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Best Butt In America: An Interview with Natasha Wagner

Denim has always been an undisputed fashion staple, but it seems over the past few years designers have gotten more creative making the fabric even more modern, versatile and desirable to the American consumer than we could have dreamed ( you can finally satisfy your need for a fresh kimono and denim in one purchase). Denim has covered the the runway, been splashed across the newsstands (Marie Claire, Nylon, etc.) and swallowed the streets. With the beginning of autumn on our heels fall denim hysteria is fully underway and if you haven’t heard of Natasha Wagner yet, well, it was only a matter of time.

Fit models are used by designers to check the cut and shape of clothing on a live model and make adjustments before being introduced to the market. Your favorite pair of jeans hug you in all the right places and stretch with your movements thanks to fit models. Natasha is a denim fit model who has been unofficially dubbed the “Best Butt In America” by the denim industry. She has been featured in Vogue and Refinery29. She has been a denim fit model for over a decade for all the biggest names in denim (like Seven For All Mankind). We recently had a great opportunity to get to know the model better firsthand. America, meet Natasha Wagner. Read our interview below.

Natasha J Wagner best butt in America
Natasha in Mother Denim  Photo by Tommaso Mei

When did you start fit modeling? How did you begin to specialize in denim in your career?

My fit modeling career began 14 years ago while I was studying in college.  I feel very fortunate I fell into this line of work because it has become my true passion. When I first started fit modeling, I was young, shy, and knew nothing about fashion.  I began specializing in fitting denim because denim companies really liked my body proportions and height.  I was slender yet curvy with long legs.  Denim was also what I enjoyed fitting the most. I became an expert at measurements and detail proportions. Fittings can be long and boring if you’re just standing there while someone is pinning and making changes, so I decided to take a more active role.  I loved learning about the denim making process and was able to become involved and provide useful feedback, beyond just standing like a mannequin.  I also have an uncanny ability to remember numbers (something I inherited from my father, along with his long legs) and can remember most of the measurements of all the garments we fit, which helps when establishing target specs. Not to worry though, I am very professional and never share trade secrets with other companies.

What was the first major denim brand you modeled for?

My first major denim account was the brand GUESS.   My career in premium denim really skyrocketed a couple years later when I started fitting for Seven For All Mankind. It was perfect timing because I had just graduated from college and was able to take on more work, even though I was already taking mostly night classes to accommodate my fit schedule during the day.  It was also the beginning of the premium denim boom and I was able play a role in its success; it was all about the fit.

Do you have any experience modeling or fitting raw denim? 

Yes, I do have experience fitting raw denim (aka untreated, unwashed denim).  Some companies use raw denim to create a fit block first.  They then use that block as a base to cut the other jeans.  Those jeans are then sent to the laundry to have the different washes they developed for the season, allowing them to have samples jeans ready to fit.   Most of my companies do not produce just a raw jean, as cool as they are; they just aren’t comfortable to wear, especially for women.  However, if you do have the time and patience to break in your own raw jeans, you can get the best denim character and effects that you created all yourself.

Photo courtesy Seven For All Mankind

What is your favorite denim trend right now? What trend do you think will become big next season/over the next few years?

My favorite denim trend right now is the 70’s inspired jeans and details: high-waisted, braided waistbands with front patch pockets in a flare leg or skirt.  I think for the upcoming seasons the palazzo pants, culottes and flares are going to make the biggest statement in fashion denim.

What is your favorite cut?

I’m the girl who said I would never wear skinny jeans. Now, I will probably be the last one to stop wearing skinny jeans.

I’m sure you are familiar with all the big brands today, but we have a flare for nostalgia here at Denim Therapy. What brands were you wearing in high school? 

In high school during the late 90’s, I was wearing low rise, bootcut jeans made by Gap, L.E.I, Mavi, or Z. Cavaricci that barely covered my Converse Jack Purcell sneakers.

We have a lot of customers shyly referring to some holes as being in the “inner thigh” or “groin area” but we just say crotch! So we have to ask: butt or bum? Is there a formal or correct industry term?

I’m a little shy about using the word “butt” myself, but I find it necessary when describing my work.  On a daily basis when fitting, I hear these comments: “This makes her butt look big.” “This makes her butt look flat.”  “Her butt looks weird”.” “Her butt looks amazing!” I think those comments answers your question on the industry term. I personally like the French word for behind, derrière, over the words butt or bum.

