Interview by Lorenzo Molina

Probably one of the best denim-speciality boutiques in Canada, if there's a successful denim brand out there, be sure that it will be stocked at Dutil. Out of the never-ending list, you can find labels like 7 For All Mankind, Blk Dnm, K.O.I., Cheap Monday, Levi's and Pure Blue Japan, among others. Besides, the store sells an eponymous in-house range of jeans and also a Quintessentials collection that also features t-shirts and accessories like leather belts. Eric Dickstein, founder and owner of Dutil, opened the first location in Vancouver back in April 2006, and the Toronto store followed five years later. In this interview, he talks about the denim marketplace and the most relevant trends for jeans among his customers.

How was the Dutil store concept born?
I love the idea of dealing with commodities that human beings can relate to. Denim communicates to all cultures and the rich and poor. Also I have always been intrigued by the tactile texture of denim.

What brands are your bestsellers?
The Dutil brand is by far our best selling brand, other brands that perform well include APC, Freenote Cloth and Pure Blue Japan.

In your opinion, what are the most relevant denim trends for men & women right now?
It is all about subtle washes, while many people are sticking to the classics of solid blues and blacks.  Fits are more sophisticated and clean. Men are wearing slim straights and slightly tapered fits; jeans with room in the thigh but with a slim leg opening. Women are wearing high waist and mid rise skinny jeans.

All about Jeans at Dutil, Vancouver, Canada
All about Jeans at Dutil, Vancouver, Canada

We recently published a feature on premium denim in our website. How do you see the market evolution with increasing competition in the denim field from high-street retailers?
I believe that competition is fantastic for the market place.  It drives people to push themselves creatively and to be cognizant of there financial state in business. An increasingly competitive market is also pushing brands to produce more ethical and durable products. Consumers are willing to pay more for better, so not only is market getting more competitive, it's getting smarter as well.

What do you prefer for ordering: trade shows or showrooms?
Neither. I prefer to travel. When you are at trades shows everyone is looking at the same brands. Showrooms are claustrophobic! I like to find hidden gems in boutiques around the world. Then we will contact brands and deal direct.

What piece of advice would you give to someone willing to start their own fashion store?
Don't go into the fashion industry. Just kidding. There is a lot of ego and irrationality out there. Do not take it personal and stay true to your belief system.

All about Jeans at Dutil, Vancouver, Canada
All about Jeans at Dutil, Vancouver, Canada

What do you like about your store locations, Toronto and Vancouver?
Toronto store has a great balance of aesthetic and comfort and Vancouver is warm and cozy, kinda like sitting at a fireplace with hot chocolate. But what I really love is that we don't have to explain to new customers what we do because it is visually obvious!

Store's address:
Dutil Denim
303 West Cordova
Vancouver BC
V6B 1E5