Candiani Denim Store, the Italian premium denim manufacturer’s brick-and-mortar store at Piazza Mentana 3 in Milan, is launching an e-commerce platform (candianidenim.store) dedicated to sustainable and exclusive denim capsule collections. After having presented a series of collaborations with top brands including Closed and Denham the Jeanmaker in its Milanese store, on July 22 Candiani will inaugurate its new e-commerce platform by offering a new women’s jeans capsule collection created in collaboration with Closed called Indigo Icon that’s only available through its online and physical stores and sold at prices from €195.
Indigo Icon offers an updated version of the Pedal Pusher, Closed’s most popular style created in the ’80s by François Girbaud, in four different wash variants developed in-house, in the Parco del Ticino area where Candiani is based, and using the innovative biodegradable stretch technology Coreva made with natural rubber.
SI asked Alberto Candiani, Candiani Denim’s owner, about the reasons behind these new projects and what’s next for his company.
It was planned since the very beginning of our retail experience. The Candiani Store in Milan is our little cherry on a denim cake. Now we need to reach out the whole cake. I mean, we obviously need to go e-commerce in order to increase our sales, but mostly because our offer has evolved into limited editions and special collaborations. Only so what you find at the Candiani Store can only be found at the Candiani Store.
Will your e-commerce platform offer the same products and collabs as the brick-and-mortar store?
Yes as we turned our business model into a more specific research type of store. That was actually planned since the beginning, too. You want to offer exclusive items, even unique, like the beautiful upcycling story we developed with Blue Of A Kind who’s redoing our old (but gorgeous) salesmen’s samples. The challenge is to digitalize uniqueness, but we noticed that true specialties and limited editions in general are getting much higher demand, and, frankly, that makes sense.
What other aims will this e-commerce platform focus on?
Education. We want to share all of our sustainable innovation with the public and this is the most effective way to get there.
Through the platform will your company also sell fabrics, show special treatments or new performance products?
Yes. We will have a tiny but cool “fabric corner” only dedicated to our selvedge goods.
Why did you collaborate with Closed for this launch?
Working with a company like Closed is important as, as much as ours, it bases its work on R&D. This collaboration relates itself to exclusivity and to the combination of two complementary identities as Closed and Candiani Denim, two companies collaborating since the ’80s and that since then have constantly increased Made in Italy denim’s innovation level.
Moreover, we wanted to demonstrate that sustainability is not boring–and this collaboration proves it. And with our work focused on creativity and productive techniques at our disposal Candiani’s sustainable fabric is even more eclectic than the traditional one.How will the platform work in the future? Will you sell one product/collab at a time or will those with different brands continue to be available?
We want to stick to out top customers, the Golden Rivets and those brands who really believe in sustainable innovation. We want to co-develop with them special projects, exclusive capsules and limited editions to create an alternative offer to denim lovers. The early collaborations will be mostly based on the “one product” concept, some of them can be scaled through the e-commerce and eventually repeated, but this is something we are only willing to do if the brand wants to do it.
You have been focused on a series of consumer-focused activities in recent times (also read here and here). Why? Is it because of the Covid emergency or was it already planned? Didn’t you say that you didn’t want to cannibalize your customer?
Covid has been speeding up a bit some of our ingredient branding, marketing and retailing plans. Still, at Candiani we decided not to quit or stop any of the ongoing investments because of the pandemic. I believe this is actually perfect time to accomplish specific actions in order to reach out to the consumer who seems now to dig deeper into true sustainable fashion. We will develop more tools and I am not afraid of cannibalizing Candiani’s market by any means for the simple reason all of our branding is proactive towards our customers too. Most of our branding activities are related to the ingredient Candiani and collaborations like the one with Steve Aoki are genuine works to educate and inspire a younger public. You want sustainability to be cool too right? Well so far it got more and more boring and as a market leader we are in charge of giving it a twist but also to call out the difference between the “real” sustainability and the tons of ugly greenwashing which will try to take advantage of this pandemic.
Can you also disclose our readers some details about your next collab?
I can only say the collab with Closed and some others will be mostly based on Candiani’s strongest innovation: Coreva.
Our bio-stretch technology deserves its own ingredient branding and we are exploring its full potential with several different customers, in several different fabrics, which all together will define the new era of natural stretch denim.