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A MATTER OF LIFE AND DENIM


DR DENIM JEANSMAKERS • GOTHENBURG • SWEDEN

FOREWORD Jeans is science Astronauts know space, mechanics know cars and we know jeans. We leave nothing to chance. We’ve twisted and turned every single atom of all our jeans to perfection. The results are visible in stores all around the world – and in this book. Jeans is our life. This is our story.

The Graah family

Alexander Graah - Johannes Graah - Morten Graah


TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER 1 HISTORY CHAPTER 2 PRODUCTION CHAPTER 3 DESIGN CHAPTER 4 VISION CHAPTER 5 FIT CHAPTER 6 WASHES CHAPTER 7 WEAR AND TEAR

06 – 11 12 – 19 20 – 29 30 – 37 38 – 45 46 – 55 56 – 73


HISTORY

HISTORY

THE SUN The sun is the star at the centre of our solar system.

HISTORY

Our entire solar system revolves around that star. Our sun gives the earth the energy it needs for life, controls our weather and gives us warmth. But the sun’s energy is not all that’s impressive. Just look at its size: a diameter 109 times that of the earth. A mass 333,000 times greater. Yet, from the perspective of the whole universe the sun is only medium-sized. It has many astral cousins that are many times larger.

Let us explain Dr Denim’s complex connection to hot weather. Every major step in Dr Denim’s history is connected to steamy temperatures. The sun beams down on the company like a spotlight – and that’s no coincidence.

The sun moves at the amazing speed of 792,000 km/h, but it still takes more than 240 million years for it to orbit the centre of the Milky Way.

This is science.

Hotter than hell Fusion is the process that contributes to the outrageous temperatures in the sun. The core of our life-giving star is estimated to be about 15 million degrees Centigrade! By comparison, its surface temperature is a “cool” 60,000°C. No wonder things have been hot for Dr Denim.

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HISTORY

W c c M

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a a G

HOT HISTORY THE RED HOT 1950s In the 1950s anything was possible. The world abounded in optimism. That’s what makes the 1950s the starting point for the story of Dr Denim – because Dr Denim is all about passion, dreams and loving what you do, a love that has been passed down from generation to generation in the Graah family. A classic example is Morten’s father, Heinz, who founded the Lecomte brand. This wonderful ladies wear company was eventually sold to the German company Lucia AG in 1971 and is still a popular brand throughout Europe. On the spin side, Johannes’ and Alexander’s other granddad operated less warm and fuzzy companies – two fishery businesses called Axel Bergströms Fiskexport AB and Fiskebäcks Isverk AB. If you add together these two seemingly incompatible heritages of design, fashion sense and the grubby work of the fishery industry, it’s not such a surprise that the family now works with jeans. What else would they do? Burning June – 1979 June began with a real hot spell. A young Morten Graah was struggling with the heat and the European launch of

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Edwin jeans, a new, great-looking arrival from Japan. Europeans only knew Edwins by reputation. This sizzling summer, punctuated by the sounds of London Calling and Highway to Hell, saw the birth of Morten’s dream of his own brand.

A decisive moment – 1986 In 1986 Graah brothers Johannes and Alexander made their first visit to a jeans factory – a visit that would change their lives forever. The smells, the tempo and all that beautiful denim. They loved it all. This love-at-first-sight experience really got the ball rolling – and it would never stop. Summer 1994 – the hottest July ever 1994. The year that Sweden won bronze in the football World Cup, Soundgarden dominated the airwaves and Forrest Gump and the Lion King hit the silver screen. The summer was roasting – the hottest on record in Sweden. The average temperature in Gothenburg reached 33.8°C. Morten Graah poured his heart

A matter of life and denim

into jeans and fashion until the sweat poured off him. Alexander and Johannes planned and discussed the future. The following year, 1995, Morten was running an agency for G-star clothing. Giving it his all, as always. At the same time, the three jeans nerds were brainstorming and discussing ideas, talking themselves into going ahead with their own jeans brand. It would take nine years for these ideas to become reality. But first they wanted to learn all they could about entrepreneurship, strategy and marketing. Not surprisingly the brothers ended up at the prestigious Oxford University, where they studied Economics & Management. Alexander specialised in strategy and Johannes in marketing. Their academic and analytical perspectives would later permeate every decision made in the founding of Dr Denim.

