It took us a while to get this right, but we wanted to make one that stood out and wasn’t generic. We were very divided about what it should look like. Comfort is a governing theme for our designs, however, and again it won out over perhaps even common sense!
Feedback on the Rebus Suede Belt Patch has been meteoric so far. Many remark about how it feels great against their hands when they reach back to adjust their jeans, and suede does have a familiarity and pleasantness to the touch that is very endearing. We call attention to our Toronto design heritage on every patch with the Maple Leaf proudly emblazoned on the inside.
The rivets that are affixed to the top of the patch on the denim in the SS12 collection were included to give the jeans a “rough and rustic” feel, but admittedly are still a point of contention internally. Do they need to be there? Would you still love the belt without those brushed metal rivets, or is that part of the appeal?
This is your chance to weigh in and have a direct impact on design - rivets or NO rivets on the Rebus Premium Denim Suede Belt Patch for F/W 2012?
Growing up i was taught a bunch of lessons from my mother - some good, and some better.
One of the more important lessons I was taught is that mixing business and friendship is the eighth deadly sin.
Rebus is in its second rising, 5 years of blood, sweat, and tears. In its ﬁrst attempt at success, friends have come and friends have gone. Its the nature of the beast.
Now I’m not saying this mixture is always poisonous, but anyone that has been in this situation I’m sure would agree that it is nearly impossible and highly improbable to juggle these two flammable deadly knives.
On one side starting a business is stressful in itself. Any added pressure can make you or break you depending on how you work under these circumstances. Now the ying to this yang is that you have a prior friendship with these people and don’t want to ruin it. This means sometimes navigating around the different personalities in order to ﬁnd the right mixture of motivation and firmness to get everyone motivated and working at full capacity.
In my time with Rebus right from the beginning concept stage, there have been all
types of problems and fewer solutions. I pride myself on how I deal with such problems
and come to a reasonable solution in a short period of time. From designs to marketing
to shipping there will always be a better way. Better, faster, stronger … and as my main man Kanye would say - Like you all know and have heard lemons make you lemonade.
Im here writing this blog, straight from my heart, late on a chilly November night to let you all know that I eat, sleep, play, think, talk, dance, run, and dream this brand.
Rebus is my life.
Rebus is my all-encompassing passion, and in presenting this ﬁrst line of Rebus Premium Denim, I will tell you that I have been there from the start. I now have a great team of partners and colleagues that are not only my friends, but my brothers and sisters who share all the beauty and the pain with me. Because don’t get me wrong, this business throws many different complexions at you on an hourly basis.
What a journey it has all been. Five years of conceptualizations and drawings, numerous trips to Istanbul, choosing fabrics, ﬁts, buttons, rivets … I have been there all along to make sure that you all get the best quality product for the price that you pay. I am here to make you look good, feel great, and be the best you can be.
At the the end of the day, isn’t that what everyone really wants?
Sayonara for now,
President & Creative Director
So Wednesday night at the TNT Yorkville store, denim royalty descended on Toronto in the form of PRPS founder and Creative Director Donwan Harrell launching a new selection of his famed brand.
We wish we could say Rebus was the center of attention on this evening (it was also coincidentally the first day of our debut showing on the sales floor of one of Toronto’s crown jewels in terms of luxury fashion), but who are we kidding - we are the little kids on the scene, the upstarts, the underdogs, the local guys with big dreams.
All the attention was trained on Sir Harrell, and rightfully so. He is the founder and creative director of the New-York based luxury denim line PRPS, which was the project that he spun off after creating the even more famous urban clothing line AKADEMIKS. A former top 10 designer at Nike, Donwan’s pedigree and experience in the industry is humblingly astounding.
Rebus’ Moshe Modeira talked shop with him throughout the night, prodding, cracking jokes, asking questions, but shutting right up whenever the sage-like designer had anything to say. Donwan is quiet, reserved, introspective, and then suddenly crackles with passion when he is asked for advice and wisdom, displaying an Eastern sensibility perhaps resultant from his former residence and long-standing ties to Japan, where he holds major denim-importing relationships.
