For this season’s denim collection, the journey started in May 2013 with our designer’s bi-annual trip to Denim PV, the biggest denim trade show in Europe, with denim mills from around the world (as far as Japan and Mauritius) exhibiting there.
Our designers go to pick up inspiration and new trends, as well as meeting up with our suppliers and also sussing out the competition!
Once back in the office, the design team will put together inspiration boards with their favourite fabrics, cuts and washes from the trade show. They’ll work all the styles that they want to include in the buy for stores into the overall trends for that season, so each denim style will fit well in a design story and can be sold as part of a look, as well as individually.
Now the buying teams get involved. They’ll take a look at the proposed range and check that it’s going to be commercial enough. They’ll be looking at streetstyle, men’s trends, runway imagery and a tonne of other stuff to ensure these styles are the ones that our customers will be wanting to buy! A look at historical sales data will also help with planning how much of each style to buy.
Once the number of denim styles going forward is confirmed it’s back to the designers to create spec packs and wash packs to give to the factory so that they know exactly what we want, from the placement of the rivets, pockets and belt loops to the width of the leg, rise of the waist and the size of the ankle opening. The factory will also receive the wash pack which will detail were any fades and abrasions should be, what dyes to use and how the finished wash should look.
The Factory will work on a set of samples and send them over to us for a rigorous testing process. First up they’ll all be measured to make sure the factory has made the sizing right and the grading between sizes is accurate to ensure a good fit across every size. The samples will also be put through their paces by our technical expert who will check how the jeans wash, how well the seams are sewn in (there’s lots of ripping and tearing at the samples involved to ensure they live up to our quality standards), how secure and sturdy the buttons are and how the sample fits and hangs on a model.
The factory will take into account all our feedback and finally a gold seal sample will be produced – this will be exactly how the finial product in store will be made.
Based on all our research, the final order will be placed for the amount of jeans we’re after in each style, size and finish. Just a few months later, these will be in store!