Photo courtesy Seven For All Mankind

Let’s not forget the brain behind the bum! What books are you reading right now? 

I just finished the book Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, about running creative companies and breaking barriers.  I discovered this book on Mark Zuckerberg’s Year of Books list, which I also recommend. I am starting the book NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman, which is about autism and Asperger’s syndrome.  I picked it up after hearing the author on NPR while I was driving home from work. I’m interested in learning more about the brain and the growing autism epidemic.

 What are your goals for the future? Where would you like to see your career 5 years from now?

This is a question I ask myself everyday to make sure that I am achieving my goals and allowing them to shift accordingly.  I would love to write a novel, loosely inspired by my life as a fit model as well as other personal experiences.  I think I have an inspiring and interesting story to tell about a previously insecure girl who never thought she would become the most in-demand denim fit model in a multi-billion dollar industry.  Don’t worry colleagues, friends and family; the book will be mostly fiction.  Five years from now, I hope I am doing what I do now or something more creative and fashion related.

Natasha in Levi’s Photo by Tommaso Mei

Want to see more of Natasha? Follow her on Instagram!

—Emily B. McIntosh






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Posted Sep 09 2015 in Uncategorized

Interview With Marta Goldschmied Of MADE GOLD Denim

When you’re the daughter of a denim industry aficionado, your chances of inheriting the passion for baby blues is are pretty high. That’s exactly what happened to Marta Goldschmied, whose father founded AG Jeans (one of our favorite companies). She’s launching MADE GOLD Denim this season, and the outcome is looking more than promising. The most exciting thing she’s got on tap? Activewear fabrics that look like denim, coined “indigo activewear”. Your mind might default to jeggings, but there is something far more luxurious going on with this formula. We asked Marta a few questions about her new line. Check out her answers below.

made gold denim interview

Denim Therapy: Obviously you hail from a bloodline of denim expertise (please stop us from making a jeans/genes joke here). Were you raised an expert, or did your interest in denim pique recently?

Marta Goldschmied: Having been brought up in the fashion industry since childhood, it was a natural evolution for me to get involved—especially in the denim industry. Shane and I came together because we shared a vision of creating a new generation of denim, redefining classics while still remaining true to the denim industry’s roots and history. We bring a fresh take and aesthetic on denim, and it’s important for us to take MADE GOLD to the next level every season, which is why we launched with a full ready-to-wear collection including leather pieces and cotton tees and tops in addition to the core denim styles.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from watching my father is something he’s taught me about life: you don’t have to be the loudest person in the room to be the most respected. That’s the lesson I carry with me throughout this journey. He’s taught me that you have to be truly passionate when building a brand, and that passion and dedication are key to success. There’s no secret design advice.

DT: The phrase “indigo activewear” is immediately inspiring to denim lovers like us who are also into fitness and an active lifestyle. Can you tell us about how that was developed, and the story behind it?

MG: MADE GOLD’s Indigo Activewear has been the most exciting and challenging pieces to design and develop in the collection. While other brands have taken denim styles and offered them in knit activewear fabrics, we decided to do the opposite. We took the elements we know are key in denim, like washes and feel, and offered actual denim designed in activewear styles to make denim even more versatile and essential for customers.

DT: What are your favorite styles from the collection, and how would you style them for fall?

MG: My favorite pieces are the Legend with the 42″ inseam fashion skinny, which stacks up at the bottom. It’s a new take on the skinny jean silhouette, which is a favorite of mine, and is extremely flattering through the leg. I style it with the MADE GOLD cut-off tank and a killer heel, and I’m ready to go.

We’re currently working on our Fall/Winter 2015 collection and are excited to continue developing MADE GOLD products. There are some amazing structured over coats on their way, as well as crisp button ups and more closet essentials to pair with our core denim jean styles.

Check out MADE GOLD for more information, and check out their very cool lookbook below.


[nggallery id=1297]

—Michelle Christina Larsen

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Posted Sep 24 2014 in Denim News » Interviews

Jean Stories Interviews Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss

Jean Stories (hands-down our favorite read online right now… style muses galore!) interviewed denim-loving babe Alexis Krauss from the band Sleigh Bells about her habit of wearing cut-off jean shorts on stage. She reveals her secret for not showing any butt cheek despite loving uber short shorts, the hypothetical star sign of her Levi’s, and which of her own songs captures the way she feels about her denim habit. Check out the full interview here.




