Photos by Douglas Cringean

When Candiani Denim opened their new Los Angeles Design Center, they did it to innovate and educate. Not only will their center help create a deeper understanding of the denims Candiani offers and their “less is more” versatility but it also plans to give back to the denim community with seminars, panel discussions and student/industry/press events. The first in what will eventually grow into a series of educational offerings happened this past Friday in the form of the Kingpins sponsored “Transformers” panel discussion.

Kingpins Transformers was designed to bring a greater understanding of sustainable methods to the jeans industry. The Candiani Design Center hosted a panel that included: Alberto Candiani himself, Mark Werts of American Rag, Mattia Donadi of R13 Denim, Paul Cowell of Archroma and Sheila Foreman formerly of Garment Industrial Laundry. Amid the futuristically cool machines surrounding the Design Center and a generous supply of refreshments, the panel and the industry audience were able to dissect issues of drought, consumer knowledge, sourcing, sustainability and the future of the industry.

“Transformers” panel discussion at the Candiani Design Center in LA
“Transformers” panel discussion at the Candiani Design Center in LA

Some choice quotes heard during the presentation included:

“We will have transparency in this industry and the driving force will be social media.”
Adrew Olah, Kingpins

“We had so many hurdles with the drought and the city of Los Angeles just didn’t care.”
“How do we get better and stay premium? We have to turn to ozone and laser technology!”
--Sheila Foreman, formerly of Garment Industrial Laundry.

“The end consumer either takes a sustainable approach to life or they don’t. We just develop a product with beauty in mind."
“Sourcing is the first step in the right direction for a brand.”
“Education changes culture.”
--Mattia Donadi of R13

On the state of retail: “Generally, it sucks. You can read about it in my book. But if you do something good, it’s always going to be good.”
--Mark Werts, American Rag

“Making a tee shirt and using 100 liters of water is just wrong!”
--Paul Cowell, Archroma