May 21 2019 – Mercantile London
We know the more difficult aspects to selecting the perfect jean here at The Mercantile (having worked in production and wholesale sides of the denim industry, you can't hide unflattering pocket positions from us), so it takes a lot of scrutinising for any denim brand to make the cut and arrive on The Mercantile shop floor.
The collection that has this season is the Australian based Abrand. Abrand is a young, modern brand that focuses on affordable and contemporary fits with an offer that suits various body shapes and gives a nice alternative to brands seen everywhere. Our summer styles are moving away from the skinny fit and have a great retro vibe that the Australians do best in denim.
We sat down for a discussion with the brands head designer to find out a little more about Abrand and why it's becoming our denim hit of the season.
Can you tell us a little about the beginnings of the brand - how was the label launched, have you always worked in design?
I have worked on the brand since it started 6 years ago. It was launched as a basic denim brand with the focus being high-quality affordable denim for the people. What has been most exciting about Abrand is watching it grow and find its own personality. The brand is owned by four very passionate guys dedicated to denim. It has been inspiring working for a company and people that believe in creativity and authenticity. I have always been interested in design and fashion since a young age and have worked in design or development for 15 years.
There are so many denim brands out there at the moment - what can people expect from Abrand that sets it apart?
I think one of the main things that sets Abrand womens denim apart is the fit and quality of the denim for the price. I can get a little pedantic when it comes to the fit of a jean. It is important to me that they fit and look great on a natural girl not just the ‘idealistic’ slim model. Also we are a modern and youthful brand, we don’t have 150 years of history behind us and I think that gives us the freedom to really cater to the Millennial girl and giver her affordable on-trend denim.
Consumers are so much more conscious of how fashion, especially denim, is produced today - what green credentials does Abrand strive for?
Personally, this is something that is continuously weighing on my mind! I almost left the industry when I realised what an impact it was having on our world but, I believe that people who care about this need to stay and fight to make as many changes as we can internally. A group of us at the company have formed an Environmental Committee to encourage and make changes where we can. Starting small we have stopped the use of take away coffee cups and single-use plastic, the business has bought keeps cups for the office. We are working to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, all leg tubes are recycled to local craft groups or other designers who turn them into new products. Our next big task is to eliminate the use of plastic bags for products being delivered into store and find an environmentally friendly alternative.
As a company, becoming greener is high on our agenda and we are currently working hard to make changes to be a greener company. Already we are working closely with our factories and laundries to lower our footprint. For current laundries we are working with them to reduce the amount of water being used on washes and to increase the amount of water being recycled. For our latest range we have just added in an organic cotton denim, this has been quite exciting for the Abrand team as it can be quite a challenge to keep the low price while changing over to be green as unfortunately, the greener options have a higher cost. I hope that this changes as organic becomes the new norm. We have also been working with the laundries to create affordable eco washes and I hope to have these ready to use in the Q2 range.
Lastly, as designers we are trying to keep ourselves educated as there are some new and exciting developments happening in the denim industry at the moment that we could apply to our ranges.
Where and from what do you draw your inspiration for the collections?
My main source of inspiration is from streetwear. I like to look at what is being worn by the attendees of fashion weeks all over the world, what is being worn to music festivals, both locally and internationally and also watching what some big and small influencers are wearing.
Who are you designing for - who is your Abrand customer?
Young women millennials who want to look good and feel good in their denim. Denim is part of their lifestyle and they are wearing it to hang out with friends, go to music festivals and when they head out at night. It’s all about good times and good vibes.
Which fit is your favourite and how would you personally style it?
My favourite fit is the A Street Aline, this is pretty much my uniform! I wear them with converse, a vintage fleece sweat or silk shirt and 80’s style jacket.
Where in Australia is the brand based - and where would you recommend to visit if we made the trip?
Our head office is in Fitzroy, Melbourne. It’s a great suburb with a mix of the best restaurants, bars, cafes and some of my favourite music venues. Also there are some great vintage stores and local designers. If you head to Melbourne I recommend you head to Fitzroy and wander along Brunswick st, Gertrude st. and Smith st.
What does your perfect day look like?
Breakfast out at one of my favourite cafes followed by either a trip out to a vintage market or lazing around in the park in the sun, with cheese, and then out to see some live music in the evening.
Shop our S19 edit of Abrand here.
Follow Abrand here