Living denim icon, Donwan Harrell, doesn’t stop. Not only is he single-handedly taking care of his PRPS brand, participating in every little detail that concerns his brand, he also spreads the word about how-to in denim. Donwan has just created a program about denim manufacturing and washing and implanted it within the current fashion design program at the VCU campus in Richmond.
Here is what he tells us about this amazing program:
“I’ve realized that, as a past fashion design student myself, I knew nothing about the denim industry. Most design schools focus only on pattern making, draping, and design theory and nothing on America’s 15 billion dollar denim industry that we’ve single-handedly created. With my own personal success and experience over the last 20 years in the denim industry, I’ve always wanted to embark on a path which would also allow me to communicate to new, up-and-coming designers the skills I’ve developed within the trade. After continuing conversations with my colleagues at VCU for the last 2 years, I finally received the green light to teach an intensive course on the subject of denim manufacturing. This is a unique opportunity for students to delve into the intricacies of how to design, develop, and manufacture denim in the market place. It was the first program of its kind in the U.S and turned out to be a success.”
Here are some details about the program, which is only the beginning of a series of “jeanology” programs to come.
“I kept the initial class size really small, with 10 students only, and lectured for 2 weeks on denim history and fabrications.
The students then spent a week in my NY office to witness the operations of a successful denim company, and were required to do research in the market on all competitive denim brands to complete a graded verbal presentation of what they had learned.
The students then were flown to a denim factory in Europe and briefed on all machinery, methods, and applications. They were given a raw denim jean to wash down creatively to their desired specs. All industrial machines were at their disposal to experiment and create.
It was a amazing experience, to say the least. One that we will continue each and every summer at the same university.”
Check out the gallery below so you can get a “feel” for this course.
Class contact address: [email protected]