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Curiosity Keeps Dr. Denim Open to New Colors and Cuts

There is something magical about a versatile pair of jeans—and this is where Dr. Denim comes into play.

Founded by the brothers Alexander and Johannes Graah in 2004, the Swedish denim brand came to fruition when the duo decided there needed to be a more democratic approach to denim, where a pair of jeans could be a consumer’s second skin regardless of his or her style aesthetics. From that point on, Dr. Denim set out to develop a robust lineup of everyday denim for consumers worldwide.

“At Dr. Denim, we believe that denim can take you anywhere. Great denim can be your friend at a fine dinner as well as Friday night clubbing. We believe that this should be democratic; denim is for everyone,” Alexander Graah, Dr. Denim’s CEO and creative director, said. “Back in 2005, there really were no jeans that felt affordable yet held a high quality, so we simply had to invent them ourselves.”

Today, with both a brick-and-mortar and online presence, Dr. Denim aims to be the top denim source for “dreamers and doers” who are looking for a classic, affordable and versatile pair of jeans to carry them throughout their lives.

The brand offers a slew of denim styles, including jackets, jeans and overalls, for men and women, at prices between $60 and $110. Dr. Denim’s signature comfort stretch provides flexibility and ease. Some of the brand’s products also contain organic cotton for consumers who want more eco-conscious options.

“We do denim and we are curious. That said, we constantly innovate our fabrics, silhouettes, fits and styles. We are also inclusive and aim to make everybody feel their best in our jeans,” Graah said. “With our wide ranges of styles, washes and fibers, I dare say we are one of the best in denim. And we carry both eternal classics and extravagant trends.”

With its motto, “Every day is a denim day,” Dr. Denim is not going after a specific type of retail environment. A diverse mix of department stores, niche boutiques and e-commerce outposts are already stocking the brand.

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“Dr. Denim is distributed worldwide, sold at some of the largest online platforms as well as the most renowned retail spaces. We grow each season and are excited about the fact that more and more retailers invite us to open our own shop-in-shops and branded spaces,” Graah said. “What is so strong about us is that we manage to attract both the really big players, such as Zalando and Nordstrom, as well as small, niche independent boutiques.”

Rivet caught up with Graah, who shared details about Dr. Denim’s beginnings, the power of an everyday pair of jeans and what it takes to build a democratic and sustainably minded denim brand from the ground up.

Rivet: What’s new for Fall ’18?

Alexander Graah: For fall, we have gone creative around the concept of “keeping it together.” We present a collection that is a lot about layering, mixing both fabrics and washes. We flirt with a sense of getting back to the roots both in terms of our key color dusty gold—a yellow gold that evokes autumn leaves—as well as selvage denim, which to us, truly takes us back to what denim is all about: a raw finish that is to be worn in from a long-lasting love.

Creative closures like small-button details and strings are another signature of the collection, and we see some wider fits, especially for women, that are perfect for facing fall in comfort and style.

Rivet: What are some important denim pieces for the season besides jeans?

AG: This season, we want to go all in, and for both the raw denim and the signature yellow wash, we’re pairing the bottoms with sleek jackets for a spot-on denim suit. For women, we also have a very nice pinafore denim dress for the same occasion.

Then of course, we have our logo collection, which is linked to our Backed By initiative. The collection has been very well received, and we look forward to introducing new colors and styles over the coming seasons.

Rivet: What are the top-selling styles for men and women?

AG: For the ladies, we have Lexy, our bestselling star made from our signature super-stretch fabric. The black wash and flattering skinny fit is a classic that never ever goes out of style.

From past seasons, we have another favorite in our mom jeans: the 100 percent cotton Nora, a trend we also see for the guys in our top style Otis. The cropped and slightly tapered leg really makes a statement.

My bet for the men, though, is our new everyday, straight-leg, regular-fit hero Gus, which will launch this fall. The unwashed selvage denim is a dream to die for!

Rivet: Any collaborations or upcoming projects in the works?

AG: At Dr. Denim, we want to live like we learn, and last fall, when introducing our new logo, we wanted to make sure it said more than our name.

To do so, we created a logo collection where 3 euros from each purchase is donated to Backed By Dr. Denim, a fund to which creators of projects striving for a more inclusive society can apply. Through this, we will set up collaborations that can change things and not just sell clothes.

We are so proud to present our first Backed By project with designer Louise Linderoth, a collaboration where we have created the world’s first pair of commercially sold denim designed for a seated body position. The style, Louie, will be sold exclusively at Zalando and, starting this summer.

Rivet: What’s missing from the denim market?

AG: Something we believe has been missing for a while is the color. We did a lot of this in the past and now it’s time to bring it back. Dr. Denim is definitely up for taking the lead on this trend, and let’s say that the yellow accentuate wash we have for fall is just a little starter and the colored denim is something we will see even more of in coming collections.

Rivet: What are your overall predictions for the denim market in 2018?

AG: I think we will see ever more inventive ways to work with sustainability—beyond fibers and fabrics. [We’ll see more] unisex styles and a more forgiving styling where a single pair of jeans can be worn in more than one way, combined with creative approaches to recycling garments and dead stock.

At the same time, the vintage and secondhand boom is here to stay, which is great. I also think we will have to rethink customer needs and take design for different needs into account at a whole other level.

Rivet: What will it take for denim to become more sustainable in upcoming years?

AG: Apart from the more obvious [fixes] around sourcing and the way we work to improve our productions and partnerships, I think we need to integrate sustainability into our styles at an even earlier stage. But it’s also important not to overlook the impact of everything around the garments—the total footprint.

We need to incorporate some innovative thinking into the designs and then stick to that message throughout the communication. That is to me how you as a company, together with customers, can really make an impact.