The brand was at the forefront of the raw denim explosion of a few years ago, and they continue to push the envelope when it comes to trying new things–fabrics, fits, and more. Bahzad was gracious enough to give us his personal take on the idea of innovation in the raw denim community.
Heddels: What do you feel is the most innovative part of the raw denim market right now?
Bahzad Trinos: At the moment, I think websites like Heddels are very innovative in terms of educating the community. Raw denim blogs have existed before, but none as up to date or in-depth as Rawr. You guys travel the world and dig up stories that are relevant to the community.
We aren’t known for holding back when we release new products, but sometimes we are ahead of our time. When N&F first launched (almost 7 years ago), one of our first products was a 21oz. denim, which at the time was the heaviest denim ever created. Looking back, that was a very advanced style for the time, and really only appealed to the most hard-core customers. These days it doesn’t surprise me when a first-time raw denim customer picks up a pair of our 19 Oz. Elephant 3’s.
The community has advanced so much in such a short amount of time. Having an intelligent community allows us to be much more creative as intelligent customers understand beauty and the value of the products we make.
RD: How would you characterize the general attitude of raw denim consumers at the moment?
BT: What I like about the current status of the raw denim market is the sheer amount of knowledge consumers have. Customers are learning more and more about the processes behind products they enjoy. I like how educated the consumers are getting.
When you are making speciality niche products, it takes knowledgeable consumers to appreciate what you do. It drives us to create better and better products for the discerning customer.
RD: What are your thoughts on the many brands entering the market right now?
BT: I don’t pay too much attention to what is going on: brands pop up every day and a lot of what I see is pretty run of the mill. A lot of the same story is being repeated over and over. When you’re a new brand, you get a lot of attention because you’re a new brand.
At some point you’re not new anymore, and you have to set yourself apart. That’s the point I’m most interested in. How are these new players going to differentiate themselves from what is already out there?
RD: Anything you would like to add?
BT: They say that variety is the spice of life. Where else is it more true than the world of raw denim? These days there is such a wide variety of fabrics that customers can choose from.
Customers have the freedom to choose based on weight, construction, composition, even the smell. While some may believe that many of the choices we have today are frivolous, it’s this variety that allows customers to find the perfect pair of jeans that will best suit their personalities.
Chocolate and vanilla ice cream is wonderful, but if our options were only chocolate and vanilla, the world would be a boring place. It’s the maple walnut and the cookie dough flavours that make the world exciting, and the same applies to denim.
Many thanks to Bahzad for contributing to our continuing conversation. Keep an eye out for our next installment in our series!