Important Lessons About How to Start a Denim Brand, Told by an Industry Veteran Who Did It Himself

One of the main reasons companies hire young people, I guess, is that we (usually) have a lot of drive. We’re willing to put in the long hours and do the dirty work. Especially if we’re genuinely passionate about what we do. The downside is that we don’t have a lot of experience. We need our Yodas.

If you dream about having your name on a pair of jeans—or if you already reached that goal but still think you could improve—my advice would be that you find yourself a mentor. Someone who can teach you everything you should and shouldn’t do.

That’s what this article is: a lesson for aspiring and young denim designers, and other young guns who want to make it in the denim business. The article flips through three decades of denim seen through the eyes of someone who not only experienced it first-hand but also played a role in how our industry has evolved.

Your teacher today is my good friend Mats Andersson, who co-founded and owns Indigofera. Mats is a seasoned veteran with 30 years under his belt as a retailer, wholesaler and brand owner. He’s from a different generation of denimheads, and he remembers stuff I have to read to understand. He’s someone I truly admire. Not only because of his accomplishments, but also because he’s a genuinely cool and nice dude.

Indigofera No. 2 shrink-to-prima-fit denim off-set belt loop

The Way I Discovered What Makes Indigofera Special

Since I got my first pair of Indigofera Clint jeans in 2013, I’ve been a fanboy.

I didn’t quite get the brand when I first got into raw denim, although I had a Norris flannel shirts from one of their very first collections. But why were the jeans so expensive when they were made in Portugal? Why didn’t they have chain-stitched hems? What was so special about them?

Today, I get it.


Thomas founded Denimhunters in 2011 and built it into a voice for the denim industry and community. Today, he helps companies grow and gain market shares using his STORY/SELLING BLUEPRINT.


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