It's 'Selection Saturday' here at 15 Mercer Street. Saturday's at the office are probably something most people do from time to time, but in the world of denim, there's no Saturday quite like the Saturday before you launch your next collection. Thankfully, most of my work has been done, aside from waiting for FedEx to deliver the last of our samples between the hours of 7-10am, so I'm spending most of my morning thinking about ... you guessed it ... next season.
On my desk this morning, is an assortment of 120+ denims I'm reviewing for the upcoming season. Included are a number of my favorite mills: Collect, Kurabo, Kaihara, Nihon Menpu, Kuroki, Cone, Isko, etc. and these are my initial selections and the best of everything I've seen in the past 90 days. This is certainly a fun part of my job, but it's sometimes a bit overwhelming as I've got to determine what is best for both the denim wall, and for our men's and women's wholesale collections. Sometimes there's overlap, but most often, due to price constraints or a need for versatility in our wholesale collections, it's one or the other. When it comes to the denim wall, I'm looking for newness, but they have to have one of four key attributes: authenticity, uniqueness, innovation, or special process. If the denim doesn't tick one of those boxes, you're not going to see it being used by us.
I then try to balance those attributes by thinking about seasonal weight, color, caste and shade, process, yarn, dye technique, etc. as well as what's happening within our shop. For example, if we've been seeing customers ask for softer denims or novelty denims with colored weft yarns, I'll try to either find denim or develop denim around their needs. When it comes to designing our wholesale collections we're thinking about a broader audience. Maybe it's our customer in San Francisco, Chicago, or Miami. We ask ourselves, what are their needs, and how can we best design a 3x1 jean around their lifestyle?
Next stop - brunch!