BLEU DE PANAME: Parisian Denim
“How to Make It In America” has nothing on Bleu de Paname’s hustle to the top of the denim game. Meet Thomas, one-half of the Parisian fashion design duo trying to make it big.
Images: Courtesy of Bleu de Paname
Conceived, developed and made in France, Bleu de Paname is a one-of-a-kind denim brand that instantly makes you a lifetime customer upon first look. And what a difference a few years made for co-founders Thomas Giorgetti (former Editor in Chief of Spray) and Christophe Lepine who remember running the streets of Paris not that long ago, talking to friends about their “new” idea to design a denim collection. While they are slowly gaining some steam with BdP these days, their collabs with other brands including Commes Des Garcons only seems to be fueling their recognition that much further.
Giorgetti speaks on how it all began, and how making it in France was a matter of specificity..
Is your brand unisex or strictly a men’s line?
We decided to develop the brand for men at first, and then to develop the women’s lines mostly because we got some requests [and pressure] from our local friends, buyers and some guys from the press that said that we should develop a women’s line as well. We are not stylists, to be honest with you, we are not stylists at all. We are just kind of street smart and we have some references. So we decided to start the story with the women’s line soon after the men’s and just adjust some huge gaps and a few fittings to make it a bit more glam and sexy on the women’s line. But we wanted to keep a kind of unisex meaning, like the boyfriend jeans in every woman’s closet—we’re working on it.
Would you say you’re more like street artists with references rather than stylists? And what are some of your references or influences?
We’re not street artists at all, that’s not the thing. We grew up with brands and I worked with graphic design and communications—design at last, but we didn’t learn in an art school or design school. We just learned on our own, and the only work [is when] we teamed up with different brands from back in the day to present time. It could be a Japanese brand or an American brand such as Nike for my partner. We teamed up a lot with a huge part of the industry. So at last, we decided to make our own, you know.
But you know, I think we’re all aware of high-end denim lines and one could say that the market is very saturated. So what made you go this route anyway?
Because actually, as you said, denim is a huge and maybe a saturated market. But how we explain and how is the market all around is too much for us [to get into]. That means that when we actually talk about denim, we directly think about the Italian fashion vision of denim with a precise treatment. It could be a lot of aging, a lot of gold effects, or some treatment that we don’t particularly have at Bleu de Paname.
We like some stuff very raw. We like some aging, which [our process] is very personal. We don’t like technical aging. We like to create history with brands and we like when people create their own stories with denim. So you know, we approach the market with that kind of vision; something very low profile, very close to the customer, not done to the high-end directly even if we are fitting into the high-end network. We wanted to make something very simple, with a simple approach so that everyone can be a part of Bleu de Paname. So that you can create your own story with our brand. I don’t know if you understand what I mean, but it’s kind of a cool basic; well-made with a kind of temporary, trendy vision.
It’s interesting that you say “trendy” because I don’t see Bleu de Paname as trendy at all. When I think of Bleu de Paname, I think of must-have pieces that you carry with you all of the time. It’s so simplistic that it’s also universal.
Yes, yes. These are the type of clothes that you can put in your closet, and come back one or two years later and wear it again as the first time. We work on timeless pieces.
Exactly. And you said something rather thoughtful earlier as well. That you want the brand to be close to the customer and that you want them to create their own story. Is that kind of the messaging behind Bleu de Paname’s short film?
We shot a story about a guy who could be the Bleu de Paname guy, who wakes up in the morning as you living with passion, doing his work with passion, making a coffee at Starbucks or around the corner here in Paris. He’s living well, he’s a cool guy. He’s got some friends and he’s listening to cool music—could be Hip-Hop, could be Soul, could be Reggae or could be whatever, but cool. Only cool stuff. His story, he’s not an intellectual but he’s got knowledge, you know, street stuff. He’s got knowledge about the fashion stuff. He’s very hybrid. He can go in different kinds of situations and that’s the way we look at our customers. We look at the opinion leader, those guys who wear one thing and everybody will like it anyway. People who are a bit smart at their jobs, could be a barber, a street artist, a photographer—it’s not new. But we like people when they work with passion.
Bleu de Paname is a brand that takes inspiration from the local workwear, the French one. So as workwear is you have to work with your clothes, that’s why we keep the same statement, we say that we are a workwear brand, but we are a 21st century workwear brand. So it could be in the digital realm or the artistic job, but it’s not necessarily the business [you're in that's our focus]. We’re locked in something more…not artistic, more so human, human interest.
That makes sense. I wish more people would think like this.
I hope so. [Laughs]
So we don’t want to trick our audience. We are a small company, we do the maximum we can and we try to do our best and it works, to be honest. It works and we are very glad about that. And we will continue in that scene. We don’t want to be a show-off brand. We want to be cool, but also timeless.
Images courtesy of Bleu de Paname.