Fashion is basically about renewal. Standing still in the fashion industry equals regression, and survival requires that the brand follows the trends of the business. Success, however, requires that the brand differentiates itself from its competitors, and maintaining success requires continuity and honesty in concept and product. A home-spun philosophy that applies to some of the world’s most successful brands. The same applies for Swedish Nudie Jeans Co.
The company was founded in 2001 by Maria Erixon, former design director at Lee Europe, and from day one the business philosophy of Nudie Jeans Co has been based on the love for denim. The brand has rapidly become the quintessence of beautifully worn-in jeans, while the core product of the company, almost naturally, is dry unwashed denim. Yet the love for the jeans is strongest when they show signs of prolonged wear. This is where Nudie differs from most competitors. The brand has managed to convey the message about how to achieve the sought for personal wear, and through comprehensive, honest, and education-based communication Nudie has become “the naked truth about denim”. Personally, I do not quite agree with Nudie’s recommendation that dry denim definitely should be used for 6 months before it’s washed first time, which you can read more about in our guide to dry denim.
Nudie is not a fashion brand, but it fits perfectly into the spirit of authenticity and honesty of “the season”. It is a brand with something at heart, and it is hard not to become passionate about the brand once you get to know it. Nudie is a brand that takes pride in guiding it’s consumers in the search of the perfect wear and with every pair of Nudie jeans you get a “consumer guide” in the back pocket with basic guidelines for use and washing. Besides the love of dry denim, the Nudie culture also contains a growing focus on sustainability. As an add-on feature, and without compromising on product quality, from spring 2012 about 50% of all Nudie jeans are organic. In addition, the ecological “Backbone” basic jersey line is “upgraded” to become the world’s first Fairtrade clothing line. Today, many brands market themselves on the ecology, but for Nudie is the most natural thing in the world, to aim at a 100% organic production.
The denim portfolio for the spring collection consists of 10 different models with over 135 wash combinations. The collection is divided into four categories. ”Dry” is the first that includes all models and 7 different fabrics (pictured immediately above). Patience is a virtue, but you can not wait half a year to wear in your jeans, Nudie offers to do the work for you. ”Worn” is the cornerstone of Nudie prewash collection and consists of authentic and classic worn jeans. ”Worn Authentic” collection contains a few exact replicas based on worn Nudie jeans that are bought back from consumers and employees in the company. On the top shelf you will find ‘Lab’ collection, where only the best materials and laundries are good enough. Nudie obviously offers more than denim and the full collections also includes leather goods, shirts, t-shirt, knits, and outerwear.
Additionally for the picky, Nudie has a variety of selvage qualities in different variation of weights and materials include some with hemp and cashmere. The brand’s trademark fabric is the Japanese-woven 13.5 oz. “dry red selvage” that has been around since the beginning. Today, the same fabric is also sold also with an orange-edge selvage. Below are three very different examples of how the fabric can look, depending on how the jeans are worn and washed.
This is a translated edition an article originally posted in Danish on the August 29, 2011. You can read the original here.