This year, our friends at Over the Rainbow Jeans are celebrating 40 decades of business and to commemorate the amazing feat, they’re collaborating with some of the world’s best brands. Earlier this year, Over the Rainbow teamed up with Lee for an exclusive launch of their SS15 men’s collection and their most recent collaboration is for the ladies! Over the Rainbow joined forces with Fidelity Creative Director and Founder, Jason Trotzuk, to create a limited-edition anniversary jean with rainbow stitching. We had the opportunity to interview Trotzuk and Daniel Carmen, co-owner of OTR, to talk a little bit about the collaboration, denim care and what makes the perfect pair of jeans. Check out the interview and photos from the event below!
SD: What, to you, makes the perfect pair of jeans?
Jason Trotzuk: For me, there is no such thing as one perfect pair of jeans because each pair of jeans is almost its own personality, its own character. In fact, the more you wear it, the more it becomes you and your story. You could have a pair of flares that you absolutely love because it makes you look this way or it makes you look taller, but you could have a pair of boyfriends that you absolutely love because it gives you that feeling. I would say there’s not one. You could have 30 pairs of jeans in your closet, but you could have three favourites! What makes the perfect pair of jeans is the fit, the comfort factor and obviously, the colour – maybe it’s the combination of all three of those things, but when it comes style, it’s a personal preference… that’s the beauty of blue jeans!
Daniel Carmen: From someone who fits denim with customers all the time, fit, comfort and aesthetic are the three big things need to be there. Jason’s absolutely right – jeans are about imperfection and about molding to your own body, but those three things have to be there in order for someone to buy a pair of jeans. If those things aren’t there, you’re not gonna wanna wear them. If you can find those three things, you’re good to go!
SD: There’s been a lot of discussion about how you should wash your jeans & how you shouldn’t wash your jeans. What are your tips for washing denim?
Daniel Carmen: Denim is cotton, so when people say they can’t be washed – that’s a myth. If you don’t want your denim to fade, just don’t wash them often. Jeans are very good at retaining: they don’t smell and they don’t hold bacteria as much, so you can wear a pair of jeans for a long time without washing them and without them being smelly. Don’t wash them every time you wear them, just wash them lightly. I often hang dry my jeans and afterwards, tumble dry them for 5 minutes to get rid of the crispness.
Jason Trotzuk: The other thing is that 90% of the jeans on the market today have stretch in them and the stretch is made from lycra or poly elastane and there are two things that kill poly elastane: bleach and heat. If you want to destroy your great stretchy jeans, put them in hot water and a hot dryer – they’re done. Like Daniel was saying, wash your jeans occasionally in cold water and if you want them to get soft, tumble them at a very low, low temperature and even tumble them on cold if you want them super, super soft. A little trick that we do if we want really soft jeans at the [Fidelty] factory is take a bunch of jeans and tumble them in a dryer at cold with no heat. They tumble on each other, bring the fibres of the cotton up and creates a really soft, comfortable jean – it kind of breaks them in.
SD: What was the inspiration between the collection?
Jason Trotzuk: His family started a store and it survived 40 years, so we thought we’d make a jean for it!
Daniel Carmen: Good answer! We’re doing a lot for our 40th anniversary and since we’re a jean store, we wanted our first collaboration to be a jean. Fidelity was a natural choice because we were one of the first stores, if not the first store, to carry Fidelity. Because of our relationship with Jason, we knew it was going to be an easy and natural thing to collaborate on. We also took inspiration from a 1970s jean we used to carry – we had actually had a rainbow arch stitch on the back, so we took our colours and lightly embroidered them on the top of the pocket. It was just a really good choice and I think the product speaks for itself. It came out excellent!
SD: What are some of the key denim trends for spring?
Daniel Carmen: We chose the ankle skinny for the collaboration because it’s springtime and women love to wear a cute shoe and have open ankles. We’re seeing a lot of destruction and abrasions in jeans as well. The slim boyfriend is really popular for women too. For men, we’re still seeing a big jogger trend, something with a little more comfort at the thighs but still very narrow at the bottom. Men are sort of getting away from the really skinny, skinny jean and they want more of a hybrid between comfort and something narrow.
SD: Lastly, we’ve seen a lot of stores shutter in Canada over the years and OTR has been around for 40 years – What’s the secret to your success?
Jason Trotzuk: Do you want to tell them about the little voodoo doll and the deal that you made with the devil?
Daniel Carmen: (laughs) Well, there’s that… But I would say jeans are a very tough thing to fit onto people. I think our key to success is that we took the hardest thing to fit and became the best at it. If you want to survive this long, you’ve gotta be the best at something. We’re known for the best fitting denim store in the country and possibly even in North America. Everything we sell revolves around denim. Coupled with that, we’re very honest, we carry great products and we’re always looking to do new things and to innovate. We’re a store based on honest roots, but we’re also moving forward and doing things to evolve the store a lot. Fashion is exciting and it’s about newness and we continue to do that while sticking to our traditions and morals.
A limited selection of the Over the Rainbow x Fidelity jeans are still available in two different styles! Visit Over the Rainbow in Yorkville or www.RainbowJeans.com to snag a pair!