For our newest instalment of the One Man Brands series, we take you across the Atlantic to meet Iu Franquesa of Barcelona, Spain. He is the owner and sole employee of Companion Denim, one of the first spanish denim brands to be featured on our site. If his name seems familiar to you don’t be surprised, we featured Iu and his pair of Dior Homme jeans on a Fade Friday a while back!
As we begin to tell the story of the brand it is important to understand that Franquesa has been surrounded and involved in the textile industry for almost his entire life. As a child, he spent most of his time at the industrial laundry facility that his father had owned, where many pairs of raw jeans found a place to get some well needed cleaning and treatment.
Franquesa was no stranger to the world of raw denim when he decided to make his own brand. It was in November 2013, however, that after more than a year of preparation, Companion Denim was launched and offered its first products to the world.
Throughout our conversations, Franquesa explained to me that while the raw and selvedge denim scene has begun to catch on throughout much of North America and certain parts of Asia, the raw denim culture in Spain is still in its formative stages. However, the space is quickly growing in popularity and demand.
Interestingly enough, he went on to say that this is largely due to the current economical situation in his country, which is spurring consumers to change their spending habit and decisions. Now, instead of haphazard “fast fashion”, Franquesa believes that consumers are beginning to reach for garments like raw denim that will have durability and longevity in their use.
Companion Denim abides by the tenets of clean and simple design and branding along with sturdy construction and environmental friendliness in their production processes. Franquesa oversees production of the products from start to finish, and is thus able to ensure that his products match up to his high standards of quality and production.
This attention to detail and quality in his production are also coupled with limited runs, making each pair that much more appealing to those who value exclusivity. If this wasn’t enough too, Franquesa offers custom stamping on the leather back patch of all jeans ordered.
Franquesa uses denim sourced from the whole gamut of mills – Cone Mills, Kurabo, Collect, Kuroki, Candiani and ITV. During the construction process he uses a wide variety of machines that range in age from the modern era of garment production all the way back to the early 1900s. His impressive lineup includes the Singer 69K12 Lockstitch, Union Special 43200G, Cornely Freehand Chainstitch Machine, and Refrey Transforma sewing machine.
Companion released their first fit in November of 2013. Called the Joel 01C , this first fit is a slim jean cut from 13.5Oz. Cone Mills Red Line Selvedge denim. The denim itself is made of sanforized right hand twill cotton and was produced in a individually marked, limited run of 40 pairs for $190.00 each.
Future fits that the Spaniard is looking to add to his collection include a skinny and straight fit which he anticipates hovering around $250.00. To learn more about Iu Franquesa and Companion Denim, visit their website.