Throwback photos stir up laughs, memories and—for denim heads—a wealth of vintage denim inspiration. This weekly column on Rivet asks individuals in the denim industry to take a look back and reminisce about a denim moment in time captured on film.
This week, we’re featuring artist Ian Berry, whose denim artwork landed him a spot on Art Business News’ “Top 30 Artists Under 30 in the World” in 2013 and, more recently, Rivet’s 50 most influential leaders in denim in 2019.
Sourcing denim from scraps and old jeans, Berry is known for his ability to turn the material into an intricate masterpiece. Today, Berry looks back on a moment that may have inspired his work years later.
Ian Berry, Artist
A little secret: As a kid, I didn’t like jeans! Born in ’84, I was a ’90s kid and spent a lot of time in tracksuits. But I remember there was a turning point one day at a family party when I was dressed in corduroy and all of my cousins were in jeans. I felt very self-conscious and suddenly only wanted to wear jeans from that point on.
Here’s me after that turning point in ’94 at Wembley, supporting Huddersfield—a town central to the industrial revolution and known for its textiles, including wool. Though I really wanted a pair of authentic 501s, these were fake.
Since then, I’ve owned many pairs of original 501s. But as an artist, I always appreciate something unique and special and do love to get pairs with a story—craft denim and other rare pieces—and see the creators as artists that need support, too.