Photos by Raffael Flores-Contreras.
Artisan De Luxe might be somewhat of a new brand, but its roots are very deep (with a lot of celebrity appeal). The premium denim brand is the latest venture of renowned designer Philippe Naouri and business mogul Jay Furrow. Together the two have over 30 years of experience in the apparel industry. Known as the “Vintage King” and “Denim Genius”, Philippe Naouri launched Antik Denim, and consulted at Diesel, G-Star, Levis, American Eagle, Restoration Hardware, Affliction, and Replay. Jay Furrow, currently Chairman and CEO of Artisan de Luxe, oversaw the tremendous growth of JOE’s Jeans and has managed the development of numerous private and public branded consumer product companies—that’s just to name a few.
“The line highlights how art influences the American look; it is authentic and cool. Each piece is unique with its own personal hand-crafted feel”, Naouri said. Denim Therapy had the opportunity to learn more about the designer and the brand. Read On…
DT: How did you get started as a designer?
ADL: As a child, I have always been drawn to American culture, especially of the 50’s and 60’s – the cars, movies, clothing. At age 17, I started selling vintage clothing to many reputable and big clothing companies, which kicked off my design career.
DT: Where does the inspiration for artisan de luxe come from? How did you launch this new collection?
ADL: My inspiration comes from watching artisans craft something…making each piece unique. I’m inspired by anything that crosses my path each day – a piece of artwork, furniture, a photograph. I like antique shows, flea markets, art exhibits, and auctions – all inspire me. I launched this new collection in 2010 after 20 years of working in the denim industry, with my friend and business mogul, Jay Furrow.
DT: What kind of denim (fit, style, fabric, shade) does your company offer? Is your denim vintage?
ADL: We use the highest quality denim, that is vintage-inspired. We collect fabrics from all over the world and mix and match washes, creating patch-work pieces. Each piece is truly unique.
DT: How do you incorporate the other pieces such as jewelry or leather etc. Into your denim collection?
ADL: The accessories complete the look by integrating genuine leathers, precious stones, sterling silver, gold, and hand beaded jewelry – all a reflection of the artisanal, vintage feel of the line.
DT: Who is your favorite celeb to wear your designs?
ADL: Most recently, Kristen Stewart and Pierce Brosnan. I envision everyone wearing the line from Johnny Depp and Kate Moss to Nicole Richie and Zac Efron.
DT: What are some of the ways you love to see denim worn? And how do you wear your jeans?
ADL: Anyway that is a true reflection of yourself. I like mixing and matching denim with embellished & patchwork tops – anything that is a form of self-expression. I wear my jeans like I’ve had them my whole life – worn in with character and personality.
DT: Where do you see the future of your company headed? As well as the denim industry in general (such as trends)?
ADL: I see Artisan de Luxe evolving with designs that will cater to fashion-forward types as well as those on trend. I see the Artisan de Luxe boutiques expanding all over the world.
DT: How many pieces and what kind of denim do you own?
ADL: I own around 300 pairs of vintage jeans.
DT: Any advice you would give to an aspiring designer?
ADL: Never give up on your dreams – anything can happen.
DT: What makes your jeans unique in comparison to other company’s?
ADL: Each piece looks like one-of-a-kind; like a piece you found in a vintage store. The strong attention to detail along with the quality really makes us stand apart from other companies.
DT: Tell us a little bit about AMEN? And/or other projects that might be underway?
ADL: A.M.E.N by Artisan de Luxe is a fashion line with a conscience. It stands for Always Meet Every Need. All of the pieces are one-of-a-kind and hand-made in the Mokanji Village of Sierra Leon, Africa, with the intentions of helping to rebuild the war-torn community. One day of work at A.M.E.N feeds two families that day. The clothes are unisex (pieces start at $75) and they are available where Artisan de Luxe is sold, including the brand’s flagship store in LA, as well as other department stores nationwide. It really is an amazing line that is super empowering.
We are always brainstorming more projects for the line – it is truly a lifestyle brand, so anything that we can incorporate into that, we are open to.
DT: Can you elaborate on fashion as art? And how your boutique holds as a fashion gallery? Will there be any more store openings?
ADL: To me, I find beauty in imperfections of the individual touch – something hand-crafted and unique – just like any piece of art. Fashion to me is just wearable art. Our boutique in LA is a reflection of my eclectic sensibility and contains special vintage finds I’ve come across. It’s just another example of how fashion merges with art.
Yes, definitely more store openings – stay tuned!
We’d like to give a huge thanks to Artisan De Luxe for helping us bring you this interview. To learn more visit their website. You can also visit their boutique if you happen to be around town at 8574 Melrose Avenue (the heart of West Hollywood), California.
Tags: affliction, American Eagle, Antik Denim, artisa de luxe, denim genius, Diesel, G-Star, jay furrow, Joe's Jeans, Levi's, phillip naouri, Replay, restoration hardware, vintage inspired, vintage king