This week's Designer Q & A is with Phil Goss, Founder & Designer of Ijin Material
1) Why do you think after 200 years jeans are still one of the most popular items of clothing?
Jeans & the wearing of denim has always had interesting socio-political significance & anti-styling associations from post-war demob delinquency to seventies skinhead sharp.They have always been something of a frontline item. Despite the greater acceptance of denim as an everyday fabric today , jeans still manage to be edgey & subversive if they choose to be , aswell as being trainspotter exclusive.
2) Last time I counted there were over 50 brands of premium denim jeans, what makes your jeans stand out from the rest?
Ijin material is a totally original product with an innovative approach to creating hand-made denim. The fundamental label philosophy is cutting legs in one single piece & folding them onto the body shape. Ijin material deliberately makes denim product with the clear intention of presenting the classic item in an alternative way. It is also an independent label & self financed ( - "ijin " means "outsider " or " alien" in vintage japanese.)
3) Who do you imagine is a typical customer?
The author is often the final customer in the premium denim market. Ijin material jeans are not uncommercial , but are certainly far from regular product."Afficionados" would be commonly used here.
4) Which style and wash of your jeans are flying out of the shops the quickest at the moment?
J5020 wrap-leg slim fit (see above) is huge in the skandi market.
5) Where do you get your inspiration from?
Cutting & tailoring methods mainly.I Have a strong background in the field of traditional japanese jeans- making ( I was evisu creative director & set-up the original denim line).Because I have worked with & respected these strict traditions, the ijin material item purposley plays with distorting the rules of denim know-how & detailing , & specifically avoids simply making vintage replicas.
6) Are there any essential jeans that everyone should have in their wardrobe?
Ijin material j5030 , number one jap evis , warehouse duck digger , 1930s lee 101 cowboy original
7) What are the first pair of jeans you remember?
White levis - I am a 60s child....
8) What have been your favourite pair of jeans that you have owned?
9) What have been your favourite pair of jeans that you have produced?
Ijin 5030 antifit foldedge backstrap.
10) How many pairs of jeans do you currently own and which are your favourites?
Don't know , 200 plus , but all & any are chosen to match the mood of the day......
11) Are you a "wash your jeans after each wear" person or a "wear your Jeans for six months before you wash them" person?
The concept behind the ijin foldedge cut is that the symmetrical ,open-leg cutting " softens" dry denim when worn (see above).Therefore , leave as long as possible between washing , is a must.... I Call this " seasoning ".
12) Do you own jeans for different occasions (for instance I have work jeans, smart jeans, weekend jeans, holiday jeans, jeans for going to concerts in, jeans for gardening in) if so what have you got?
Smart jeans???? No difference- all denim is beautiful.
13) Which is your favourite jeans shop?
" Quaranta gradi " in the unlikey setting of the vatican city , roma. Weird! Plus most of osaka's amerika mura , of course......
14) Which celebs are currently wearing your jeans?
Ijin is not really a red carpet label ........
15) How important big an effect does it have on your sales when a celeb is seen wearing a pair of your jeans?
In today's cut & paste culture it appears that it is the most important product endorsement for the celebrity wannabe. Not that I agree with bling , however
16) Who is your current favourite denim icon (male & female). I am thinking the person who has the most denim style?
I can only think of Kate Moss
17) Which character (male & female) from a movie had the most denim style?
Paul Simenon from the clash in "westway to the world"
18) Which person living or dead would you most like to see in a pair of your jeans?
My son jake ......who, unfortunately for me , hates dry denim & buttons...
19) If jeans had not been invented, what would we all be wearing?
20) And finally, any predictions for denim in 2007
Looks like organic denim to me.......