Agave Denim Q + A: Founder Jeff Shafer Shafers_Cycle.jpg

Today’s Designer Question & Answer is with Jeff Shafer, Founder & Designer of Agave Denim.

It’s a new decade for the designer denim culture, would you please explain what you hope to achieve in this new era?
Separation in the mind of consumers of the true premium makers in the USA and Europe and the imitators and the opportunists coming from China and Vietnam.
Have you reinvented your brand or image?
We are not re-inventing anything Agave has always been about product. As a designer, I have always focused 100% on making the finest denim jeans. In the past, there was no focus on the brand image. All we are doing now is reflecting our customer and showing how we would like to see our product merchandised.

What is changing, if anything, from your prior branding to this new version?
More intentionality. More focus on our image. I used to design my collection and think that the finished product was a sample line. Now the finished product is our imagery. I realized that having terrific product was not enough. We need to present what we make, who wears it and how to wear it. A lot of people think they know our brand but unless they are our customers they don’t really know it. Unfortunately, I think our brand is not accurately understood by anybody who doesn’t own a few pairs or sell it in their stores.
What are you focusing on for the Spring 2011 season? And for the Fall 2011 season?
Right now we have two major pushes. The first is to build and grow our Agave women’s collection. The second is to add younger and more contemporary pieces to our men’s collection. My wife, Lauren, has come back this to design from being a stay at home Mom to design our women’s collection this year. Fall will be her first full collection. It’s an exciting time for us as we are a great team and both of us are fanatical about fabrics and fit.