This weeks Designer Question & Answer is with Daniel Suh, Creative Director/Designer of Machine Jeans, an L.A. based denim brand.
1) Why do you think after 200 years jeans are still one of the most popular items of clothing?
Denim has always been comfortable, durable, versatile and most importantly fashionable. I think this combination is the reason why denim is and will remain timeless.
2) Last time I counted there were over 200 brands of premium denim jeans, what makes your jeans stand out from the rest?
I believe Machine Jeans stands out from the rest because we specialize and focus in the actual wash process using advanced finishing techniques while using the same fabrics as the overpriced denim labels. Unlike most mainstream denim brands, we own our own research and development facilities. We do everything from the beginning stages of design to post production in- house, by doing this we can cut out the middle man and offer premium denim at affordable prices. We strive to produce quality jeans with a commitment to the perfect fit all while offering a trendsetting appeal for today’s consumer at a competitive price.
3) Who do you imagine is a typical customer?
Our customer is anything but typical. Machine Jeans appeals to a wide range of customers from all over the world, each wearing our jeans in their own unique way. Our customers tend to be the young trendsetters with a hip sense of style.
4) Where do you get your inspiration from?
As the Creative Director/Designer of Machine Jeans I feel it is my duty to always experiment with different washes, styles and finishing techniques. Having over 15 years experience in the denim industry, I am constantly searching for new ways to reinvent denim in ways that are innovative and fresh. Whenever I feel I need inspiration, I visit places that are visually and creatively appealing; such as art galleries or the movies and I find a lot of inspiration and ideas. Trend forecasting is of utmost important at our company and we are constantly taking inspiration from the world of music/art and pop culture to stay on top of the game.
5) Which style and wash of your jeans are flying out of the shops the quickest at the moment?
Our top selling styles of the moment are the LaToya Jean (ST-8438), The Bleached Destroyed (ST-8509), The B+W Marble Wash Jean (ST-9220b), and The Stonewashed Crease Wash (ST-81014)
6) Are there any essential jeans that everyone should have in their wardrobe?
Yes, a Machine Jean! But namely, a basic skinny jean is a must have in any fashionista’s wardrobe. It’s the perfect jean that is versatile and comfortable but stylish at the same time.
7) What are the first pair of jeans you remember?
Lee Jeans, always bring back a nostalgic feeling.
8) What have been your favorite pair of jeans that you have owned and why?
A pair of Levi’s. I’ve had them for about 10 years and still wear them regularly. They just seem to get better with age
9) What have been your favorite pair of jeans that you have produced and why?
There are so many amazing jeans from Machine Jeans, but currently the bleached/destroyed denim look is definitely a strong trend right now and THE BLEACH & DESTROY jean is my personal favorite. I love the different textures the deconstructed/destroyed denim has to offer and the workmanship that goes into each pair of our jeans is really incredible. It makes me treasure them even more!
10) How many pairs of jeans do you currently own and which are your favorites?
Working in the denim industry, I am blessed to own countless pairs of jeans. Currently my favorite pair of jeans are the Bleach and Destroy jean from Machine Jeans.
11) Are you a “wash your jeans after each wear” person or a “wear your jeans for six months before you wash them” person?
Neither, I think I fall right in the middle. I don’t wash my jeans after every wear but I certainly don’t wait 6 months! I think washing in moderation is key!
12) Do you own jeans for different occasions (for instance I have work jeans, smart jeans, weekend jeans, holiday jeans, jeans for going to concerts in, jeans for gardening in) if so what have you got?
Being that jeans are so versatile, most my jeans are suitable for work, play and dress up occasions. I like that I can dress them up or down for any given occasion. One pair of jeans can go a long way.
13) Which is your favorite jeans shop?
Elli inside the Century City mall in Beverly Hills and TOOKI boutique on Melrose Ave.
14) Which celebs are currently wearing your jeans?
Tons of celebrities are fans of Machine Jeans, Rhianna, Danity Kane, Britney Spears and Angela Simmons have all been photographed wearing Machine Jeans.
15) How important big an effect does it have on your sales when a celeb is seen wearing a pair of your jeans?
The press celebrities bring us definitely impacts our sales in a huge way. We pretty much sell out of whatever style the celeb is wearing within 48 hrs of the advertisement/paparazzi photos.
16) Who is your current favorite denim icon (male & female). I am thinking the person who has the most denim style?
James Dean is a classic male denim icon and Nicole Richie has great denim style.
17) Which person living or dead would you most like to see in a pair of your jeans?
18) What is the worst denim crime?
Denim on denim is the big fashion faux pas, but then again, it all depends on who wears and how you wear it. Anything can be pulled off with individuality and confidence.
19) If jeans had not been invented, what would we all be wearing?
Polyester, god forbid!
20) And finally, any predictions for denim in future seasons
I think the denim market is still going strong and I think we will see a lot more denim in other forms other than just jeans. Jeans will always have their place, it’s just a matter of what wash, cut and style will be popular for the season. I predict we will see a lot more denim with specialized wash techniques. Denim dresses and even denim leggings have slowly made it’s prevalence and I think that’s just the beginning of what’s in store for the world of denim. I think the predictions and possibilities are endless!