We interviewed the winner of the last edition of the Global Denim Awards
What do you find exciting about denim and what boring?
Denim is such a surprising fabric, even If it has been around for decades, it remains a young concept whatsoever. It has a great history and I love the fact that throughout the years it was able to always adapt itself to each culture and circumstance.
I value the fact that it is one of the strongest and lasting fabrics in world, and of course its versatility.
What I really love about Denim is the fact that it never gets old, it gets better and better with age.
I find extremely intresting the continuous experimental research which revolves around Denim, something I had the chance to learn directly about at Candiani Denim mill.
The artisanal and artistic approach which Denim acquires at Candiani Denim is what fascinates me most. This was the starting point from which we developed our collaboration. I was looking for something more creative and unique which could be linked to the way I interpretate the sartorial world. Therefore, we used several experimental techniques, before we came up with a beefy Denim (a fairly hairy Denim) which has a bidimensional laser pattern on it. That was just one of the multiple fabrics we came up with.I think denim has a lot in Common with the Bespoke world, indeed, together with Candiani we created a raw Denim in a purely artisanal way, using the traditional shuttle loom. Even if it required several hours to create just a few meters, I found the whole process extremely stimulating and alluring. There is pure magic in the artisanal crafting of denim, an art which Candiani holds with passion and something that we both share.
Nowadays it is very hard to preserve the traditional manufacturing of this fabric,
After the Denim mass production took over, the conformism which consequently influenced Denim was inevitable. Therefore, I noticed a luck of significant creativity around Denim which prevented it from acquiring a striking primary role in the high fashion industry. It can be hard for people to distinguish a premium denim from a basic one. What bothers me most is the fact that Denim lost part of its original identity and settled down too much.
Where do you see denim going next?
Denim will always be a staple item in everyone’s closet, but it’s in need of some significant innovation.
We are living in an age where we are limited only by our imagination and that is most evident in the area fashion industry. I’m always going to approach denim with an experimental mind, and try to merge the most avant-garde technologies with a luxury orientated asset.
I suppose Denim will not be limited to a fashion conscious scenario, but it will experience a more niche and selected market. I wish I could experience a more frequent usage of premium Denim in the tailoring house and in the Bespoke world, sharing my own passion for this fabric with the modern descerning gentlemen. My personal dream is to see Denim standing among the finest fabrics in the world.
It is also very important to take into consideration the environmental impact which Denim production implies, that’s why Candiani is extremely keen on setting the highest standards in the terms of sustainability, as a moral responsability.
What can be taken from the past?
Past holds all the secrets and the traditional quality of Denim, which need to be taken into consideration If we are willing to improve its quality even more. Once Denim was not so Common, indeed, it was known for its premium construction and skilled artisanal craft required to make it. The only machines used where the traditional shuttle looms, which required many Hours just to make a few meters of fabric and the dyeing process was totally natural. The combination of these characteristics gave each Denim a distinctive composition that only becomes more unique over time. It was the high demand of jeans which changed the quality parameters which revolved around Denim, because the traditional techniques used had become too expensive.
There are still a few artisans who approach Denim production with a more traditional asset, trying to reach the highest quality standards. This is the kind of heritage we need to take a peace from in order to put a wall between the authentic Denim and the mass production one. These same values are shared at Candiani denim, where it is still possible to find the right compromise between traditional working process and new creative treatments. By doing this, I’m sure it will be easier for people to feel a lot more in touch with what they wear.
Axel & Victor
Pictures: Global Denim Awards