Designer Jean Interviews
I got the chance to catch up with David Koral (middle), the founder and designer of the new premium denim label, Koral Los Angeles. I got to ask him more about the brand, his favourite designs, the idea behind the name and concept, what’s coming up next season and more! So click this post to read the entire DenimBlog exclusive interview! You can also read my review on a pair of Koral jeans here and an introduction to the brand here.
DB: Hi David, nice to meet you! Could you tell us a little bit about your new denim brand, Koral Los Angeles?
DK: I’m always happy to talk about the story behind our brand because it not only tells how the premium denim market got started, it shares the story of my family. Following my grandfather’s path into the garment industry, my dad created and helped shape the premium denim market as we know it today, turning the jean into a versatile staple of everyday fashion. Now, I’ve followed my father’s lead and the two of us have reassembled a number of great talents he worked with before to help unleash our passion for denim and its continual evolution.
DB: So what sets Koral apart from other denim brands?
DK: Quality. I feel like there’s a growing void in the denim market. It seems like quality has been being sacrificed in the chase for novelty trends. Koral is devoted to bringing back the essence of what makes a great pair of jeans – quality material, refined finishing and flawless fit.
We caught up with Sal Parasuco, the owner and founder of Parasuco Denim, to find out more about his brand, his history with denim and what’s new for the up and coming seasons. You can read our interview below.
DB: Hi Sal! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us. For our readers who haven’t heard of Parasuco, could you let us know more about the brand?
Parasuco was created for free living. For expressing your individuality. For unapologetic sex appeal.
DB: I know Parasuco is quite big in Europe and Canada, how do you think the US market will be different for you?
Although we were under the radar, between 1995-2005 Parasuco was actually a “street” CULT brand in the USA. Parasuco was in fact featured on “America’s Most Wanted” as America’s most shoplifted jeans during this period! We helped discover and grow “Stretch Denim Jeans”. In 1976 I presented my concept of denim fabric made with Lycra to several American mills and they laughed at my silly idea. But today there are more stretch fabrics made than non stretch! Our Success in the USA created many clones and Parasuco knock offs; we didn’t have the budget to protect ourselves so we pulled out of the USA for a while. Now, we are excited to resurface in a big way!
DB: I know you have quite a history in denim, would you be able to elaborate on that for us?
I was almost 4 when I crossed the Atlantic from Sicily to Montreal and my family and I lived in a very small home with very limited means. “Necessity is the mother of invention”. From an early age, my gut told me to understand my environment, to make the best of it and to work on improving it. My father stopped working due to his 2nd world war traumas when I was 13, and this was right around the time that the Beatles hit and the magnitude of style hit me! Because we were struggling just to stay afloat, I had to make clothes with my mom at home, so I would look cool at school. I needed to help support my family and was able to find a job washing floors in a clothing store for .50 cents /hour and by age 16, I was the store manager and sole buyer. I also began selling the jeans that I made at home out of my high school locker and so began my romance with Denim!
DB: Your new collection looks great! What was your inspiration behind it?
I go by instinct. I love the human body. I love to beautify the body with amazing clothing. I want to pierce the barriers and I want to make people feel damn sexy when they put on our clothes. My inspiration is always the same; we design clothing but we sell an attitude.
DB: What has been your bestseller throughout Parasuco’s existence?
Our Stretch denim products continue to be our best sellers and it’s our innovations with washes, fit and finishes that keeps it fresh.
DB: One question I always like to ask is; what makes you love denim or why is it so important to you?
It’s portrays youth, sexiness and confidence very well but most of all it’s the canvas of our life. Everyone can relate a key moment in their life to their favorite jeans.
DB: How many jeans do you actually own?
…You don’t want to know!
DB: Back to the new line, I love the tie-dye jeans! Do you think those will be a big seller for you?
Again it’s one of our core styles with an innovative wash ready to lead tomorrow’s trend. The fit is there, the head turning novelty is there and we’re always democratically priced.
DB: What can we expect to see in the near future for Parasuco?
A lot more of Parasuco in the USA . The rest will be a surprise!
DB: Lastly, thank you for doing this interview with us Sal, is there anything you want to add that we have left out?
Every artist paints on canvas, artists like Picasso turned that canvas into a work of valuable art. In our case, our canvas is raw denim, the street and our customers are our inspiration, the result is PARASUCO.
I caught up with Jimmy Taverniti of Jimmy Taverniti denim to find out more about his new denim brand and the reasons behind it. Also, for you denim lovers that know your stuff, I asked the important question of whether or not he’s related to Ben Taverniti! You can see the interview below. Have any of you tried Jimmy Taverniti jeans yet?