Images via Jean Stories.

—DT Staff

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Posted Aug 27 2014 in Celebrity Style Watch » Denim Fashion

Denim Therapy On The Crosby Press Denim Mythbusters Video

Owner Francine Rabinovich and denim expert Raffael Flores-Contreras are featured in the latest episode of the The Crosby Press Denim Mythbusters! The two talk washing jeans in the ocean, raw denim addiction, and even sticking your jeans in the oven. Check it out below.

Via The Crosby Press: For Episode 3 of Denim Mythbusterswe rolled uptown to the Garment District, where our savvy denim-saving friends at Denim Therapy bring jeans back from the dead. Francine Rabinovich & Raffael Flores tell us some of the weirder solutions they’ve heard from their customers for cleaning denim, from baking jeans in an oven, to rolling around in the surf.

Special thanks to The Crosby Press for including us in this segment!

—DT Staff

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Posted May 08 2013 in Ask the Denim Therapist » Denim Therapy

Interview With Tears Of Bleu Designer Caius Olowu

Last week we introduced you to Tears Of Bleu, the denim brand saturated with color and treated with unique washes. This week, we’re bringing you behind the scenes with designer Caius Olowu. Find out how the brand got its start, where the name comes from, and become a part of the Tears Of Bleu denim revolution!

Denim Therapy: We love the energy coming from this brand. Let’s start from the beginning. Can you talk about the creation story, beginnings in Japan, and how it grew to be what it is now?

Tears Of Bleu: I designed and sold my first denim line when I was still a student: 250 units of women’s Jeans, skirts and tops for Urban Outfitters UK that my sister and I cut and sewed ourselves on my living room floor. The collection ended up in Japan and I was offered a design Job. In 2006 I designed a menswear line in Japan and created a few pairs of jeans for myself (because I couldn’t find Jeans that fit me in Japan).

During a sales meeting a buyer asked where I got those jeans and wanted to place an order. Just as I was about to start producing my first order, True Religion Brand Jeans offered me a Senior design position in the US so I put the brand to rest for 4 years.

In 2010 I left True Religion and showed a few pieces that I created to a buyer in Japan. He placed 400 units and said he had never seen anything like it. I didn’t even have a name for it yet, but went with Tears of Bleu after my daughter, whose Japanese name is “Namida Blue” which means Blue Tears. It was a perfect metaphor for denim.

Now we are sold in Japan, US, UK, Germany and this coming Fall we’ll be in Hong Kong and and South Korea.


DT: What are some of the inspirations and aesthetics behind the designs in the current line? Any story behind the vibrant color scheme?

TOB: I was a civil engineer before I went back to college to study Fashion and Tailoring. I believe in the beauty of construction and every style has elements of tailoring, from the construction of the bound inseams on our premium turn-ups to how we create our women’s skinny to give a slim appearance.

The vibrant colors and processing are a completely new way of coloring denim developed by Jean Genie Studio and myself. I wanted my FW’12 look to represent contrast. I wanted to do color denim differently from everyone else. We use an enzyme wash to strip down the indigo before adding color. This keeps the highs and the lows in the texture.


DT: Are there any pre-design rituals for the team? Do the US and Japan teams meet often?

TOB: No design rituals, only that we continue with the same philosophy as we began with. We work separately from our Japan team who are based in Okayama Japan: they bring classic traditional modern jeans wear, with a vintage twist. The US team brings newness and experimentation. We do regularly exchange ideas inspired by the old, but what we do is for a new generation.


DT: Describe your ideal target customer.

TOB: A true denim lover who see’s denim as a lifestyle, an essential item in their everyday wear, someone who isn’t afraid to try something new, your everyday guy or girl that looks at denim as a revolution.


DT: How do you feel about the massive influence street style and blogs are having on fashion right now?

TOB: I have always believed that trends happen from the bottom up. They begin on the streets and end up on the catwalks. Thanks to bloggers, people are now much more aware of that. It’s the kids on the street that are really the leaders for trying something new and different which is noticed by designers and then in turn becomes fashion. The bloggers feed our desires and needs to know what new!


