Edwin Jeans wants to reposition itself in the US market and has engaged prominent reinforcement to do so. It has drafted genius denim veteran Adriano Goldschmied to design its collection for America and longtime sales ace Vince Gonzales to serve as sales and marketing director for North America. We spoke to the pair about the relaunch and learned how Goldschmied, who has worked with Mavi and Miss Sixty among others, creates and ensures the iconic look of each brand he touches.
How did the collaboration with Edwin come about?
Adriano Goldschmied (AG): I have been in contact with Itochu since the early ’80s when I was working with their Milan office. Later when I moved to America, I kept working closely with the textile division developing concepts like the super stretch made in cupro, which for many years has been a top seller as a sexy and feminine jean. During this time we became very friendly, and when Itochu acquired Edwin and thought of the idea of relaunching Edwin for the North American market, I was probably in the pole position as a candidate. A very important factor was the fact that in addition to my design experience, throughout my career I have been constantly working on new brands and have a proven experience in dealing with marketing and creating a winning team.
What does the collection look like? What was your inspiration? What are the key pieces?
AG: We love the simplicity and functionality of simple things so we give particular attention to the details, fits and washes. The collection is produced in Japan, which for all of us denim people is a kind of dreamland. There is no other country where there is such extensive fabric research, and in particular the development and innovation in washes.
For holiday, the inspiration for the collection is about the functionality of common items, mostly items from industrial, military and functional work. These items are specifically designed to be functional, durable and high quality, which we really like. For spring, we continue the workwear inspiration but in addition also develop special colors, fabrics and unique details.
The key piece in men’s is the Marlon, a totally new fit that is extremely comfortable, with a low crotch but a tapered leg. For women, I was inspired by Japanese workwear so we brought extremely comfortable fits in big volume, which are unusual for today. We’ve also been able to remodel the me’ns classic straight side seam jean and bring that spirit into a women’s fit but with a feminine and sexy touch.
Where will it be sold?
Vince Gonzales (VG): For our soft launch it will be sold in the USA at Ron Herman, The Stockist and K Frank.
What is your ultimate aim of the relaunch in North America?
VG: Edwin's ultimate aim was to re-establish the brand in North America with a friendlier appeal to the North American consumer and at the same time feed the hunger of the “Denim Enthusiast” with a new concept.
How do you want to position the brand in the market?
VG: The brand is position along size of the American jean brands, typically the ones made in Los Angeles from a price standpoint with a made in Japan aesthetic.
How important is the US market currently?
VG: The American market is quite important for not only the future growth of the Edwin brand but also to magnify the North American project which will eventually be sold globally.
Is it a limited collaboration or will Adriano be with the brand for a longer term?
VG: Currently it’s a four-season deal with options for renewal. However we feel it will be long-term based on the mutual commitments from all sides.
You are working and collaborating with many different brands. How do you ensure that the iconic look of each brand is maintained?
AG: Genius Group is a very organized design studio. With our long experience and creativity I feel we are able to analyze the nature of the brand, what the position of that brand could be in the market and to design according to this a complete strategy in terms of product design, fabric and washes. That’s how every project is unique.
VG: Adriano understands the heritage of the brand. As an old friend to Edwin, he understands the utmost importance of maintaining the basic ethos of the brand whilst updating and modernizing the product offering without compromising the DNA makeup of the Edwin. This is his same approach to any project he works on.
What is still so fascinating about denim after all these years?
AG: The most fascinating thing about denim is the fact that we are constantly able to bring innovation and create denim that consumers need both now and in the future. No other fabric represents modern culture, the desire of freedom and creative flexibility so perfectly as denim.
Do you miss out on designing your own jeans brand?
AG: Yes I did, that’s why I started A Cynetic, my new brand. There I am able to work outside of any kind of box and not only to design the product, but also to bring it to the market and ultimately the consumer in my own way.