DB: Hi Jimmy, can you tell us a bit about your brand, Jimmy Taverniti?
An iconic approach to design based on vintage clothing, objects, images of American daily life from 50 to 80. I seek inspiration in personal experiences, the kind that culturally build a personality. Taverniti’s product have an identity, for customers who want a product with strong personality.
DB: I’m sure this is a question a lot of us denim lovers want to know, are you related to Ben Taverniti?
Benjamin is my son.
DB: So denim is a big part of your family! What inspired you to create your own denim brand?
My dreams about America.
DB: Do you have a specific audience you think your brand will target?
18-45 YEAR OLD: women and men. A HIGH END FASHION CONSCIOUS CONSUMER, who looks for no non-sense, credible fashion brands that encompass not only the latest trends but also timeless elegance and quality.
DB: What makes denim so important to you? I can see it runs in the family!
The challenge, what ‘s new to do?
DB: What can we expect to see from your brand for Spring/Summer 2012?
Colors, denim, capri, linen grand father shorts and pants, stripes, silk shirts. Regarding denim: bicolore denim, with red or blue spray paint inside the jeans or the short. I have my second son, Clement, who is working also in the denim and sportswear industry as a designer too.
DB: How many jeans do you personally own?
Oh! long story, I am a collector since I was 17. Too many to count!
DB: That’s funny! That’s the age I started! What’s your favourite jean you have designed?
When I started denim in America 6 years ago, I decided to have jeans with a new design that was not a 5 pocket. I had my studio in Paris and came here for a few weeks to have the line done, I stayed for 1 month closed in the hotel in Los Angeles with my assistant, and I created the 7 pockets: THE JANIS for women, and the Jimmy for Men. It was the first denim with double pockets on the back (weltloops and pockets on the bottom). Still today, customers recognize my jeans from this original design.
DB: So what makes your jeans different to all of the others on the market?
DB: Thank you Jimmy!
We had a chance to interview Creative Director of OPENMARKET, Kevin Chen. OPENMARKET is a new brand that modernizes the classic James Dean look into pieces that are sure to be classics themselves and coveted by many who own them. The collection is amazing. There are some really great pieces, especially those striped trousers and those jackets. You can read about how he first started in the industry, what inspired him this season, and more below. You can also see looks from the current look book below.
DenimBlog: How did you get your start?
OPENMARKET: I started working in the fashion industry back in 1983 while I lived in New York. It was then that I fell in love with fashion. Over these past 30 years, my experience includes working in the garment factory as a trim buyer, pattern maker, and a production manager. I was also an owner of several high-end retail boutiques in California. For a brief time, I also designed an exclusive men’s dress shirt and neck-tie label under the name “Cinn Kediaoni” which was made in Italy as well as a private label leather jacket brand for Bergdorf Goodman.
The experience I attained from my previous years in the industry has led me to launch MEK Denim, where I was a founder, CEO and Creative Director from 2005 – 2011. I have always been passionate about fashion and its high pace. Although the fashion industry has been rewarding to me in many facets, it has also been challenging at times. However, I enjoy overcoming the challenges and being on my toes. Most importantly, I find being in the fashion industry allows me to be on the forefront of what the next big thing is, and that I find truly exciting.
DB: What made you want to start your own line?
OM: My vision for OPENMARKET was to create a platform that would allow designers and artists to work with me to build a company and a brand that represents these individuals in a UNITED environment, where each individual associated with the brand is PASSIONATE and SUCCESSFUL in what they do, and from that, to be able to achieve their personal WEALTH. I envision OPENMARKET as a place where I am able to bring creative and like minded individuals together. I can only hope that my contribution to the fashion industry is to give you another reason to smile.
DB: How did you come up with the name OPENMARKET?
OM: Well, my wife, Cynthia and I are quite fond of flea markets. It’s a pastime that we both enjoy doing together. Often times, we would attend the Rose Bowl Flea Market to rediscover old ideas, and to see if we can reinvent them and make something new from it. We have always found the idea of a flea market to be very unique and extraordinary because you never know what you’ll find, but you’re almost sure you’ll find something cool and interesting by the end of your search. In short, the name OPENMARKET comes from our love of flea markets and while on a drive with Cynthia upon this open road, the word OPEN came to her mind, and she suggested OPENMARKET. In other words, that OPEN road ahead of us signified the thought of simply being OPEN to ideas and staying OPENMINDED. Hence, OPENMARKET was born.