Designer Jean Interviews
Since I heard about the Ksubi reboots, I couldn’t be more excited. I got in touch with the new team of one of the coolest brands to see what they are up to. Read how they are keeping Ksubi as one of the most in demand brands and why cool will always be part of their soul. See these answers and more below.
DenimBlog: What do you get inspired by?
Ksubi: We are inspired by anyone who breaks down the door first. Because it’s hard to do. We have broken a lot of doors first. And you can count on ksubi breaking even more doors down. But we won’t announce it. Just like the DEA.
DB: What is your process before designing each piece?
Ksubi: We design from the heart. We don’t over think it. We do what we like and it seems like a lot of people appreciate what we do.
DB: What is your favorite piece that you designed?
Ksubi: Anything that is in out collection is bad ass. So – everything in our collection.
DB: How would you wear your favorite pieces?
Ksubi: Customers interpret ksubi in their own personality. Wear it however you like. And that’s exactly why people appreciate us. That is why you can find a wide range of consumers that wear ksubi. From ages 16-60. Rockers, Rappers, Pop. We expect Taylor Swift will appreciate us as well. (A$AP to Foo Fighters to Norah Jones)
DB: With the move across seas to Venice, California, will that inspire the line?
Ksubi: Denim was born in California and will always be the epicenter of denim world wide. From Dior to Australians. They all come to California. Because there is no place as cool as SoCcal/LA. They all migrate here – even Paris designers spend time in LA because it’s very cool people in SoCal.
DB: With many reboots, designers tend to change signatures and basically rebrand from the bottom up. I love that you kept the signatures of the brand, like the crosses and logo. Why did you chose to keep them opposed to just starting clean?
Ksubi: The crosses came from the boys skating around cities and seeing the crosses painted on the ground by construction crews getting ready to break ground during construction. Ksubi always is breaking ground. No need to change our soul.
DB: Ksubi made such an impact and put skinny jeans on the map when it originally launched. How are you reinventing the style for the season?
Ksubi: Don’t fix what ain’t broke. Ksubi invented skinny when no one was going there. We are just owning it more.
DB: Ksubi has always been one that is hard to find here in the states. What stores will be carrying the label?
Ksubi: We are back with our original account base. We don’t subscribe to selling more doors. We believe in creating the demand and driving more business thru less doors. We are old school. Whether that’s right or wrong is hard to say. We just think it’s the right way. Our existing accounts love us for this. It’s unheard of these days. Everyone is so greedy. It’s why ksubi still has a very strong demand for the brand.
DB:What can we expect to see from the new Ksubi in the future?
Ksubi: You can expect us to continue to be ksubi. Just being better at filling the demand.
DB: What are your favorite piece(s) of the season?
Ksubi: “Black is what we wear on the outside because black is how we feel on the inside” – The Smiths (Unloveable)
DB: Can we expect new cuts in the future?
Ksubi: We will introduce some new stuff but we are staying true to our core and giving the consumers what they are screaming for at the top of their lungs. Our stuff is timeless and season less. And it will still be cool 10 years from now no doubt about it. Nothing looks sexier on a man or a woman than skinny. I don’t turn my head and look at a woman wearing a baggy fit and think her ass and legs look sexy as hell. Same for a man (if you are a woman or a man looking at another man- same thing)
DB: Will there be an expansion of the use of different textiles, like leather?
Ksubi: You can definitely expect better premium fabrics than what was used in the past.
DB: What pair do you think everyone should own for the new season (men and women)?
Ksubi: Van Winkle and Chitch for men and Spray On and High & Wasted for woman. In jet black. Faded black. Holes and no holes.
Will there be exclusive collaborations that we can know about?
Ksubi: Yes, No. Maybe. Just has to come from the right place.
DB: Lastly, how many jeans do you own?
Ksubi: You can never own to many jeans.
Spring collections have started to hit the market and we caught up with Big Star to see what inspired them this season. From the choice in prints to new cuts and fabrications, see how they came up with their new California inspired collection.
DenimBlog: What was the inspiration for this Spring 2015?
Big Star: The inspiration is free and easy, going back to Southern California in the 70’s for a laid-back coastal vibe. Vintage flashbacks of the boardwalk hippie and the city dweller permeate the wash collection, which ranges from naturally worn dark to distressed medium to sun bleached light. Our intent was to have these finishes exude the qualities of a spirited, adventurous, and youthful lifestyle.
DB: Big Star has usually stuck with more classic, clean styles, for the most part, in the past. This season, there is more variety of amazing distressed styles. How did these come about?
BS: Natural washes are every closet’s bread and butter, but we think distressed pieces will be stealing some of the spotlight this year. It was also a very organic evolution for us, since our inspiration was taken from the golden years of southern California’s free spirited culture. Fall and holiday collections are always a bit cleaner, so this was our time to have some fun experimenting with texture.
DB: Prints also have a little moment for the new season in both the men’s and women’s collection. Why choose ones that are more monochromatic opposed to ones with contrasting colors?
BS: We feel that men are still dipping their toes into the ‘printed denim’ pool. For them, it’s easier to style a subtler print than something really bold. Brighter prints are also less consistent when translating an idea onto fabric. It looks great until production starts, then you realize it isn’t exactly what you wanted. We have high standards for all of our prints so if it doesn’t look perfect, we don’t sell it.
