Adriano Goldschmied needs to introduction. Often referred to as ‘Godfather of Denim’ he is revered by denim community worldwide . With a career in denim spanning over 35 years, Goldschmied took jeans from work wear and made them fashionable. He is the founder of iconic brand Diesels , AG, Goldsign etc and played important role in development of a large number of important brands like Replay, Goldie, Evisu etc. He has never rested on his laurels and has made continuous efforts to bring the denim industry to the next level . Lately he has been working on a new stretch fabric which he feels will turn the fortunes of the denim industry. The ‘Active Denim’ fabric which he feels is revolutionary , is made by blending cotton, nylon and polyester and is already being taken up by some important denim brands. We got the opportunity to interact with the legend and to ask him more about how the active wear segment is affecting the denim industry and how his new development is industry’s answer to this segment’s onslaught on the denim market, besides his views on general movements in the industry.
Why is active wear as a segment getting more important from denim perspective?.
There is an important change of life style. In the past the active wear was mostly limited to people making sport, today is expanding to people that do not, and they just feel more comfortable and they like to be ideally more close to a look that is more healthy and active. They have been jeans "aficionados" .
Yoga pants seem to be highly popular . Are they taking share away from the denim market ?
They are, and they definitely are taking space and consumers from the denim brands. But it is not only about this, the yoga pants are just the top of a big iceberg. In my opinion the market in general, including denim, is going in a direction that is not the traditional one where we been working for decades. Consumers are going into new fabrications that are much more comfortable also in the classic five pocket. The knit denim, the real one, made with the circular machines, is substtituting the woven denim including the fake knit woven that has stretchability only in one way. We will see in those fabric not only yoga leggings but also training pants, boyfriend jeans and classic five pockets.
You have been working on creating new game changing stretch fabrics made with blended cotton, nylon and polyester which have been creating ripples in the denim market. Pl tell us know more about these fabrics. How do you think they will help denim industry to grow further.
As you probably know in the past I been working a lot in fabric innovations, bringing stretch abilities never seen before and mixing fiber and making blends in order to make the jean more comfortable. I arrived to a point when I developed the two way stretch that I understood that it was the right time to invent something totally new. This was not an evolution but a revolution. I started thinking that people love the indigo but there was a need of new constructions. So,now bringing the circular machines in the denim world we change completely the industry. I been working in a new generation of fabrics that all the time are stretch at 360 degrees. Basically I been working in two directions in the same family of products. I take the indigo ropes and instead going to the looms I use the circular machines. The first family is with a very high stretch performance as i mix the cotton indigo yarns with nylons or polyesters creating a product that is in between a denim and a performance fabric for the more active design The second direction is still with the indigo yarn but developed in more stable knits that can substitute the classic denim in more traditional fits.
I strongly believe that the denim industry survives all the time because we bring innovation that is keeping the attention and the interest of consumers. In this case this revolution will be probably bloody but very beneficial..
Are these knit denims dimensionally stable and are these products tested by brands? What kind of fibers have been used in such fabrics..
Most of them are on a poly base in the back that is giving a lot of stability. They are in development at many brands and they will be in the market in January. In general they are 60% indigo yarn, 30% Poly or Nylon and 10% Spandax.
Do you think this direction could take a sizeable portion of denim market in coming times ?
It is very early to forecast the size of this business, for sure we need to have a test in the market but I feel it will be really big. This is a product that can be very important and be used from denim brands but also for sport brands. In addition we don`t have to forget that making a legging is much cheaper then making a Jean. So for sure they will be an opening price that naturally will generate a serious volume. What I have in my mind is that in the future could be 30% of the women denim business.
You are often referred to as ‘Godfather of Denim’. What do you think about the broad directions the industry seems to be taking.
I don`t care about how they call me.. What I care is about bringing more interest and business to our industry. I feel that this new direction will add a lot to our segment. We don`t have to forget that today we are under "attack" from the sport giants and new sport brands and I feel that is crucial to have anadequate answer and get back our market.
Eco Sustainability – it seems to be becoming a buzzword in denim . Though brands/retailers like Levi’s ,M&S and H&M are taking it seriously still a very small portion of world denim is eco friendly. Do you think we might reach a stage in next few years where a small % of total denim would be eco sustainable making a visible impact on the environment..
Regarding eco sustainability, we started small and it will be big as long we all understand that it is not just a marketing tool but a practice that we use every day in everything we do. It is our next big challenge and we need to be winners.