Silver Jeans Co. is a fan favorite for a variety of reasons including — but not limited to — excellent fit, wash and eye-catching details (love the thick-stitch embroidery). Evoking a comfortable confidence while keeping a steady eye on trend, Silver Jeans Co. is truly a jean for denim lovers. Design director Janice Marks gives us an exclusive inside look into the brand:
What made you want to get into the fashion industry, specifically Junior’s?
I always had a love of clothing and when I discovered that I had an aptitude in design I really never looked back. I did not specifically target Juniors as I did the denim industry. Since I started in the denim business at a young age I was able to focus my personal clothing desires with denim design, which resulted in a younger minded product.
How and at what point did you discover you could make a business out of doing what you love?
I was about 16 years old and did a work apprenticeship at Western Glove Works the parent company of Silver Jeans Co. during my spring break in high school. I found working with denim amazing and the manufacturing process fascinating. I knew then that I wanted to work with denim in some way as the engineering of a pair of jeans and the elements that it takes to create the prefect jean is so involved. I started then to develop and expand my love for all things indigo at that time.
Did you attend school for your training or are you self-taught?
I attended Ryerson Polytechnic University and studied there for 2 years in their apparel design program. Most of my knowledge in denim is self-taught from working in the industry. Denim is a unique material to work with and takes years of training and is continually evolving with innovations in fabrics and technology.
Where do you draw most of your inspiration or ideas for products?
I draw inspiration for vintage, as well as the fabric and wash technology. I am continually moving forward to marry the heritage of denim with new technology to bring denim forward. Depending on the brand theme for a given season it is mixing all the elements to create products that embody the brand identity, theme and any influences from the fabrics be used and wash treatments.
Who are you major influences? (Designers & Celebrities)
There are a few celebrities that I look to as they really embody traits of our Silver Jeans Co. customer because they are denim lovers.
A growing influence is social media. I really like to watch the different blogs as I find these people doing the most novel things with denim at the moment. They really have a fresh take on denim.
Describe your creative process.
My creative process begins with identifying the theme that we will use to design our collection around. This theme will be used to infuse our various product categories with a common theme across sportswear, lady’s and men’s denim.
I then look to vintage and history and how it has influenced our theme and work to develop washes and details that will bring a united and eclectic mix to the style range.
I then select and develop new fabric and indigo color ranges for the season which will result in washes and fits that work with the given theme.
Lastly, washes are designed and developed in a range that will complement the looks for the season.
What trends are you following right now?
Denim Fabric Innovations are driving a lot of my new developments right now. I am working with combining manmade fibers with cotton to reduce the amount of cotton that we are using in our fabric. This will not only reduce our dependency on cotton but also with innovations in yarns we can improve the fits of our jeans and improve hand feel.
Active wear is a trend that I am following very closely and developing denims that wear and feel like knits but with all of the inherent qualities of indigo denim. Active wear is also influencing how I look at styling and different treatments on the jeans.
I am also working with eco friendly wash treatments and expanding our use of Ozone and Laser technology to along with methods to reduce the chemicals in wash processes.
Do you travel abroad to trend watch? Where? Describe a trip & how it influenced the line.
I travel a variety of places Europe, Asia and North America. One of the longer trips is to Asia which I do quarterly. I cover numerous countries as they all have a variety of influences, which can inspire different aspects of the collection.
I typically fly to Tokyo, Japan where I will spend 3-4 days shopping the different areas of Tokyo: Shibuya for junior fashions, Harajuku for street fashion Ometesando for Designer collections, Daikanyama for independent boutiques, and Shimokitazawa for junior fashion and vintage. Each area is unique and the people on the streets are all so different. It is always the best part is seeing how individuals put the looks together and to see which trends are going to be the next big thing. Japan has a love for North American vintage so it is great for finding inspiration in vintage fabrics, denim in a boutique atmosphere.
Seoul, Korea is the second stop on the trip. Seoul is amazing for fast fashion with the wholesale clothing market open 24 hours. They have interesting trends happening along with washes, fabrications and treatments, which translate very well for the North American Market.
What feelings do you want your brand to evoke?
I want all of our customers to feel like the jeans that they are wearing are their best friends. In that I mean that they are always there providing comfort, security, and confidence just as a friend would.
What do you feel makes your brand stand out from the others?
Silver Jeans Co. has been always know for their fit, wash, and fabric along with novel details. Our variety of fits, silhouettes and details really make use stand out. We excel as bringing the best possible value to our customer with our outstanding looks.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is to take innovations in wash, fabric create designs that are accessible to all. It is a lot of fun to design the raw piece of denim and work with the stitching and wash to create an amazing pair of jeans. Working with indigo is hugely rewarding as the hand work that goes into creating the end product is so varied on any given design.
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