November 9th, 2006
At 18, an age where most haven’t figured out their future, Jason Trotzuk already found his passion: hand-painting denim in his parents’ basement. The Canadian denim-maker, who now calls Vancouver home, is still as passionate about denim as he was back then. Case in point, his latest high-end denim line, Fidelity Denim.
But what’s so special about Fidelity? The line only features stretch jeans because a "A great denim cut in the right shape should shape and mold, meaning it should define your tush a little bit, and it should shape your legs."
Omiru had the chance to chat with the dashing denim designer, who dished about the story behind his company name, why he loves dark skinny jeans so much, and the reason fit is the most important factor in denim design.
O: Why Fidelity? Is there a story behind the name?
JT: If you want to make denim the right way, it’s a full time job. The more devotion you put into it, the better the product is. Long story short, I was looking for a name that would be a right name for the brand, which I wanted to make into a way of life. I was reading an article on Prince, my favorite since he marches to his own drum. It talked about how he had fidelity for his music, and I realized I never knew was fidelity meant. I looked it up in the dictionary, and found out that fidelity means a faith and devotion to someone or something. I thought to myself, "Wow that’s a pretty powerful word." And I had my name.
O: Do you find it hard to strike a balance between classic and trendy?
JT: It’s very hard. I want to make a timeless pair of jeans, but in this day and age, because of the media, people are often fixated on gimmicks. I have been tempted so many times to come up with crazy branding in logo-ing, but at the end of the day, I decided to remain true to the classic jeans. I work in the box, but I work on the very outer edges of the box.
O: Writer’s often experience writer’s block when they run out of ideas. Do you ever experience designer’s block?
JT: Your being a writer and my being a designer, you and I can agree on one thing: every time I sit down to design a season, all I know is that there is a lot of pain coming down the pipes. You have to re-work it and re-work it. I’ll have nightmares on washes and fit. I’ll go over something little for over a week. But if you don’t have any pain, you don’t have any breakthroughs. I know when I’ve done a good line when it’s been a really painful and agonizing experience.
O: Fidelity is known for its amazing fit. How important to do you think fit is when it comes to choosing the right pair of jeans? And do you think it’s more important than fabric and finish?
JT: Fit, fabric and finish–they all have their place. You can take a cheap fabric and a high-end fabric and make the same garment with the same pattern. And when you put it on a person, the two will fit completely different. Both finish and fabric have importance, but at the end of the day, I think fit is the holy grail of women’s denim search. A pair of jeans can an unknown name, or it can have a very well-known name, but when a woman tries it on, if it fits, that’s it. I can have all the prints or great fabric in the world, but if a woman comes in and tries on my jeans and they don’t fit, I have made a big mistake.
O: When it comes to jeans, do you think that expensive equals good?
JT: Yeah. I can say that because I’ve been on both sides. I started off by making cheap jeans, and I thought I knew everything. When it came time for me to tackle this whole high-end game, I quickly realized that what I knew before was going to be useful, but it in no way really defined what a great jean was. I had to rethink and redesign and redevelop me patterns and re-learn how to use denim. Do I believe in high-end denim? Obviously, I do because I make it. I could go back to low end denim but I don’t find it as fun and gratifying and challenging.
O: What can we expect for the fall?
JT: The trend right now is dark and skinny. What I like about dark and skinny is that it’s sexier than hell and you can wear boots with it, and you’re a rock star, and you want to crash cars in it. And that’s the type of thing we need, and that’s the type of thing I love. You’re going to also see black and you’re going to see grey, which is really exciting. Aside from a skinny, I would do a high-zip trouser, which is also very sexy, and it’s probably the future after the skinny.
O: Please clarify: Can all girls wear the latest skinny jeans craze? If not, who should stay away from it?
JT: Girls who are not toothpicks think "Oh I can’t wear the skinny." But I’m going to share one image that comes to mind–Marilyn Monroe. And she was the farthest from skinny. She was the most voluptuous woman to come out of Hollywood. It’s a whole ensemble, and skinny jeans are more of an accessory. You can wear them tucked in, you can wear them tucked out, you can wear them with sneakers, you can wear them with a tank top. It’s an accessory.
O: Quickly…High-rise or low-rise jeans?
O: Skinny or boot-cut?
O: Plain or embellished?
O: Dark or acid-wash?
O: Anything else?
JT: Something Fidelity has that no one else has right now is the jean we have called the Japan Rose with the skinny flare. The Japan Rose (pictured left) is a skinny jean that stays long and skinny until about your calf, then we finish it off with just a little bit of a flair bootcut. It’s a great silhouette and it’s the only thing that’s a must for everyone who wants the sexiness of the skinny.