Genetic Denim is arguably one of the strongest creative forces in the jean pool, and we were lucky enough to catch up with its founder and designer, Ali Fatourechi, during his recent visit to Dallas. Hanging out at the F.I.G. to show his Fall collection, Fatourechi took a few minutes to give us his take on street style, his Tokyo crush, and the cool collaborations that make Genetic so uber-cool.
We love all the colored and textured denim in your Fall line, what were your major inspirations for the pieces? “The Sixties and Seventies are my favorite eras of rock-and-roll, and some of the best Fall pieces came from thinking about the legends, like Jimi Hendrix, wore. The ‘Tour’ style this season is an interpretation of that, and I also like the ‘Taro’ for girls. The Bond girls come to mind too; they were all just quintessentially beautiful but cool. The cords with the leather trim and exposed zippers remind me of that aesthetic.”
You’re obviously a music fan, what are your favorites and what are you listening to now? “Oh, so many, I’m not sure I can even pick. I love Hendrix, of course, and Led Zepplin and the Doors. I’m also listening to a lot of Ray LaMontagne, The XX, and the Black Keys. It just puts me in the right mental space to work.”
Any other creatives that inspire you? “Yes, again, I admire so many different people in fashion and the arts. Our ‘Genetic Visionaries’ collections grew from that. Our first collaboration, with Navena Borisova who owns Curve, is someone whose aesthetic I hugely admire. The capsule collection we did with her, each is about five to seven pieces, was very soft-Seventies. Lots of the washed out, super soft denim. The current series, from Estee Stanley, is harder with tougher fabrications. The theme is a girl with a broken heart. So, where you see the studding on the pieces represents things like ‘guarding her heart,’ or ‘don’t cry on my shoulder.’ Estee’s work as a stylist – she’s one of the most successful in Hollywood – is amazing. I trust her opinion implicitly.”
And I hear you have another, royal collaboration as well, right? “We work with Princess Madeline of Sweden in support of her favorite philanthropy, the World Childhood Foundation. She helped design a pair of jeans, ‘The Maria’s,’ and much of the proceeds go to the charity. I’m so proud of what we’ve done with her.”
What do you think makes so many different women respond to Genetic so strongly? “Our point of difference is our fabrics. We source them in Japan and Italy, and they are the softest you can find. Sense of touch is hugely important to me, and I wanted to catch women at first touch. When I think of the line, I feel like the women who wear the jeans make them amazing, not the other way around. Everyone’s genetic makeup is completely unique, and I just wanted to make a product that brought that out and made girls feel sexy, empowered. That’s also where the name of the label came from.”
Why denim? “It transcends seasons, borders, decades. It’s literally a part of the way every culture dresses. When I started the line in 2006, I traveled to 42 cities and photographed the style of over 20,000 people for inspiration. After that, I went on a sort of campus tour and did trunk shows and sample sales so I could hear feedback from all different types of girls about what they liked, hated, or wanted in their jeans. So, since then, I’ve just tried to fill the void in terms of what they were looking for.”
What’s next for you and the label? “We’re launching a new project this Fall, for the holidays, but it’s not released yet! But it will deliver September 30th, so look for it. And I’m headed to London, Paris, and Milan in April for a press and inspiration tour.”