Sweden, July 2003 – when the heat wave struck The summer of 2003 was scorchingly hot. All of Europe was boiling; you could have fried an egg on any car bonnet. But the summer was going to get even hotter.

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On 14 July the Graah family put its plans into action and started Dr Denim.

Two other important events in July 2003: • On 1 July 2003 all the Swedish nobility’s privileges were rescinded. • On 22 July 2003 test drilling for a planned rail tunnel through Hallandsåsen ridge in southern Sweden was stopped after a cement leak caused extensive fish deaths in Lyabäcken, outside Båstad. Roasting hot August 2004 August 2004 saw the first-ever exhibit of Dr Denim jeans at a trade fair – Goldfinger in Copenhagen. Orders rolled in and the customers were high class from the very start. Champagne and Apartment from Sweden were among the earliest customers. Dr Denim was properly on its way. The high pressure band had taken hold. The heat of August continued into September and resulted in the best Indian summer in living memory.

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HISTORY

HISTORY

UNAGI – THE FIRST DR DENIM JEANS STYLE The name Unagi comes from an episode of Friends in which Ross takes up karate. Unagi also means eel in Japanese. The very first Unagi jeans are in fact still around, though unfortunately they’ve been washed twice (purely accidentally). However, there’s no doubt about their great feel. The wear is perfect, the fabric is comfortable and the design is timeless. An interesting fact about eels is their strange reproductive behaviour. All the world’s eels actually reproduce in the same place, the Sargasso Sea. Some of their young follow the Gulf Stream up to northern climes, ending up in Swedish waterways. As adults, they always try to return to the Atlantic to mate in the Sargasso Sea. A seemingly impossible task, but the American eels manage the trip. Which means, when you think about it, that all Swedish eels have American parents. Read more about reproduction in the next chapter: Production.

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production

production

Production Let´s make some jeans

Listen to your heart. Dr Denim always listens to its own feelings. Things have to feel right, or there’s just no sense in continuing. It’s also important not to try to force feelings that aren’t there.

Feelings must be genuine.

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production

The first hesitant attempts

The first sketches A pair of jeans can begin with a fleeting impression in town. An apparently insignificant film experience. Small, odd impressions that trigger ideas, which lead to a whole chain of thought that finally ends up on the sketch pad. Daring to experiment and investigate is important for the first phase of the process. This is where feeling must be allowed to take a leading role. Impulsiveness and humour must be given free rein as well. The sketches soon develop. First as scruffy, rapid lines on white paper, then transformed into a serious blueprint for action. Finding the right partner Finding the right supplier is absolutely essential. Dr Denim doesn’t just jump into bed with the first supplier to come along; we choose our partners with care. Our suppliers are committed and experienced. They must be more than just a factory – they must be driven by the same heart that beats at Dr Denim.

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production

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production

production

Principles for twill: 2/1 Twill = Fine 3/1 Twill = Coarse Broken Twill = Rock and roll

MATERIAL & PRODUCTION MATERIAL The material is everything. You can never overestimate the importance of getting this aspect right. The jeans constructors evaluate construction, weight, dyeing techniques and finishes. There are many, often complex decisions. Yet somehow, time and time again it turns out that feeling is incredibly important. The feel of a perfect jeans fabric can’t be described or calculated. It just feels right.

The production phase in the development of a pair of fantastic jeans: 1.

Dr Denim sends a collection of documents to the factory: sketches, patterns, photos and descriptions of fabric, washes, pocket lining, measurements, thread thicknesses, thread colours and everything else necessary to describe the jeans.

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THE DROMEDARY 2. The factory uses this information to create a prototype, which they send back to Dr Denim for an initial examination. 3.

