As I sit in the hotel room on the last day of this production/sampling trip, I reflect on what has happened in the last 19 days. Of course, I am proud of what Julien and myself have accomplished in our time here, as it is no small feat. (I must add that Julien is tenderly asleep, snoring his arse off at 11:45am. )
The days were long and daunting, and I know we couldn’t be happier to come home feeling like war heroes. Here are some of the things I have learned along the way this time around ….
As you may well know from my past blogs and for those of you who know me personally, I like loads of ice in my drinks. I was stuck not knowing how to ask for lots of ice since this is a foreign country and I don’t speak Turkish! Now the first thing I learned was that ice is an absolute luxury here. 9 out of 10 restaurants do not posses an ice maker. If they do have ice, all I have to say now is “cup bal bus” meaning cup “lots of ice.” As always, my drinks must stay refreshing and cold. I would have it no other way.
The second thing I realized yet again when I was here is that everywhere on the streets of Istanbul, especially in the bazaar, the saying “one mans trash is another mans treasure” is as true as true can be.
I never really understood what that fully meant until I started analyzing everything here as if I was the Terminator. You can find anything your heart can imagine in this city. But you can also find a ton of trash. (For example, paper bracelets that look like leather?? Ya, I know. Weird!)
The third and final and probably most important thing I learned is that life is all about waiting. Doesn’t matter what your doing, who you are with, or what you are waiting for.
You will always be waiting.
As a child, you wait to grow up. As a teen, you wait to hit puberty and graduate high school. As a young adult, you wait for university to end and go into the working world. The working world is where I thought I could finally control the waiting and minimize it.
Boy was I wrong.
In the working world, I am always waiting - and on this trip I realized just how much waiting I would have to do. The problem is, Julien and I are very impatient rabblerousers. When we were told we had to take the day off while the factory would be working on some important aspect of production where our presence was not required, we would both look at each other and have no idea what to say or do.
If a car is running one hundred miles an hour, when you brake it might make an awkward squealing sound.
There were several days during production that I liken to days of awkward squealing sounds. Most people would go to the Blue Mosque or the Bosphorus, but because I had been to these places so much already during my times in Istanbul, I didn’t know what to do with my downtime this time around. We just had to wait wait wait and wait some more. We did manage to squeeze in 4 movies - I must say The Avengers was fantastic - kudos Josh Whedon!
Despite all the waiting, I do believe that we managed on this latest production run to create my dream in this second line of REBUS. Travel bags, hoodies, wallets, belts, scarves, beautiful button downs, t -shirts, cardigans, selvedge denim, khakis … and all the new washes and colors of LAZYPANTS® that I am certain you will all love.
Its funny, I have dreamed this REBUS dream for 6 years, and now finally it is coming to reality. You try, you fail, you get knocked down, you get back up, and try again, and again, and again.
Finally, one time, it works.
From my mouth to your ears, I will continue to come on these daunting trips to Istanbul that are so full of moments of waiting. I will continue to experience a life so foreign to me I watch with awe and wonderment. I will continue to cherish having Shabbat dinners with our dear Turkish brother Hakan. All so that I may share my vision with everyone - a vision of love, charity, comfort, and style.
“Inshallah” is what they say here - it means “praise God, so that everything will go right.”
So Inshallah to everyone out there that you may continue to have a healthy and happy life … the REBUS life …
The only life I know.
- Adam Bledin, REBUS President & Creative Director
What a whirlwind it has been since February - shockingly, the last time we posted on our beloved Tumblr.
Listen, we know content is king. As a young apparel brand, we have lived by this mantra. Those who create content have power, and that is readily apparent by the unstoppable rise of the fashion blogosphere in the last three years, to heights and relevance once unimaginable.
All hands are on deck as always behind the scenes at REBUS, and if anything can be said we have been busy. Very busy.
You may recall a post from us last March where we highlighted a hilarious graphic from New England-based apparel brand Ugmonk that managed to capture a great deal of the everyday concerns for any fashion house. As much as things were getting busy for us, admittedly many things on that list were aspirational at the time.
Aspirations have turned into reality.
In 2012 alone, we have seen some amazing developments with the REBUS brand, the biggest of which happened to be the meteoric demand for one of our in-house brands, LAZYPANTS®. Starting in January when we were picked up by GQ at Project New York, the consumer appetite for REBUS to perfect and expand on its lounge-wear offerings has forced us, as any attentive company, to listen to you and give you exactly what you want.
To add to the craziness, in the last month Adam Bledin and Julien Abesdris (our creative and art directors respectively) have already embarked on and returned from a production run to Istanbul where we not only have expanded the LAZYPANTS® line to include 15 new vibrant colors, but the burgeoning designer extraordinaires put the finishing touches into place for REBUS’ Spring/Summer 2013.
To our fans, friends and family, we have to say that we continue to do our best to serve you; to our detractors and haters (and we have garnered quite a few in the 18 months since our resurrection as REBUS Productions), all we can offer is our condolences - we held nothing back in seeking to grow on our success.