DB: Denim cutoff shorts for men is a style that continues to get more popular by the day and are perfect for Coachella, which is coming up. What was the design process behind these?
BS: Denim shorts have never traditionally been a staple for menswear, but we’re out to change that! Denim shorts are important to have for spring and summer months and, being surrounded by beautiful weather in Los Angeles, it’s natural for us to incorporate shorts in our warmer collections. They’re made with the same processes as our denim, and we regard them in the same manner as our jeans. As in, have a staple wash or two, then experiment with fun washes and prints to follow your favorite seasonal trends.
DB: The Nirvana would have to be my favorite piece. What was the idea that helped inspire the piece?
BS: The idea of ‘Athleisure’ seems like it’s here to stay, and the Nirvana is a big part of that for us. Comfort is becoming king in the denim industry, and with athletic wear becoming a major trend, it’s the perfect opportunity to combine the two. We travel a lot for work and we wanted to create a jogger style that you could wear to the airport or around town while still looking put-together.
DB: New fabrics were introduced this season, such as a 4-way stretch. How does this differ from previous styles from past seasons?
BS: Yes, the 4-way stretch also touches on the idea that consumers shouldn’t have to compromise anything when it comes to comfort and denim. This fabric is used in our new Omni fit, which features a slimming front panel and contour waistband for an extremely flattering fit. You can wear these all day without it losing shape or sagging. It’s definitely a must-have for anyone!
DB: Not many people know, but Big Star is an Eco-Friendly brand. How are you guys able to keep with this concept, while still keeping the jeans at an affordable price point?
BS: Yes, we are! Our production processes and manufacturing standards have always been the highest priority to us. Our advanced washing methods, ozone-friendly laser machines and eco stones (used in the washing process) all help us to keep our environmental impact at a minimum. Our manufacturer has been in the clothing production business for a long time, so we have the savvy to go above and beyond while not compromising the quantity of our production, which keeps prices down. We don’t cut corners for profit, and I think our customers really appreciate that.
DB: Lastly, what style(s) from the new season should both men and women have in their closets?
BS: To us, spring is the time to experiment with trends. For women, we’ve had a lot of fun seeing how celebrities have styled our overalls. They’re fun without being fussy, and are a great break from your go-to shorts. Distressed denim is also more versatile than some people assume, and it’s something that transcends all seasons. Everyone should own a pair!
Marc Allison has just launched their brand new Gina fit, which is a slim bootcut that moulds to your shape. It’s made from a revolutionary fabric, infused with pima cotton, that emphasizes comfort and fit with a four way stretch denim. The Gina comes in new colours and washes too and has a flattering fit! So there should be a pair for everyone who loves a bootcut! The new shades include Charcoal, Army and Copper and will be joining the other popular washes of Night Blue, Dark Indigo, Olive, Brown, White and Black.
“We designed the new Marc Allison slim boot around this unique fabric we helped create and bring to life through the introduction of our jeans,” said Marc Flashberg, co-founder and principal of Marc Allison jeans. “It’s been a while since something really new and exciting has happened in premium denim – and after three years in development, we are thrilled to be the brand with the next generation in denim.” We caught up with Marc to find out more about the new Gina cut! Carry on reading below! You can shop the new collection online at their store too.
DB: Tell us about the new Gina bootcut jean!
We decided to do a modified boot cut. The premium customer was not happy with the wider bottom. We combined a skinny from the waist to the calf with a modified boot below the calf.
DB: What inspired you to design it?
Most of America is still enamored with the skinny. What we know about fashion is it always changes. We knew our customer was ready for a change, but nobody wants anything dramatic. Knowing our customers closet was inundated with skinnies, this is a great transition jean.
DB: What makes it different from other bootcut jeans on the market?
Our slim boot is more form fitting, and the leg opening is between a straight leg an a normal boot cut.
DB: Skinny jeans have been in their peek for a while now, are you hoping to bring bootcut back?
Not necessarily; it seems that the skinny jean has become a mainstay, at least for the time being. Our objective is to offer the same type of fit with a slight variation. In addition because of the smaller leg opening we’re offering our client two looks in one. Wear it in a boot to achieve the look of a skinny or with a shoe and have the look of a modified boot.
DB: What celebrity would you love to see in the new Gina?
I actually get more pleasure seeing someone in our jean while I’m out and about. And will be thrilled to see any celebrity enjoying our jean.
We got the chance to catch up with the lovely Daniella Clarke of Frankie B. to find out what we can expect from her SS14 collection, details on her FW14 line and more about her inspiration, her fits and future possibilities! Check out the interview below!
DB: Frankie B. is always so inventive, what fun styles can we expect for the new SS14 season?
The one style that I’m really excited about is a denim Bohemian Maxi Skirt. I also love all our striped skinny’s this season, especially the indigo ones.
DB: When did you know that the low-rise was the signature for Frankie B.?
It’s funny because I never thought of it that way at all. It really was as simple as I just couldn’t find low rise jeans back in the late 90’s, so I decided to make them. I never expected to be known for them.