactured. Eventually the customer is going to see and feel the difference in our denim. Not only do we use T400, which is superior to Lycra in strength and recovery, we then cover the T400 with Supima cotton, which is the strongest and softest cotton in the world. And while most denim manufacturers use fabric that only run lycra in the filling (one direction), we run our T-400 in the warp and filling (length and width; known as x-fit), which enables the jean to comfortably move with the body. We never let the word “cost” be part of our lexicon. We realize if we are anything like the hundreds of brands out there, the retailer and the consumer will have no reason to purchase our jean. We must always think differently.
DT: Does your team have any pre-designing rituals?
MAJ: I can’t be more emphatic about it. We have a mantra FEEL THE FIT; EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE. That is all we think of when we design a Marc Allison Jean.
DT: Describe the person who represents your ideal target customer—the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.
MAJ: We find our best customer is thirty plus. She understands quality, but is most importantly this upscale woman who is willing to take a chance on something new. She won’t buy a jean just because it is the brand of the week. We find when she puts on a Marc Allison Jean, when she “feels the fit and experiences the difference”; in most cases, she is SOLD.
DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next?
MAJ: We are continuing to expand our colors. As I mentioned in one of your previous questions we never let price deter us. When most manufactures do denim in colors they dye a natural fabric. It is the least expensive way to do colors. When we do colors we take a dark indigo fabric, bleach it down and then dye to colors on top of the remaining indigo. When colors are done in this way, one achieves incredible highs and lows on the surface of the fabric. One more point. We are able to produce colors in this manner due to the strength of T400. If you use regular lycra, adding that much bleach to the fabric increases the risk of killing the stretch, thereby diminishing recovery. At Marc Allison Jeans we only use T400 along with Supima cotton. These jeans are amazing.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?
MAJ: My dream is not necessarily to ask others to collaborate with our company, but to have other major companies come to Marc Allison Jeans and ask us collaborate with them.
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?
MAJ: The market is changing. Last year the skinny was king, but we are in a fashion business which means change. We see our customers going to a sixteen inch flair and our basic rise moving up to 81/4″. My favorite washes are still dark, but I do love the colors. With regard to styling, the consumer still believes we are in tough economic times. Fashion is important, but we must keep the garment somewhat clean. Our customer wants to be able to wear a beautiful jean day after day without being concerned someone is saying “she’s wearing that jean again”. We know our jean is not inexpensive. When you purchase our jean it is an investment and will continue to look great day after day, wash after wash.
DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?
MAJ: I’m not a fan of a loose fitting jean. I’ve always felt it’s all about the woman’s butt. A jean better make a women’s butt look as good as she believes it can. When a woman puts on her jeans she wants to look great, feel sexy, and let’s not forget, be COMFORTABLE.
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?
MAJ: Every time I see something unique whether on the street or in the blogs it’s difficult not to be inspired, but, we must always remember who our customer is, and modify it to their lifestyle.
DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?
MAJ: At this time I have fourteen pair of jeans which I enjoy wearing, in my closet.
DT: Favorite celeb wearing your brand?
MAJ: Any time I see a celebrity wearing Marc Allison Jeans I get excited. I don’t believe it will ever change. As to a favorite, the one I am admiring at that moment is my favorite.
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Tags: 4 way denim stretch, allison flashberg, colored denim, comfortable jeans, innovative denim technology, jeans that make your butt look great, Marc Allison Jeans, marc flashberg, supima cotton, t400, X-Fit