Recently Denimsandjeans held a webinar ‘What Next For Denim’ with some of very well known and globally reputed denim professionals . The panelists included :
1. Albert Candiani (Owner – Candiani Mills) 2. Aamir Akhtar (CEO- Arvind Mills) 3. Alberto De Conti( Head Of Fashion Division- Rudolf) 4. Maurizio Donadi (Co-Founder – Atelier & Repairs) 5. Carlos Arias (CEO- Jeanologia) 6. Stefano Aldighieri( President – Another Design Studio)
The talk was moderated by Sandeep Agarwal and Stefano Aldighieri . We now bring the comments of the panelists of our key questions related to denim industry in a series of six articles with each article giving clear views of each panelist.
In the current article, we bring the thoughts of Maurizio Donadi – the owner at famous upcycling brand Atelier & Repairs from LA. We share his original comments on some of the questions that were put to him during the discussion . (video of his talk here )
What is the way forward for denim?
The virus has basically not only destroyed all logics to our industry but also gave us an opportunity to start afresh and I think that it is true that we have the knowledge, the technology, the experience, and the desire of fixing this industry and we have the capability of engineering in particularly in the world of denim what good denim is all about . In the name of global domination we have designed and made horrible problems and I think that needs to stop.
I think that the idea of reducing intelligently, designing differently, and selling with honesty instead of selling with a price point and I believe that we will all benefit and the people that will benefit the most will be the citizens of the world who should know about trends and stories and point of views and opinions because that’s what globalization is.
Globalization is a free sharing of ideas and now with the digital world instantaneously. At the same time we need to recover from this madness, from this situation locally.
I think there is an incredible opportunity for the return of the made in Italy, the return of made in the USA, the return of the made in anywhere, made in India and the competition should be in improving greatly the way we from design from concept all the way to execution is an opportunity to really re-engineer all of this and I am not in the business of producing but I am in the business of transforming what already exists.
I would say as I am the spectator of a lot of the mistakes that brands have made and I can tell you that that and I think it’s public knowledge that we have to stop thinking about people as consumers and customers and we have to start thinking about people as citizens and knowing that they will vote your company or not according to their honesty of your story.
And I think that the story is more important than the product.
Storytelling is a marketing tool that make you enamored with a company that do not deserve to be bought and I think that’s the science of marketing which is no longer support for beautiful product but it is intellectual terrorism in creating chaos and desire for things that we don’t need and after six to eight weeks of isolation.
I think that we know pretty good what we need in life and what we don’t need anymore and we will be able to vote about food, about homes, about people, about goods, and ultimately about denim because that’s what is needed . It’s the rethinking of our life and the new re-imagination and a new building of our lives starts from a very difficult time . And that’s when people are the most effective and when the innovation starts . Sorry the gift that we got from this bloody virus is that we had for the first time time to think about all the things that are wrong and all the things that are good and important to us and denim being the one of the most democratic house for your body that we have an opportunity to really make it useful, utilitarian, beautiful, sustainable, traceable, longer, long lasting best product we can ever made.
I think that the citizen will understand the effort.
The brands truly need to conceptualize their brands and their product line . They should design a lot less and design with a lot more expertise because you have been producing product for brand in general that did not have the knowledge and the experience of designing right .How many time I went to factory where the workers were laughing at the way things were constructed because the design was wrong to start with .Of course there are amazing designers and so forth, but what is designed for denim so I think that the design process today in big company is also considered a cost.
So being creative is a cost for large corporations that are dominated by supply chain in which their only interest is in the status quo right . They don’t want to change anything – it took them 30 years to build their books and we are telling now that they need to change the books ????
Well my answer would be absolutely so now or you’re gone in two or three years or be happy to be 1/10 of the revenues that you are you were generating pre virus.
So I think that that’s the wake-up call for brands which need to revolutionize the method from design to execution and the commerce of it and for the industry, for the manufacturing industry to evolve because the needs now are different.
What are three Key Things the Denim Industry needs to do?
I’m thinking about three things instinctively . One requires zero investment financial investment it’s called rethinking of our values , our principles and the way we work . I think that every company , every individual and every company should have this conversation with itself, himself/herself and ourselves what our company stands for and why are we in business , for what type of business we want and how we want to conduct ourselves .So that to me is number one .
Number two is I believe that we have no other alternative than collaborating spirit of collaboration is it’s something that it’s fundamental nowadays. I mean we all suffer from the same illness we are all suffering from the same crisis from the same virus from the same financial challenges . I think that there is enough culture , knowledge and willingness to create alliances so we can all together solve some of the issues that we have so . And good point about involving citizens into this is because they have also something to say and we can learn from them instead of using them as consumer we use them as in inspirer of a new way of thinking and the third element is in dispute of this idea.
The third point to me is changing mentality in the way we design a made product . I think all of you know I will always vote for good product better core product and and and then the big question about denim is that then when I say the changing mentalities of course is about denim and my question for everybody is :
Is denim the name of five pocket pair of pants???
(Maurizio left us with this question and we leave our readers to answer this question to themselves or share comments below to this question)
Watch our all episodes of #CovidTimes talks and Webinar at our official YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/user/denimsandjeans/videos