DT: Do you have any favorite style bloggers or fashion influentials?

TOB: My favorite style bloggers are Sara De Franza of SHELOVESUSA (, consueloblog ( and Issam Hrs.


DT: Who would you love to see wearing your jeans?

TOB: It would have to be David Beckham, Zoe Saldana, Lapo Elkann and Gwen Stefani they all have individual self-styles, I would love to see them all in Tears of Bleu.


DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites?

TOB: The most popular washes are the Milkyway wash—an updated tie dye smoothed out for a flowy, celestial look—Double star and ALEX wash. My favorite fits are the Lennon (our men’s slim skinny), the Chloe (our women’s premium skinny), and the Hendrix boot cut.


DT: How many pairs of jeans do you own?

TOB: I own 80 pairs of Jeans, Tears of Bleu, G Star, Gap and True Religion.


DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next for Tears of Bleu?

TOB: What’s next is a new collection of Hand Crafted Jeans. Each piece is unique, not only from a look point but also from the way we approach the aesthetics. All the hardware is authentic vintage, sourced through flea markets and auction sites. The inside of the waistband has a hanger loop that allows the wearer to hang their jeans up like they would a coat and we have also included an aged Leather back patch without any visible branding.

We intend to show that branding can come not only through logos but also through the construction of a garment.


Visit Tears Of Bleu online and check out their FW12 lookbook.

—Michelle Christina Larsen

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Posted Jun 20 2012 in Denim News » Interviews

Exclusive Interview With Big Star USA

Denim Therapy had a chance to interview Big Star USA‘s women’s designer Miki Flores on the summer lookbook, the brand’s latest happenings, and what’s in store for next season. Go behind the scenes with this exclusive Q&A!

Big Star USA Interview summer 2012

Denim Therapy: We’re in love with the Summer 2012 campaign/lookbook. What was the inspiration behind it?

Big Star: We used “Road Trip” as our theme for the Spring look book. A bit of a laid back bohemian vibe, which fit perfectly with our collection that included vintage denims, neon shorts and easy fitting jersey dress.

DT: Who is the Big Star customer right now?

BS: Our customers are independent and confident individuals who take youthful and modern approach when it comes to  styling their outfits.

DT: What kind of washes are being emphasized in the line right now?

BS: We have always focused on bringing authentic denim washes to our customers. For this season, we focused a little more on paler shades and a bit of destruction with a twist of contemporary furnishings.

DT: Does your team have any pre-designing rituals?

BS: We normally take inspiration research trips to Europe or Asia to bring in freshness and also to step out of our daily routines. But doing vintage treasure hunts at flea markets or vintage stores are also very inspiring as well.

DT: Can you give us a hint about what’s next for F/W?

BS: Darker casts in authentic washes, leggings, wax coating, COLORS, prints, cozy cords, and workwear-inspired denims.

DT: How do you see street style/the web/developments in the online fashion community shaping the brand’s interaction (and even its DNA) moving forward?

BS: They play a huge role in shaping trends and what gets accepted at mass level.  Most of us are spending more and more of our awake moments online or on our phones and seeing these influencers pushing new and edgier looks is definitely helping trend directions. I believe this plays a huge role on current trends of colors and prints.

DT: Finally, what message would you like to give to denim consumers right now?


big star USA summer 2012 lookbook

Visit Big Star USA to view the summer lookbook and shop!

—Michelle Christina Larsen

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Posted Jun 14 2012 in Denim News » Interviews

Exclusive Q&A With Agave Denim Designer Jeff Shafer

Denim Therapy had the chance to interview Agave Denim designer Jeff Shafer on their latest releases, evolving design process, and what sets them apart from other denim brands on the market right now. Check out the answers below!

Denim Therapy: Thanks so much for taking the time to Q&A with us. First, tell us a bit about what the design process is like for each collection.

Agave Denim: First, we have a meeting to discuss our current inspiration. We talk about the mood, colors, textures, graphics, etc, and Lauren makes a giant story board. We review several “top secret” color trend services to compare to our inspiration board before generating a first draft color story. We review thousands of fabrics and order hundreds of swatches. Once we narrow down swatches and finalize our color story, we review accessories, packaging, fits, shapes, and silhouettes. We edit, design, drop, and curate, while keeping emerging trends in mind.