Naturally, the prototypes are made to fit Johannes, Alexander, Morten, Sara and Mia. They’re the official testers, and their assessments form the basis of the continuing process.

4.

The adjustments are sent back to the factory, and implemented, then the collection is sewn for exhibition at trade fairs and sales meetings. Meanwhile, work continues on the details for the next collection.

The dromedary is the only four-legged animal that mates lying down

5. Final approval. 6. Production. 7. The jeans arrive in stores and reach consumers.

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DESIGN

Design

Design Jeans made by all the senses for all the senses.

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DESIGN

OUR SENSES Sight At Dr Denim we believe in beauty. Things should look good for the sake of it. Jeans should be so gorgeous that the person wearing them walks tall and wants to be seen. Beautiful jeans are created by: • Exciting, workable basic ideas. The original concept behind the style should be strong and interesting. These ideas often come from people out clubbing and socialising. Impulses can also come from more unexpected directions, such as music, films or dreams*. * Dreams can be described in simple terms as mental experiences. They often occur during REM sleep and mainly have a narrative form. The individual believes that the story is real when it takes place, but the dream fades on awakening.

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• Good patterns. The lines are drawn with passion and scientific precision. • The right wash. Washing is an art form. Creating a wash with the right colour, pattern and attitude requires huge amounts of feeling. That’s why Dr Denim never stops working on washes. This thoroughness is based on the scientific connection between the fabric and the wash: a bad wash is devastating for a beautiful fabric and a bad fabric is devastating for a beautiful wash. • The right material. The material should have the optimal optic characteristics. The eye* should be caught by the fabric. * The eye is an anatomic organ for sensing light.

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DESIGN

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DESIGN

DESIGN

Touch Jeans from Dr Denim should feel good. This is actually a part of the company’s statutes. One reason is that skin is one of mankind’s most sensitive organs. It’s also the heaviest. In fact, skin makes up 20% of the body’s total weight.

Hearing Some jeans are quiet: many of Dr Denim’s jeans are absolutely silent. The soft stretch jeans don’t make a sound; you can even creep up on animals without being discovered. Some jeans are noisy: Dr Denim also has jeans that rustle, swish and make noises. Some models are so coarse in their character and material that they produce great sounds; some of them sound like sails flapping in the wind.

Epidermis experts In all mammals, skin has three layers. Dr Denim only focuses on the outer layer, the epidermis, because that’s where the skin comes into contact with the jeans. To be precise, only the upper layer of the epidermis, the horny layer, touches the jeans. This layer is what protects the body from blows and makes the skin almost entirely waterproof. The horny layer contains the body’s sensory receptors; they detect how the jeans feel on the legs, registering pressure, temperature and in the worst-case scenario, even pain. These sensory receptors also have the great privilege of feeling the wonderful jeans from Dr Denim.

Another sound that Dr Denim values is the one you hear when someone puts on their jeans. This sound is brisk and slightly rocky. Now and then a metallic clang can be heard as the buttons knock together or hit a belt.

Deciding the feel of the jeans Many factors combine to create the Dr Denim feel. These are the most important: • Fibre length. • Composition (adding hemp and cotton to create rawness, polyester for softness and elastane for great stretch). • Spinning techniques. • Fabric construction. • Density. • Surface treatment.

Gut feeling The most important of all the senses is gut feeling. Dr Denim follows it faithfully. We know that it will be right if we just listen to our gut feeling. Researchers aren’t entirely sure how it works, but it is probably connected to our innermost being. Another concept that is close to gut feeling is “fingerspitzgefühl” – literally, fingertip sensitivity. However, Dr Denim doesn’t want to mix up these feelings. Both are too important for that.

Fact Taste Dr Denim has good taste. Everyone at Dr Denim knows that, as do many others. Vallecuia epiglottica Epiglottis Plica glossoepiglottica med.

