Naked & Famous Denim enters a new world. For spring/summer 2016 the label launches its first complete women’s RTW collection that is woven, dyed, and finished using the finest quality Japanese materials combined with modern fits and clean design. Additional Naked and Famous is running for its very first footwear collection of unisex sneakers that will hit stores summer 2016. Here, Naked & Famous’ Risa Saito talked with SI about the new collection, raw denim, stretch materials and denim trends.

Risa Saito, Naked & Famous Denim
Risa Saito, Naked & Famous Denim
You are going to launch a new women’s raw denim collection. Why do you think the time is ripe for this?

We have always had a women’s denim line since the beginning of the brand, but it stayed secondary to men’s collection. Now we have enough female staff at N&F who can provide valuable input to what we offer to our female customers. So we decided to launch a full collection including tops and other items. We have also been seeing increased brand recognition among women. At our own retail store in Montreal, we are seeing more and more female customers walking into the store to look for jeans for themselves. This brought us hope that women are actually interested in what we do as a brand, and if we put efforts into a women’s collection, people would respond to it.

Can you give me further details on the collection, please? What are the key-pieces? What are the prices? Where will it be sold?
SS16 is the first women’s “collection” for us, so we kept it pretty compact. The idea behind it is the same as men’s: high quality Japanese fabric combined with modern fits and clean design. The collection includes shirts and knits along with our wide variety of denim pieces.
It’s hard to pick a key-item because each piece is pretty solid, but we are particularly excited about the overalls! Fortunately for us women, overalls are becoming increasingly accepted in social occasions, so we added it to our denim lineup. The boyfriend-fit overalls will come in indigo stretch selvedge and black denim. Women’s collection will have the total of 36 pieces including unisex footwear.
The retail prices range from $85 to $198 (USD).
Another highlight would be our new footwear collection. SS16 is our first season ever to make sneakers, and they are unisex ranging in sizes from women’s 7 to men’s 12.  These vulcanized sole sneakers made with Japanese fabrics are also manufactured in Japan. For SS16, we are mainly working with independent retailers that have always supported our brand all over the world. Of course, our own retail store Tate + Yoko will carry the entire collection as well.

Naked & Famous: new women's wear collection summer 2016
Naked & Famous: new women's wear collection summer 2016


I guess women won’t renounce stretch materials….How would you try to sell raw denim to your female customers?
We know how important it is to have stretch in women’s jeans. And we love stretch fabrics! But that doesn’t mean we give up on raw. It’s often misunderstood, but raw denim is not necessarily 100% cotton rigid denim. In fact, our men’s collection also includes a very wide variety of stretch fabrics.
In addition, we rinse most of our women’s jeans to remove the starch that makes the fabric very rigid and uncomfortable.
Our jeans allow women to enjoy the process of wearing raw denim and giving them great fades without having to suffer or settle on unflattering fits. Among our favorite fabrics are Power-Stretch fabrics that has amazing stretch recovery (never goes out of shape!), and stretch selvedge that offers comfort and the cool selvedge factor.
The best reason to buy raw denim is that it is a blank canvas you can work on. You won’t get the distressed look instantly, but you can take your time and beat the jeans up your way. And you will get the true authentic fade you cannot get anywhere else.

What could make raw denim a new trend for women?
We actually don’t really want raw denim to be “a new trend” for women. Certain looks and washes come and go as trends, but jeans are always a big part of fashion. We see raw denim as a constant. Every bleached-out destroyed denim starts as raw denim. The difference is whether you wear them in yourself and make it your own, or have it done in the factory before you get it. We hope everyone would try breaking in a pair of raw denim at least once. It is pretty exciting to see the fading progress coming along, and know that you’re in control of the fate of your jeans.

Do you think raw denim is really becoming more and more interesting for a brand’s womenswear range or is it just a core thing?
We think more and more women are becoming aware of the concept of raw denim, and it’s great! But again, raw denim is at the core of all “trends” in denim. N&F has been sticking with raw denim for almost 8 years now. It is our philosophy, and our women’s line has always been faithful to that even though the market for that is pretty niche.
On the other hand, our fits will evolve with time. We are not easily swayed by fads or anything, but we try to stay relevant and we are always up for new ways to make denim cool.

Naked & Famous: new women's wear collection summer 2016
Naked & Famous: new women's wear collection summer 2016


What do you see as the next big thing in denim?
We already started to see this, but we think that wide leg jeans will become bigger in the coming seasons. Skinny will not go away anytime soon, but wide the leg silhouette is definitely joining the game.

Naked & Famous: new women's wear collection summer 2016
Naked & Famous: new women's wear collection summer 2016


Naked & Famous: new women's wear collection summer 2016
Naked & Famous: new women's wear collection summer 2016


Naked & Famous: new women's wear collection summer 2016
Naked & Famous: new women's wear collection summer 2016