Lauren creates patterns and sews samples for the womens line based on the fits and silhouettes we’ve developed. Then comes the merchandising plan and ordering of sample fabrics. After cutting and sewing the first protos, we make the necessary adjustments, and then start shooting our lookbooks!

DT: Agave Denim is definitely known for rich, interesting fabrics. How do you go about sourcing them? When do you know a fabric is perfect?

AD: Over the years, we’ve gotten to know the best mills in the world, from Japan to Italy, Spain, Greece… But you can only “learn” so much about fabric. In the end you either have the passion and an instinct to know or you don’t.  Really beautiful denims and other quality fabrics get me super stoked.

Similar to a chef, a winemaker or a cheesemaker or quality butcher. I can see the potential of a fabric in its color, yarn character, texture, etc. It’s instinctual.

DT: We think it’s awesome that the two of you work as a team and have the technical and creative aspects of the process covered. How has that shaped the way Agave Denim does things differently?

AD: Lauren taught me all the basics of the industry 20 years ago, including how to put a collection together. Our roles differ in that I’m more into colors, pretty fabrics, seeing the design process through rose colored glasses while she is more technical, tailoring, cost sheets, etc. We both have incredible respect for each other.  We share the same vision for design, quality and integrity.

DT: Give us three key words that describe Agave’s line.

AD: Authentic WestCoast Luxury

DT: Do you have any favorites in the spring line you want to shine a spotlight on?

AD: For women, the Chica jegging, the Peace Corps tomboy fit Capri, and the Linea jean. For men, the slim fit Maverick limited edition selvage jean, the vintage slub Lobster hoodie, and the classic fit Pragmatist cotton/linen jean.

DT: Describe your ideal female and male customers.

AD: They’re into music, art and fashion… and they’re definitely health conscious.

DT: What would your ideal collaboration be?

AD: I would like to shoot a look book with Ansel Adams.  I would like to do a leather collection with Belstaff.  I would like to do a Tesla “Model X Agave Edition” automobile.”

DT: What message do you have for denim consumers who are more or less lost in the sea of options right now?

AD: Invest your hard earned cash in high quality timeless pieces. Choose vintage whenever possible, especially where quality is involved. Know the difference between disposable and quality and don’t get ripped off!

Visit Agave Denim online and on facebook to learn more—also, don’t forget to check out their spring 2012 lookbook!

—Michelle Christina Larsen

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Posted May 01 2012 in Denim News » Interviews

Q&A With OPENMARKET Menswear Denim Brand’s Kevin Chen

The guys in our office recently became fans of the menswear denim brand OPENMARKET and reviewed a pair of red skinny jeans and dirty-mint skinny jeans accordingly. Launched by designer Kevin Chen, OPENMARKET is all produced, manufactured and designed in LA. We had a chance to ask Kevin some questions and get the behind-the-scenes on what makes this brand unique.

Denim Therapy: Let’s start from the beginning. What inspired you to get this brand off the ground?

Kevin Chen: I’ve always been inspired with all things old and new and I think a lot of that has to do with my affinity with flea markets (like Rose Bowl. It has a lot to do with rediscovering old ideas, and seeing if we can reinvent them. It’s from these experiences coupled with my creative design instincts that I felt I wanted to create a brand  that could facilitate old ideas into modern ones. That is the premise of OPENMARKET: a collection that puts new meaning to MODERN work wear.

DT: How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?

KC: We pride ourselves upon the fact that OPENMARKET is 100% made in USA, and not only does the collection comprise of our signature 6-pocket denim jeans, it also includes our uniquely oil-stained carpenters, henleys, Tees, chunky-knit sweaters, leather jackets, blazers, denim jackets, hooded/non-hooded sweatshirts in a multitude of fabrics.

All designs reflect a deconstructed approach to vintage work wear, re-engineered with a modern appeal. We like to believe that we extend beyond the traditional denim line, because our collection is multi-dimensional and offers many essential items. Even our denim is done in a non-traditional way (details like the 6-pocket design set them apart).

DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?

KC: I’m not sure if it would be called a “ritual”, but I do often research trends by people watching and make a mental note of what they’re wearing. From there I meet with my team and we search for vintage garments (often times at flea markets) that possess old work wear details, good for merging with unique and unexpected fabric.

