Q: When did you first know you wanted to own your own denim company?
I never knew i was going to be a designer, it kind of came natural to me. One day I just grabbed my mom’s sewing machine and started ripping apart blue jeans and reconstructing them. I wanted to make them into something different and cool. I just remember when I was 20 yrs old and looking at an old pair of jeans and thinking to myself, “it would be a dream to own a blue jean company...” strange how your dream can come true.
Q: Who is or has been your biggest inspiration?
The energy in music inspires my design. Decades of music and culture inspire my interpretations of denim and helps me retreat to a specific moment in time. My biggest inspirations are people like JOHN LENNON who was one of the most gifted songwriters and an incredible humanitarian. PRINCE who was one of the most talented performers of all time. Joey Ramone, and the Ramones for their rebellion. They really took music from the streets and brought it to the stages. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN who speaks for the working class. EDDIE VAN HALEN and JIMI HENDRIX for taking guitars to new levels of understanding.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get into the denim industry?
To all those who want to get into denim: learn the history, understand the origin and where denim comes from, how it became the populous of the people, and the importance it plays in our lives. Blue jeans are ingrained into our lives like no other items of clothing. To be in today’s denim business, one must think like a pioneer.... a modern day pioneer. To disrupt and reinvent conventional thinking, but keep the roots of denim in-step. Another piece of advice: "Never stop trying, never give up, if it were easy, everyone would do it."
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
"If you’re going to do something, be the best” and “never take yourself too seriously.”
Q: Is it true that you relocated your whole family to Los Angeles from Canada for Fidelity?
It is. I wanted to be closer to where I made my jeans. I wanted to watch over them and make sure they were the best on the market.
Q: Why is it so important for jeans to be made in Los Angeles?
The inspiration in Los Angeles is endless and can only be found here and nowhere else in the world. It’s the weather, the people, and the culture of what lives in Los Angeles. It creates a safe haven for creativity and freedom of expression to thrive, that is unique and special to everyone here. This really gives way for free thinkers and creative minds to be able to journey through different processes to get the best results, whatever their craft. In our case, it’s making blue jeans in the best, cultivated part of the world and distributing it to the world. In the end, California is the real birthplace of the blue jean. Levi Strauss started his company in 1865 in San Francisco, and the legend continues even to this day.