We have expanded the LAZYPANTS® brand to feature amazing colors and exclusive combinations; we have streamlined (and renamed) the former Rebus Premium Denim brand to now simply be known as Rebus Denim and to offer only the finest from our first collection The Nest (plus some other surprises - more on this in another post); and we have aggressively augmented our REBUS Accessories brand to give you some amazing pieces that you will treasure for ages to come. As well, there will be an exclusive brand offered in 2013 that we call REBUS Executive Class - some of the finest pieces in our 2013 collections will appear under this label.
There is so much to tell you that needless to say you can expect a return to our regular posting schedule - after an inexcusable 12 week hiatus. But last and by no means least, let me call your attention to the beautiful candid picture that adorns this post. It is but a glimpse of the success of our latest shoot, held this past weekend in Innisfil, Ontario.
We have long been very vocal about REBUS needing to capture the essence of our Canadian identity and transport it to the world, in much the same way marquee American brands like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein or even Bill Blass had to in order to garner success.
Our latest shoot was designed to do just that - bringing a pastime as quintessentially Canadian as the weekend cottage getaway right to the imaginations and eyes of the viewer. With many thanks to our beautiful group of models this weekend, to the attentive attention to styling and detail by our team, and the continually transcendent photography of our beloved Matt Feinstein (who was joined by some seriously prolific guest photogs in Danielle Dasilva and Conrad Mcgee-Stocks), special appearances by REBUS brand ambassadors KO and STEPH J as well as ongoing DJ sets by emerging stars DJ KTRON and FREE n’ LOSH - not to mention having the weekend sponsored by our friends at Amsterdam Brewery and their popular 416 Urban Wheat offering …
Now THAT is the definition of living the Rebus LIFE - and that was just this past weekend!
Stay tuned for more pictures from our REBUS LAZYPANTS® S/S 2013 Canada Cottage shoot; in addition, visit www.rebuslife.com as well as our partner vendors as we offer more and more of the LAZYPANTS® line in brilliant new colors - with much in store for our upcoming S/S 2013 offering.
Production was by no means ALL work and no play - Adam and Julien had some fun with our colleagues Hakan, Cemal and Hasan at ASIL more than a couple times this past summer in Istanbul playing a simple game that got really competitive … really quickly.
The Turks held a distinct advantage in the first several rounds, but Team Rebus wore them down going into the final rounds. Could we possibly pull off the upset??
We love that you love those adorable burlap bags that your REBUS gear gets packaged in when you buy it …. because we are madly in love with them. To be more specific, Rebus Creative Director Adam Bledin especially loves them - because the concept was almost vetoed and left for dead at the boardroom table in June when he initially proposed it as a marketing initiative!
Fast forward 6 months later and we simply cannot imagine not being able to get you your favorite denim and LAZY PANTS™ in Rebus-branded burlap sacks. I mean, really - when was the last time you actually had a burlap freaking sack handy??
Here’s a peek behind the scenes at our factories in Istanbul as the bags are being made - much to Mr. Bledin’s delight, of course!
You buy your hot new jeans, rip them out of the package, throw them on, tuck your shirt in, shirt out, throw on a camisole, throw on a halter, throw on a fresh Henley, throw on your favorite blazer, whatever you pair your denim with - and you rush out of the house.
You feel young, vibrant, relevant.
You feel sexy.
It’s going to be a good night.
For most of us, that is as much as their is to our relationship with denim. It feels good to put on. But how is it made? Where does it come from?
We get asked this - a lot. As you may already know, while our design team, marketing, creative and sales is all based here out of Toronto, we have a Turkish side to our denim production, in the amazing city of Istanbul.
Each piece of Rebus Premium Denim is lovingly handcrafted by our friends at ASIL Kolleksiyon Tekstil.
These men are the unsung heroes. They cut, measure, sew, throw the denim into indigo dye, fasten the buttons, fasten the rivets, stitch the panels and pockets together…
Every day, they put their hands inches away from danger, with passion, for every single piece of denim that you wear.
They do it miles away from all the glitz, and the glamor, and the accolades. They are never feted, never praised, never thought of.
But for today, let’s take a moment. In this video, you see only a minute, a single minute, in the life of true denim makers. The next time you’re at F-Stop or the Hoxton spilling some Grey Goose onto your new Rebus jeans, take a moment and remember these guys. This is for you, Hakan. This is for you, Cemal. This is for you, Hasan.
Without you guys, we are nothing.
p.s. More to your questions: The SS12 Rebus Premium Denim collection is all made in what is called Raw Form - meaning they are not quite raw, because they have gone through a preliminary wash after an initial dying (we have not released a raw denim as of yet), but they are not quite as washed as what you would pick up at the Gap (shudder).
So what does this really mean?
We encourage you to treat them in the same manner as a straight raw jean that you would get from Nudie or Naked & Famous. What does that entail?
If you can, don’t wash them for the first six to twelve months. If you get some schmutz on them, spot clean it. If you need to air them out, hang them up outside. If you want the indigo to set rapidly because you are some sort of denim washing enthusiast, well…
Try to get to an ocean and take a dive in with your jeans on. Honestly. Ocean salt water has an amazing effect on increasing the speed of the indigo dye taking to the cotton.
Lastly: if you did indeed indeed spill some vodka on your favorite pair of Rebus Chocolates, Cardinals, or Black Label skinnies and absolutely just have to wash them - turn them inside out, and wash in the coldest water possible.
We got your back - don’t say we’re never there for you =)
The Rebus Team