Designer Jean Interviews

DENIM INTERVIEW: Candiani Denim

Candiani Denim (26)

Photo of GianLuigi and Alberto Candiani

Candiani is one of the biggest denim production houses supplying denim to many of the top brands that we love. To be closer to their clients, they have opened their first location outside of Italy in no other than Los Angeles. Located in Downtown, the new location will provide a laundry house where the brands will collaborate with Candiani and test out new techniques to bring the washes that they have on paper to life.

To coincide with the opening, Candiani held a launch event inside the factory. Guests were given the opportunity to check out their laser printing machine in action. As a gift, they were given Candiani aprons to have personalized by the machine with a wording of their choice. This will also be the first event as the new location will act as a denim industry hub, hosting talks and events throughout the year.

We got in touch with Candiani’s Global Manager, Alberton Candiani, on how the collaborations start with the brands and how they have kept to the green ethos that they believed in in Italy here in Los Angeles and the atmosphere from the event below.

DenimBlog: What has made Candiani the preferred choice by brands when it comes to denim?

The unique combination of our fabric’s aesthetics and performance. We were the pioneers of high-quality stretch denim and have become well-known for it.

The look of Canadiani’s typical ring character and our indigo shades have always been very much appreciated by our customers.

I also believe that our quality standards and our service have been fundamental to Candiani’s success through the years.

DB: How does the process start when working with brands?

Every season we show a collection of our new Denim fabrics to the brands. The designers pick the fabrics they like and take samples away to process and experiment with. If all goes well, we will receive an order from them in about six months’ time.

What is the top mix of choice (100% cotton or cotton stretch mix) by brands when choosing the textiles? And do you create custom orders for them?

At Candiani we produce and sell close to 90% stretch Denim. This is also what the customers expect from us: innovative stretch qualities, from comfort to super-elastic.

The custom approach to fabric engineering is really important. It’s one of the very few and effective ways to offer our customers differentiation and make them really happy.

The only issue is minimums – When we have to create a brand new construction with a unique color we need to process over 10,000 yds.

DB: At the new location, Candiani won’t just be offering textiles but also have a wash factory for brands to experiment with different techniques. Are you able to talk about these techniques or are they kept secret?

This is another way for us to differentiate our product to our customers.

If we cannot make exclusive fabrics all the time or for every single customer, at the Design Center we will be able to work on exclusive interpretations and custom-made looks. The Design Center is where fabric meets wash – it’s “where the magic happens” and the designer becomes the “wizard”. Together with the designers we can guarantee exclusivity and diversification.

We know our product better than anybody else and our Design Center is there to share with the customers the best and most environmentally friendly way to use our fabrics.

Each individual workshop will be kept secret between Candiani and the particular customer. We will provide them with all the details and information about the developments we made together so that they can go back to their own laundry and replicate the same process and achieve the same results.

DB: When creating a wash, how does the inspiration come about?

This is probably the most fun part. It is pretty much a creative process based on what you want to achieve, but here is where you have to know about the fabric you are working with. You have to know how the fabric is going to respond to your treatments, to ensure you are going to achieve the desired effect.

DB: How long does it take to develop a wash? And how many techniques are often used on just a single one?

It can take anything from a couple of hours for a simple wash, to several days for a sophisticated one.

One “wash” can contain up to 20 different processes to create the end result. The manual processes are still the most important: a good technician needs to know how to work with their hands before they can work with chemicals and machines.

DB: The magic about denim is how it ages whether it be raw or pre-aged taken further. Do you have this in mind during the creating process?

Absolutely. I personally don’t like to fake or speed up the aging of Denim artificially. We like to be influenced by the vintage world of course, but also different kind of textiles, leather, technical fabrics or artistic design elements coming from other industries.

DB: Also, is fit a factor and how it changes depending on textiles chosen and the treatments involved to creating the final product?

Fit is definitely a factor. Stretch Denim has completely changed the fit, and the fit has changed Denim too. Treatments can distress the fabric and create shaping issues, but the way we engineer our fabrics at Candiani is to avoid this kind of issue.

DB: What is the feeling of when the end product finally goes from concept to a tangible/real piece?

It feels good when the piece really reflects everything that has gone into the making of the product. It’s always great seeing someone wearing our product and looking and feeling good in it.

DB: Candiani is a sustainable company. In what ways are you able to keep the company green without sacrificing the end product?

It’s all about the mentality we have. We are located in Italy, under the EU environmental regulations, which are by far the strictest in the World. Not only that, but we are literally located in a nature reserve called “Parco del Ticino” where these rules get even stricter. And that’s totally fine with us! We work really hard to find ways of creating the same end results for our products but in a way that is as kind to the environment as possible. Once you start working in this way it is easy to keep going.

The facility is so clean, our staff are very proud of where they work. Also, all the houses of my family, grandma’s and my parents’ are located inside the factory compound.

The bedroom where I grew up is facing the finishing division. That’s why we feel the company, the facility is just like home and we want to keep it like home: clean.

DB:Lastly, what is your ideal pair of jeans? In terms of textile, cut, and wash?

I do not have one. If you look at my favorite pairs of jeans you will find several shapes, textiles and details. From distressed to clean to raw.

In general, I love to feel the materials more than anything, and I need to feel comfortable in what I am wearing.