It’s important to me that my designs are timeless and as the brand grows with each season, I want to add new silhouettes and colors that are modified from the original concept.

DT: Describe your ideal target customer.

KC: Our ideal target customer is a self-assured, confident, cultured, and well-composed man. He is artistic, athletic, and is that guy that is admired by his peers.  Not only does he have a good job, but he’s a humanitarian that actively participates in charitable causes. During his free time, he enjoys quality dining but can sensibly appreciate hole in the wall restaurants. He goes by the philosophy of working hard, and playing harder.

DT: What would be your dream collaboration?

KC: In the future, I would like to collaborate with a great footwear company. I want OPENMARKET to have a diverse product line that will dress someone from head to toe.

DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?

KC: A few of my favorite pieces is the K8-Grey Herring Carpenter pants, O3-Dk Indigo Raw Blazer, O4-Burgandy Leather Moto Jacket, and our ultra plush O6-Black Alpaca Wool cardigan sweater. I like pairing my bottoms with blazers for a more dressed up look, and when I’m doing a casual look, I like wearing it with a basic t-shirt accompanied with some loafers.

DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?

KC: I like that trends are leaning towards a cleaner cut with simpler details. What use to be a market full of logo-centric designs has taken a more subtle approach. However, I do think that in the men’s market, bright and vivid colors will be on the rise. Men today seem to be open to colors. I think it has to do with wanting to diversify their wardrobes and express themselves.

I remember when wearing “pink” signified a man as being more fashion forward, but I do believe times have changed, and colors will be very inspirational. I also think that there will be a transition in their wardrobes as they begin to seek non-denim jeans… or should I say the look and feel of denim, but constructed with non-traditional fabrics.

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?

KC: I take into account what is happening on the streets. There are a lot of distinct styles that I have seen in “streetwear” and I think it embodies a sense of “coolness” to it. When you look at the OPENMARKET collection, I’m sure you can see a lot of elements that are traditional yet modern, as well as street edgy. It’s important to keep in mind that street styles range from the inexpensive & chic to the lux & exclusive. The OPENMARKET collection will definitely encompass all these elements.

DT: How many pairs of jeans do you own?

KC: I own way too many jeans and too many that I call my favorite. But I’m going to be honest, my two most favorite pairs right now is OPENMARKET K1-6 pocket jeans in Dark Orange, and the K8 Carpenter pant! These two pairs have been on serious rotation for me. Both great washes with amazing fit!

DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next?

KC: Denim tops with non denim bottoms, and of course, a lot of colors.

Keep up with OPENMARKET online!

—Michelle Christina Larsen

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Posted Apr 02 2012 in Denim News » Interviews

Exclusive Interview With Brice Partouche Of April77 Denim

We’re really psyched that we got the chance to Q&A Brice Partouche, designer of French denim brand April77,  1/2 the mastermind behind the April77 x Calla Romantic Rights collaboration (which turned out some seriously dreamy jeans). Brice revealed some admirable denim snobbery and, very interestingly, an interest in creating jeans out of Lady Gaga‘s hair.

Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning. How did you know you wanted to be a designer?

Brice Partouche: I never wanted to be a designer. I studied medecine. I wanted to be a cardiac surgeon! But I was into music too, playing in bands. Fashion wasn’t (and still not) important to me. It’s all about attitude.

My dad was a jeans maker and I learnt everything from him, even if he tried to keep me out from this business. I guess he wanted me to have a real job… and now we are working together. April77 is a family company. I started the brand in 2001. The idea was simple : clothes that me and my friends want to wear.

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?

BP: We don’t have competitors and if we have well I don’t know them. I guess we are different from others brand because we have a real story to tell. We’re authentic and passionated and that’s what make our customers special. They are more “fans” than customers.
People who knows me will tell you, I’m a real nerd. I feel only concerned by authentic denim brands and I try to avoid that profusion of storyless denim brands flooding the market.

DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?

BP: You mean like doing pagan rituals, turning upside down black jeans and waiting for the inspiration? Well not really, but I try to leave Paris for 2 weeks, going to NY or California. The USA have always been my most inspiring country.

DT: Describe the person who represents your ideal target customer—the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.

BP: I figure a one-step-ahead teenager or a 35-year-old guy still stuck in his skaboarding years. At least, both are music nerds , clever customers and not under the fashion industry influence.

DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?

BP: Jeans made with Lady Gaga’s hair would be awesome. But a collaboration with Henri Rollins would be the absolute dream!

DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?

BP: The JOEY Overdrive Raw is our best seller. It’s our basic skinny jeans in natural indigo raw denim. It’s unisex. DICTATOR are a slim/straight jeans, very popular too. Raw jeans with a blank or band tee are the best… I’m not a fan of washings. I ‘ve always prefered raw blue or black denim. It’s a real pleasure to see that our customers prefer raw denim as well.

Of course we make couple of washings. They are always inspired by my personal or my friends jeans after 6 months or one year without washing or cleaning. I know it sounds dirty but that’s how jeans are supposed to be worn.

DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?

BP: I like open end denim. They were famous in the 70’s and 80’s , when denim fabric production became massive, suppliers had to make cheaper denim. The quality was good because the fabric was thicker…but the price was cheaper.

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?

BP: Well, street style is of course one of my main inspiration. I’m lucky because my job makes me travelling a lot. I meet very inspiring people, some are my friends, some are just random cool guys and girls.

DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?

BP: Guess what, I have two pairs : one blue, one black. I wear them till they die, then I change.

DT: Favorite celeb wearing your brand?

The Kills, Amy Winehouse (when she was around), Julian Casablancas.


Keep an eye on April77 for denim-snob approved releases this spring! Huge thanks to Brice Partouche for doing this Q&A with us.

—Jackie Racer & Michelle Christina Larsen

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Posted Mar 02 2012 in Denim News » Interviews

An Exclusive Q&A With CLOSED

CLOSED is known for classic clothing that meets two basic needs for every modern consumer: function and style. Unhindered by passing trends, the CLOSED collections for men and women are a mix of utilitarian-inspired details, carefully calculated fashion-forward silhouettes, and often neutral color stories that celebrate the rich hues of their denim looks. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Closed Spring/Summer 12 lookbook, you’ll want to do that ASAP.  We had the opportunity to discuss the future of CLOSED and get a sneak peek at what’s going on behind the scenes as well in this exclusive interview below.

Denim Therapy: Lets start from the beginning.  What inspired the beginning of the brand?

Closed: The desire to produce authentic, wearable clothing is what inspired us to get the brand off the ground and it continues as our primary motivation today.

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?

Closed: We don’t like to think of other denim brands as competitors, but as comrades. Hopefully we can inspire and push each other to keep working with innovation and artistry. We distinguish ourselves from all the other denim brands because of our highly researched design approach, our innovative dying techniques, and the fact that we’ve been at this for several decades now.

DT: Does your team have any pre-designing rituals?

Closed: We don’t have any specific pre-designing rituals, but we always strive to keep open eyes and minds to the amazing creativity that is going on around us.

DT: Describe the person who represents your ideal target customer—the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.

Closed: Closed is a family brand and we really design for the whole family, all the way from kids to adults. Our clothes are designed in mind with quality, versatility, and comfort – and let’s face it, those three factors are important for everyone (especially when they look good).

DT: Can you give us a hint about what’s next?

Closed: For Spring/Summer we introduced a new satin band along the side of our chino’s which looks so fresh, so its about meshing fabrics this year an element that continues for Fall/Winter with leather matched with sweats/cashmere blends.

DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?

Closed: We are always dreaming up fantastic collaborations in our heads. Closed is a family brand and we truly operate as a family unit with a homegrown approach to collaborations. We are currently casting our next “X Series” campaign, an ongoing collaboration with ten innovators from ten different cities around the globe – art collectors, artists, actors, bloggers and more.  The campaign celebrates individualism variety, creativity and location.

DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?

Closed: The chino’s are always a hit – they fit perfectly and are basic enough to be dressed up or down.

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?

Closed: Tremendously. We are constantly inspired by street style from across the globe. Our designing is directly influenced by the creativity and innovation from bloggers, artists, editors, and friends.

DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?

Closed: Too many to count…

DT: Favorite celeb wearing your brand?

Closed: Jake Gyllenhaal always looks good in CLOSED, as does Elle MacPherson. She really knows how to mix up a sophisticated, ultra-chic elegance to our jeans.

—Jackie Racer

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Posted Dec 02 2011 in Denim News » Interviews
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