Dr Denim is growing all the time. The fact that its jeans are found in many places around the globe confirms Dr Denim’s sensitive taste buds. The taste buds sense four basic tastes; saltiness, sweetness, sourness and bitterness. Recently an entirely new taste was discovered, the flavour of savouryness, called umami. Tonsilla lingualis

Tonsilla palatina

Arcus glossoplatinus

Papillae lenticulares

Papillae conicae

Papillae filiformes

Apex linguae

Another fascinating thing about taste is that flavours can only be detected when dissolved in water. You can’t taste dry bread until it’s been moistened by saliva.

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VISION

VISION

VISION Dr Denim’s power station

You need a motor to start the wheels turning, something to push the company forward. It should bang, smoke and roar. There should be sparks and speed. Like a screaming V8 with 500 bhp. Dr Denim’s motor strength comes from working and following a strong vision – the vision of making the perfect pair of jeans. Over and over again.

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VISION

This gets Dr Denim going The fuel: Joy. The joy of creating the coolest jeans. The wonderful feeling of designing, experimenting and testing is the optimal fuel. Jeans are to Dr Denim what music is to a musician, or a picture to an artist. They are the result of hard, creative and highly enjoyable work. The fuse: Customers. It’s a great feeling to see people walking around feeling cool and hip in a pair of Dr Denim jeans. Nothing else lights the spark in quite the same way. The engine: The science. An engine produces some form of output from a given input. Dr Denim’s input is their knowledge. Despite an extremely high level of knowledge, Dr Denim develops new insights into jeans with each passing day. New angles on washes, colours, materials, designs, trends etc. flood in continually. Jeans and denim are a science in the true meaning of the word. Research in progress. The wheels: Dr Denim is carried forward by the Graah family: Morten, Johannes and Alexander Graah. It’s a family business with experience, creativity and passion.

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The pimping: Finding an outlet for artistic and decorative urges is exhilarating. We get such a buzz from pimping up a pair of jeans with leopard spots or cartoon figures. All those creative decisions are what make Dr Denim into Dr Denim. The joyride: Dr Denim is primarily about daring to have fun, trusting your feelings and intuition. Jeans are fun. For us, jeansmaking is a love affair. Engine The word motor comes from Latin and means “motion”. The word is mainly used for machines that move things along, rather than for stationary machines like a central vacuum cleaner. A combustion engine is a motor that is powered by burning fuel, such as petrol, paraffin oil, diesel or hydrogen. Combustion engines include jet engines, gas turbines and piston engines. On the whole, the piston-driven combustion engine was the most important invention of the 20th century and has radically changed people’s lives, based on the development of the steam engine at the end of the 19th century.

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159

64 65 69

66

162

249

146

36 149

67

163

3

167 3

4 155

5

160

261

20

139

1

248

258

246

220

259

260 245

246

267

2

253

19 158

61 61 145 49

72

73 74

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151

236

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271 49

714 69

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710

712

713

715

148 71 160 159 158

149

146 146

145

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VISION

VISION

“Cruisers” are a subculture in Swedish society who truly love their engines and cars. They first appeared in the 1950s and haven’t changed much since then. They particularly love big, old American V8-powered cars, such as Cadillacs and Pontiacs. Another favourite is the beautiful Volvo Amazon. Cruisers are also famous for the sweet smell of Wunderbaum.

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FIT

FIT

Calculated fit DO THE MATHS

Mathematics is the art of abstract figures, structures and patterns. It deals with methods for describing and analysing abstract connections, and with knowledge in the shape of previously determined results. It cannot be tested empirically, but is based on an axiom. Therefore, mathematics doesn’t fit into the category of a science – and yet it is one of the primary tools for formulating and solving problems. At Dr Denim we put maths to good use, creating our jeans from mathematical tools as well as our structures, patterns and experience.

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FIT

Calculated fit

Geometry describes shapes. From individual points we create lines and angles, and from there circles and other geometric objects. We at Dr Denim think that geometry is stunning, but the most amazing mathematical phenomenon, in our eyes, is the golden ratio. The golden ratio is the relationship that occurs when a line is divided into a longer part, a, and a shorter part, b, so that the length of a + b is to a as a is to b. This idea of the perfect fit is not entirely uncomplicated..

