Image courtesy of Mott & Bow
When it comes to denim, we all want the same things: quality, durability, and versatility. While those three sartorial attributes normally warrant a steep price tag (we're talking easily into the $200-300 range), luxury denim doesn't always have to cost you your next paycheck.
At least that's what Alejandro Chahin thinks. Chahin, who has spent his entire life in the denim industry -- he was raised in Honduras where his family ran a denim manufacturing business -- not only understands the level of craftsmanship that goes into making premium-quality jeans, but also is keenly aware of the gap in the marketplace for buying them at a fair cost. His answer to this industry problem was Mott & Bow: the online destination that dishes out styles made from the finest denim fabrics sourced from the best mills in the world. Since its inception, the company has completely transformed the luxury denim market, making shopping easier, faster and cheaper than ever.
And while Mott & Bow used to exclusively cater to men, the company has launched their newest women's collection, featuring everything under the denim umbrella from distressed skinnies to cozy boyfriend iterations, all starting from as low as $96.
It's music to the ears of anyone hoping to give their spring and summer wardrobes a luxe update. We recently spoke with Mott & Bow's very own Alejandro Chahin about what it was like transitioning into womenswear, the extensive design process that goes into every pair of jeans and the biggest denim mistake most people fall victim to.
What was your background before Mott & Bow?
I actually grew up in the denim industry. I was raised in Honduras where my family runs a denim manufacturing business, and I found a passion and appreciation for denim at a young age.
How was Mott & Bow born? How did you past experiences shape how you created the brand's business model and core values?
After coming to the United States for my undergrad and MBA, I noticed there was a white space in the denim market and decided to start Mott & Bow. I knew there was a way to offer customers premium denim without a $200+ price tag. By using direct-to-consumer business model, we're able to pass along the savings to the consumer, while keeping our core value of premium denim at a fair price.
What's the process of a design coming to life? Who are the key players who help conceptualize your denim and turn it into a reality?
The denim selection is a big part of the process. Once we've tested and defined the fabric we look at the wash range it has to understand the shades it looks best in. Finally, we adjust the details like thread color and accessories. The key players are our designers and wash specialists, which jointly bring the final product to life.
A post shared by Mott & Bow (@mottandbow) on May 10, 2016 at 7:48am PDT
Why cut out the retail middleman in your process?
Mott & Bow employs a vertical retail model, which allows us to pass along supply chain savings to our consumer. From the product side, this means we do our manufacturing, treatments and finishes in-house instead of outsourcing. On the distribution side, our business model allows us to reach our customer directly and control the entire experience.
What has it been like moving from men's denim to women's?
It's been an exciting challenge. I'm very proud of what we're offering with our women's line and look forward to our customers seeing and trying the product.
Denim is so rooted in American culture as a timeless staple. But that being said, it is always evolving. How do runway and style trends affect how Mott & Bow creates jeans?
Denim has been evolving for decades. Though, it's important for us to focus on the three most important elements of what makes a great pair of jeans: fabric, fit and a handcrafted wash. We're continually educating ourselves on new denim sciences and looking for ways to bring something new to our consumers. It's about keeping true to our brand values and bringing our customers what they want.
A post shared by Mott & Bow (@mottandbow) on Apr 22, 2016 at 5:15am PDT
If you could describe your design process in one word, what would it be?
How would you describe the Mott & Bow customer?
The Mott & Bow name is inspired by two streets in downtown Manhattan, Mott Street and Bowery. Our product is about capturing the effortless cool, electric vibe of that neighborhood.
What do you think is the most common denim mistake people make?
Buying a jean that's a bit loose in the waist. Denim tends to give in after a bit of use. So if you feel the waist is loose size down.
For more denim tips and tricks, watch the video below!
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