This Blue Blooded Q&A series is a collaboration with Long John. The series is sponsored by Bluezone, the independent show for denim and sportswear by Munich Fabric Start. Register for the next show here!
Get to know Tilmann Wrobel, a face from the Blue Blooded Portfolio
At the beginning of 2020, we launched the Blue Blooded Portfolio – an ongoing project that portrays the people that make the denim industry what it is.
This blog post launches a series of Q&As with some of the people featured in the portfolio.
What’s your story?
Tilmann Wrobel aka Monsieur-T.
Born and raised in Düsseldorf, Germany, but living in France for more than 30 years (first Paris and now Biarritz)
A fashion designer “since forever.” Also trained in market research, product marketing and communication. Founded the creative consultancy Monsieur-T. in 2007.
Tilmann’s path into the denim business
Thomas SB: How did you get into (the world of) denim?
Tilmann W: It’s a love story since my early days, and it became a reality when I started working with important denim designers for the Chipie brand in France, back in the late 1980s.
TSB: What was your first pair of jeans?
TW: I think it was a pair of Wranglers, in the early 1970s. Back then, Wrangler had a plastic patch on the back pocket, which we tend to rip off, to either steal it or collect them, don’t really remember that part. But it was the coolest thing to do. Hahaha…
TSB: When did you know you were ‘hooked’ on raw denim?
TW: In the late 1980s during my time at Chipie in the south of France. We used to travel the world to find forgotten treasures and upcoming trends.
TSB: What is your favourite thing about raw denim?
TW: The fact that, once worn in, it’s somehow reflecting a bit of my life, my way of living. I like the fading part a lot. But no fake snuff shadows or that kind of thing!
Tilmann’s views on the denim business
TSB: What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced so far, and what did you learn from it?
TW: Tough question. There have been design challenges, work challenges, education of kids, love, marriage and divorce, and now this f*cking virus!
Not sure I’ve learned a lot, but I do believe it’s important to keep on going, and do things the way you feel it’s right.
TSB: Which denim brands inspire you? And why?
TW: Momotaro and Japan Blue. Katsu and his father are great and inspiring people, for whom I had the chance to work.
Also the authentic Japanese brands and mills in general (Kuroki, Collect, etc.) because of their traditional way of crafting indigo pigment through rope dye into the yarn.
TSB: Which denim retailers inspire you? And why?
TW: Son of a Stag, Tenue de Nîmes, Jinji, Burg & Schild, and American Rag because of the shopping experience and the focused offer.
Tilmann defines his denim style
TSB: What do you never leave home without? And why?
TW: My chain wallet, because my entire life is in there, hahaha!
TSB: List three of your favourite garments or accessories and (try to) explain how they define your style
TW: 1) The Cooper Collection selvedge pant. I designed this pant a few years ago, made from a 15 oz. Blue Selvedge (Berto) fabric, with solid red copper washer rivets and hardware, hand-tinted wooden shuttle loom labels and more. Lean, mean, sturdy, and fully authentic.
2) My LVC Type II selvedge denim “555” jacket. I bought it in 1991, and have worn it for 29 years now, without any wash! It looks so good, it has crossed so many adventures and experiences with me. It’s almost like a part of me.
3) A 20 oz. Oxbow denim I designed 9 years ago when raw denim and heavyweight was still quite an insider thing. I’ve worn this pant since then, it’s become really beautiful.
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