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FIT

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FIT

FIT

Dr Denim and the Ancient Greeks The golden ratio The golden ratio was known back in the days of Pythagoras and the Ancient Greeks. Throughout the ages this ratio has served as the norm for perfect harmony of proportions in painting, photography, architecture and sculpture. In 2003 Dr Denim brought this harmony into the fashion world through carefully calculated fit and brilliantly thought-out jeans. Because the golden ratio is a mathematically calculated formula for what the eye finds pleasing, it’s not surprising that Dr Denim’s jeans are considered attractive. Dr Denim is so much more than just the product. Sure, La divina proportione was perhaps one of the first and most influential works to be created on the basis of the golden ratio, but nowadays Dr Denim has caught up with the mediaeval mathematician Luca Pacioli. Dr Denim’s jeans have taken his place with a fit that can only be described as having “divine proportions”.

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Formula for the golden ratio (AB = p + q), such that the square of the larger part (AC = q) is the same as the product (rectangle) of the smaller part (CB = p) and the entire line (AB = p + q); Or, in other words, the entire length (p + q) is to the larger part (q) as the larger part (q) is to the smaller part (p).

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It used to be that the responsibility for fit lay more with the user than with the manufacturer. Cowboys had an effective, if a bit tricky, way of giving their jeans the right touch. They simply jumped in the lake wearing their jeans and then let them dry on their bodies. The shrinkage meant the trousers fit as if they’d been painted on. History recommends that you bathe in your jeans as soon as you’ve bought them, but nowadays you don’t need to get wet to get great fit.

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WASHES

WASHES

WASHES H2O

Water is a chemical compound of hydrogen and oxygen, and is a much stronger force than you might think. Running surface water, groundwater, rain, waves and ice all have a secret weapon. It is called erosion. At Dr Denim we know what water can achieve. We know the great effects we can obtain using water and we know when to be careful with this chemical compound.

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WASHES

Planned feelings

Dr Denim deliberately chooses how the denim is treated, or not treated. We see washes as part of the design that’s just as important as fit. And we leave nothing to chance – except, perhaps, a few things. We planned the feeling you get when you touch the fabric. We know how the fabric will feel the first time you wear the jeans, and we know how it will feel after a year. But what the jeans will look like, where they are worn thin and how distressed they will be, that part is your responsibility. Your personality and your cares will be evident when your Dr Denim jeans have become a part of you.

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WASHES

WASHES

Cellulose enzyme wash

The jeans are washed with enzymes and organic substances that break down the cellulose in the fabric. The result is a washed-out effect.

Acid wash

Rinse wash

A type of stone wash that was launched in the 1980s. Pumice is soaked in chlorine and washed with the fabric. Also called iced, frosted or snow wash.

Gentle water wash that shrinks the fabric and removes excess dye.

Stone wash

Tint

The jeans are washed along with pumice or ceramic objects. The stones mainly wear along seams and edges. The effect on the fabric will vary depending on the length of the wash.

The jeans are toned in the wash, often yellow, brown or green, to give them a vintage character or a dirty feel.

Heavy stone wash

Sandblasting

The jeans are washed with pumice for anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. This removes a lot of dye and makes the jeans look used. The amount of dye left depends on the washing time.

Before being washed, the jeans are sandblasted. This makes them look naturally worn.

Bleach wash

Moustache

A chemical is added to the wash to bleach the denim. Liquid (hypochlorite soda) and solid (calcium hypochlorite) bleaches may be used. This process softens the fabric’s appearance and makes the jeans look used.

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Before being washed the jeans are treated with sandpaper, or something similar, to give a worn, creased look to the knees and crotch.

