Author Nick Williams tells the tales behind the most storied denim brands in the world.
Self-proclaimed “denim geek,” Nick Williams combined two of his passions—graphic design and denim—when he penned “Denim Branded: Jeanswear’s Evolving Design Details.”
The concept for the book was born of Williams’ own experience as a graphic designer for denim brands like Levi’s. During his 20 years working in the denim industry, he had always hoped to find a book dedicated to graphics and branding for apparel.
The book, a 272-page visual deep dive into the history of denim branding, is not only a source of creative inspiration, but an archive of the designs, brands and influential moments that have brought the industry to where it stands today.
Why are you drawn to denim?
It started when I was in art college in the ’90s. Everyone was into the 1950s, The Clash and double denim. I was buying a lot of Diesel. I really liked the artwork on the hangtags and labels and before I knew it I had started a small collection which is still ongoing. I eventually got a job working in the graphics department at Levi Strauss & Co. Europe. It was around the time when the first Nevada jean reproduction was released by Levi’s Vintage Clothing. I became fascinated and really got bitten by the denim bug, initially with Levi's and later on with the Big Three [Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler].
How can brands improve the way they communicate sustainable stories to consumers?
Through clever branding. The pocket bag is a great canvas for this. Many brands print on them but considered imagery and messaging can cleverly convey a brand's sustainability ethos. It would be great to see recycled branding elements such as pocket flashers, trims or a zipper pull.
What was the last denim garment you purchased?
1944 LVC 501s from the Levi's Cinch store in London.
Which city has the most inspiring street style?
New York City. I moved to New York when I was 25 and it has always been my favorite place to people watch. You can get a sense of the whole world in just a few square miles. I like to hang out in Koreatown, Greenpoint, SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
What’s exciting you about denim in 2019?
The people and the community. I’m looking forward to Denim Days and Kingpins in Amsterdam.