Posted May 23, 2009 in All Things Sex, For Both | 1 Comment

Naked and Famous Denim

Naked and Famous Denim

The best for less. Naked and Famous is here to provide us all with the quality and excellence we look for in a premium jean without making us empty our piggy banks to get it. This week, Brandon Svarc of Naked and Famous fame sits down with yourKloset to discuss style, sexiness and what sets N&F apart in the always overcrowded world of denim.

David 4 yourKloset: How would you define style/to have style, and should style be more reflective of current (retail) trends or personal choices, regardless of whether its considered fashionable?

Brandon Svarc (N&F): I’m not exactly sure how to define “style”, but I am sure that following trends does not make you “stylish”… It makes you “trendy”, which is definitely not the same. If you want to have style, you should choose items that are special and unique and that you personally enjoy.

D4yK: Do you believe that jeans and a white tee is/should considered the uniform of the 21st century, and if so how do you make sure you can differentiate yourself, making sure not to get lost amongst the crowd?

B.S (N&F): I am definitely a proponent of keeping it simple, so jeans and a white tee sounds good to me. Especially if that tee is free of logos and tattoos! If you want to differentiate yourself, then invest in a piece of clothing or accessory that will “pop”. For example, Common Projects makes a simple but luxurious red leather sneaker that would look badass with dark jeans and a white tee.

Indigo Power Stretch

D4yK: What is a sexy jean (for guys and girls)? How do you dress is up,
dress it down and what body types are best suited for what style jean.

B.S (N&F): Girls is too easy… skinny jeans with anything. There are a lot of guys still afraid to try skinny fit jeans, but if you do it right it can look great. Our skinny jeans are simple, skinny and straight, they are not tapered “man-leggings” like the skinny jeans from some other brands. Pair them with officer shoes, shirt, tie and blazer and you are good to go.

D4yK: How did Naked and Famous get started? What are the goals and mission of the company, and what is being done to make sure they are being met?

B.S (N&F): My family has been in this crazy apparel industry for over 50 years. I started Naked & Famous Denim as a challenge to the “premium denim” industry. Our concept is quite simple… I go to Japan and find the most rare and expensive denim fabric I can get, import it to Canada where we do our cut make and sew, but we keep everything simple and raw (no washes, no embroidery, no holes or chains or gimmicks). And, since we eliminate all these expensive after-effects, that we don’t like anyways, we are able to offer this special cult denim at ridiculously low prices! Our goal is to prove to the consumer that you can have the best denim in the world without getting ripped off.

Bootgirl Organic

D4yK: N&F specialize’s in premium japanese denim. What sets this quality of
denim apart from the denim being used in both high priced and low priced
competitor jeans?

B.S (N&F): Oh man, this is a deeper question than what you might think. I could talk to you for 3 hours about this, but here is my 3 reasons why Japanese denim is “better” than all the rest:

a) Selvedge denim – The actual construction and the vintage and repro machines used in Japan set Japanese denim apart. The Japanese mills make an old-school denim called selvedge denim. Basically this denim is made on old machines called shuttle looms that are similar to what Levis and other used in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The shuttle sends the weft yarns back and forth and closes the edge of the fabric, creating a “self-edge” hence selvedge denim. (“selvage” is also correct). You may notice this self edge if you flip up the cuff of a pair of jeans made from selvedge denim.

In my opinion, what makes this fabric unique is that it is the old technology and can’t be mass produced like cheap Chinese or other denim. It is more inconsistent and special, each jean is a unique piece of vintage art. A great analogy is the luxury watch industry. Mechanical Swiss watches (like selvedge denim) are created using an old technology which requires more attention and man-power, these timepieces are perceived as masterpieces. Modern watches are far more advanced with a battery and microchip, but are cheap and mass-produced, just like modern denim.

b) Dyeing – The Japanese use a unique yarn dyeing method called Rope Dyeing. In this method, the yarns are repeatedly dipped into indigo baths and then hung and suspended and allowed to dry. Once dry, the yarns are dipped again, and this process is repeated between 3 to 30 times depending on the desired results. In China, USA, Turkey or other countries, they use a simpler dyeing method called Vat Dyeing, in which the yarns are thrown into a big vat with a synthetic indigo mixture and the yarns are penetrated to the core with the dye and removed.

It is the difference between the 2 methods that allow for Japanese denim to be so highly praised for its beautiful fading and ageing properties. In Rope Dyeing the core of the yarns remain white and undyed because they are left to dry between each coating, so after moderate wear, the folds and creases of your jeans will start to break though this tough exterior and reveal a more beautiful contrast honeycomb and fade. This superior fading jean is what has really put raw Japanese denim on the map… commercially at least.

c) The Water – This is my favourite reason, because even most denim nerds don’t realize that this is a strong reason why Japanese denim is “better” than the rest of the denim in the world. Recently on a trip to Japan, I asked the President of a mill in Okayama: “what makes Japanese denim ‘better’ than the rest of the denim in the world?”. I assumed he would start talking about the vintage machinery, the unique dyeing methods, the Japanese commitment to culture and efficiency… but all he said was: “The Water”. Not only does Okayama has access to fresh and clean running water, but the PH balance and mineral content is like nowhere else in the world. When the make the dyes, clean the yarns and finish the denim, they use this superior water. So even if China goes out and gets these old machines and copies the intense dyeing processes, they still will not be able to produce the physical quality of Japanese denim.

Indigo Power Stretch

D4yK: What kind of tactics does Naked and Famous employ to obtain market
share against the big names like Diesel, William Rast and True Religion?
Companies that already have strong brand recognition.

B.S (N&F): Quite simple… we make a far superior and more expensive product and sell it for less. A William Rast jean is $300 retail, not because it’s a good pair of jeans or because it costs more to physically produce it. The reason it’s so high priced is because they have to pay Justin Timberlake millions of dollars to be photographed in them, they have to pay J.Lindeberg millions of dollars to design it, and pay for millions of dollars of advertising. All these huge costs have to be built into the price-point of the jean. These Hollywood and “Glamour” brands couldn’t care less about providing product value to the consumer, they merely sell glamour, sex and celebrity associations. On the other hand, we only care about the product. We will never place any ads, and I don’t even have any sales reps that we have to pay 15% of sales and so we don’t have to build-in those costs. We are a “luxury value” denim brand.

Slim Girl Silk

D4yK: What are the must have jean styles for the summer and what is Naked
and Famous doing to make sure they are the leaders in creating the
summer trends instead of just following along with them?

B.S (N&F): I don’t care about trends, but if you want a good summer jean, we do have a great indigo/grey 10oz lightweight selvedge jean in our WeirdGuy fit, which is a slightly tapered leg fit. But don’t worry, we still sell our 21oz denim throughout the summer for those hardcore denim-heads. We will also soon release a 24oz selvedge denim which is the heaviest denim ever created!!

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  1. Great article,
    I think the whole page anad blog is the best thing that i have ever seen.
    Really professional and polished. Who is this David? His questions and insightfullness is excellent
    Bravo!

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