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WASHES

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WASHES

WASHES

Antagonists and lovers

Humans have always been drawn to water – and not just drinking water for quenching thirst or fishing waters for finding food. Rivers, lakes and oceans have always offered people a convenient way of transporting both themselves and their belongings. That’s why poets of all eras have written and sung about water – springs, streams, lakes and seas as well as rain, mist, cloud and rainbows. Artists have painted water and musicians have composed with water as their inspiration. Dr Denim has a complicated relationship to water. We love it and hate it. Just as water can be an instrument for producing a design or a feeling, water can just as well be our worst enemy. We must always be on our guard. The finest denim fabric can lose all its feeling if it’s treated wrongly. On the other hand, the right wash can lift the entire garment to unforeseen heights.

Avoid hydrotherapy When we have put the finishing touches to our work and the fate of the jeans is in your hands, we ask you to look after them with love. Whether the jeans are washed or unwashed, they should preferably not meet detergents and washing machines, at least not for the first six months. However, they do want to be regularly aired or rested overnight in a plastic bag in the freezer. When you reach the point of no return and they really have to be cleaned, start off gently with a dry clean. If you are going to wash the jeans in a washing machine, turn them inside out, set the machine on 30°C and don’t use the spin cycle. Look after them well and you’ll have a long-term relationship to look forward to. The 4 aggregation states of water: Ice (solid), –273.15 to 0°C Water (liquid), 0–100°C Water vapour (gas), 100–12,000°C Plasma 12,000–?°C

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WEAR AND TEAR

WEAR AND TEAR

Wear and tear From Sigmund Freud’s perspective

You can learn a lot about a person by studying their Dr Denim jeans. A knowledgeable person can actually read and decode an individual’s entire personality and lifestyle based on their denim.

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WEAR AND TEAR

Psychology

Psychology is the study of human behaviour, thoughts, feelings and interaction with other people; a type of science that provides a fascinating foundation for investigating how jeans can affect the ego and vice versa. A pair of old jeans is like a story. You can read the individual’s mental and physical health and the wearer’s attitude in it. Below is a summary of the most common wear patterns and what conclusions can be drawn from them. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, doesn’t exactly touch on the interpretation of jeans in his scientific publications. The closest he comes is in his most famous work – The Interpretation of Dreams, Die Traumdeutung, from 1900. His thesis is that dreams can be interpreted and understood. An extension of this reasoning naturally results in the doctrine of jeans. But on a deeper and more psychological level, of course.

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WEAR AND TEAR

TARGET 1 The snuff effect

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CAUSE:

Nicotine addiction in particular and bad health in general.

RESULT:

Circular wear on left or right back pocket.

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WEAR AND TEAR

TARGET 2 The cookie effect

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CAUSE:

Addiction to cookies, cakes and more.

RESULT:

Serious wear on the inner thighs.

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TARGET 3

TARGET 4

The turn-up effect

The nervousness effect

CAUSE:

Constant use of big turn-ups.

RESULT:

Horizontal rips on both legs.

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CAUSE:

Rubbing hands on lap when feeling stressed or uncomfortable.

RESULT:

Even wear on both thighs.

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WEAR AND TEAR

TARGET 5 The hero effect

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CAUSE:

Voluntary or involuntary act of heroism such as saving someone from a burning building.

RESULT:

Third degree burn.

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WEAR AND TEAR

TARGET 6 The short legs effect

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CAUSE:

Jeans too long and refusal to alter.

RESULT:

Completely ripped bottom hems.

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TARGET 7

TARGET 8

The lucky effect

The model walk effect

CAUSE:

Repeatedly undressing in a hurry.

RESULT:

Buttonhole worn out or button missing.

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CAUSE:

Too much time spent watching America’s Next Top Model.

RESULT:

Inseam torn at the ankles.

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WEAR AND TEAR

TARGET 9

TARGET 10

The pig effect

The itchy arse effect

CAUSE:

Major slobbiness.

CAUSE:

Constant arse scratching.

RESULT:

Food stains everywhere.

RESULT:

Tear or hole between back pockets.

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Dr.Denim Brand Book  

Nice catalog from sweden brand

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