This is a guest post by Paul Travi.
Ru Denim Bring Denim Chinos To the Artisan Challenge
Ru Denim is one of the shooting stars of Dutch denim. What began as a hobby project in Amsterdam a couple of years ago has turned into a growingly popular start-up. It’s built equally on friendship and a passion for denim, and now they’re ready to prove their worth in the Artisan Challenge.
Meet Ruann da Silva and Redouan Urriagli
So, we already know that you’re based in Amsterdam and that you’ve been around for a couple of years. Could you tell a little more about your backgrounds?
Ruann: “Sure. I’m 26 years old and born in Brazil, but I’ve lived in Holland for 16 years now. I have a background as a graphic designer and I’m now studying at The Jean School in Amsterdam.”
Redouan: “I’m 23 years old and like Ruann I live in Amsterdam. Next to denim, I like reading and producing music. I also have a background in economics.”
You’re both quite young and clearly enthusiastic about denim. When did that passion start?
Reduan: “In my late teens, I became more aware of what I was wearing. I did some research about jeans and that’s when I started appreciating the timelessness of the fabric.”
Ruann: “My love for denim started in high school. I always looked at details and wore jeans that were a little different from what my classmates were wearing. At that time, Evisu was quite popular and a friend of mine had a pair with the yellow Seagulls on the back pockets. I had no money for jeans like that, so I made the details myself on my jeans.”
How did you end up starting a denim brand together?
Ruann: “I started Ru back in 2012 as a hobby project. I wanted to create something myself without being dependent on anyone’s resources. I quickly started getting positive feedback on my first jeans, which convinced me I should take it more seriously. Soon, I reached out to my good friend Redouan, who was living in Paris at the time, asking if he wanted to help me. That was in November 2013. A month later, Ru Denim as you know it today was established.”
Redouan: “In July 2014, we travelled to Portugal to do our first collection, which consisted of two pairs of jeans (15 and 17.5 oz., respectively). We started selling them and in January we sold out. Great start of the year and now we’re developing our second collection.”
Watch Ruann and Redouan travel to Porto to inspect production in this video.
Ru Denim and the Artisan Challenge
New brand, new challenges! So why sign up to the Artisan Challenge?
Redouan: “We signed up for several reasons, really. We want to show our quality, but also learn and be transparent.”
Ruann: “This is a great challenge for us. We have the opportunity to learn from the greatest artisans in the industry!”
You guys are still relatively new in the business, what do you expect to gain from the Challenge?
Ruann: “I want to learn as much as possible from the other artisans, and inspire them as well with my work and vision. Sharing knowledge and experiences is the key to great things, I believe.”
Redouan: “Imagine if we couldn’t fly yet because the Wright brothers wouldn’t want to share their idea or if Steve Jobs had kept his computers and telephones for himself? That would totally change the world as we know it. Knowledge and ideas need to be shared!”
How do you guys see the future for denim artisans?
Ruann: “Things are moving in the right direction, I think. It’s our job to be more transparent about it in order to be trusted as a brand but also as a person.”
What To Expect From Ru Denim For the Artisan Challenge
Okay, let’s get to it! What are you guys preparing for the Artisan Challenge?
Ruann: “We wanted to create a pair of jeans that work for any occasion. It’s the same slim fit as our Type One jeans, but in a chino version, with some eye-catching details, such as a red bartack on the front belt loop and the signature Ru buttons.
We’ve come up with a bucket list of five things we will have to do in those two years, and our raw denim will be the perfect canvas to record all of this. On our forum, you will be able to see pictures and short movie clips of our adventures.”
Ru Denim is a brand you should keep an eye out for – you can stay up to date on their Facebook page. The Artisan Challenge is hosted by Union of Artisans, Gavin Smith, and Iu Franquesa and it runs parallel to the Denim World Championship, which starts on May 1, 2015.