Moshe: “Donwan … we’re huge fans of the brand’s history, and we love your denim!”
Donwan: “Thank you for your kind words.”
Moshe: (nervously) “So, ummm, ya … you have been around for like 12 years, while we’re just starting out … any words of advice for a young whippersnapper?
Donwan: “Do you have your pricing strategy in place?”
Moshe: “Ya, of course - Donwan, c’mon, that’s my job.”
Donwan: (introspectively, eyes narrowing) “Make sure you know who you are, and stick to your vision.”
Moshe: “We want to bring a heritage of great denim to Toronto because we feel like it gets left by the wayside when the conversation starts about great denim cities.”
Donwan: “That’s not bad - I like that. How are your fits?”
Moshe: “So far so good, but of course always looking to improve and make sure …”
Donwan: (interrupts with quiet growl) How are the fits?
Moshe: “They’re good, they’re good - we swear!”
Donwan: (pleased with the urgency of Moshe’s response) “Good. Because without that, you will have a hard time.”
And what more is there to be said than that? Fit is paramount in denim. People, especially women, have a particularly emotional relationship with denim that seems to be growing more and more everyday. We have to admit that despite the overwhelmingly positive response we have gotten about this aspect of Rebus jeans, it keeps us up at night thinking of how to push the envelope more and more so that we engineer denim that fits like a glove .. or conversely, perfectly does not, as in our relaxed skinnies for men!
In the photo, Donwan Harrell is on the right, posing with Rebus Production’s Moshe Modeira in front of his new collection at TNT MAN, 87 Avenue Road. Never mind Moshe’s eyes in the pic - he is secretly a vampire - but that is a whole other story.
Rebus Premium Denim also quietly made its debut at TNT MAN yesterday - you can now find your favorite pairs of Rebus Crow skinnies (Black Labels and Cowboys) there. Of course, you may also find more of the SS12 collection from Rebus at the emerging retail badboy of the Queen West neighbourhood - PROPER RESERVE, 498 Queen Street West.
Update - 7/10/11: We have added a new Thornhill/Vaughan-area stockist to our list to satisfy our fans north of the city - you can now also find Rebus Premium Denim at DENIM in Rutherford Marketplace, 9360 Bathurst Street!
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
We recently anointed Julien Abesdris as our assistant Creative Director, and the wunderkind could not be happier. A sublime talent, Julien can talk shop about everything from high fashion to street style to music. Under watchful eyes, he has long been groomed for prime time, and we can no longer keep him a secret.
At just 21 years of age, Julien Abesdris is the future of Rebus and the Rebus LIFE brand. You will be hearing and seeing a lot more from him in video and in blog spots where he explains our brand and design vision and concept.
As we move forward towards debuting our SS12 collection, The Nest, this fall, we are going to periodically take time to introduce you to the moving parts and personalities behind our brand - what makes us tick, and why we are so confident that you will absolutely love our debut collection.
Taking a break from his favorite pastime of regaling anyone and everyone with his guitar skills, Julien spent 3 weeks this summer at our factories in Istanbul perfecting the denim and was tasked with making a final call on some of the key features that you will find in Rebus Premium Denim. From the stunningly beautiful denim selections, to our ridiculously roomy True 5th Pocket, and our banner denim fit that we have begun to call The World’s Best Relaxed Skinny, the CROW and the DOVE respectively for men and women, Mr. Abesdris’ fingerprints are all over the DNA of this brand.
In other news, Rebus Prez/Creative Director Adam Bledin and myself just returned from a rousing visit to sunny Las Vegas where we attended WWDMAGIC/PROJECT, the fashion industry’s largest tradeshow. It was truly humbling rubbing shoulders with some of fashion’s greatest thinkers and leaders, and many of the words of encouragement and support we got from everyone we engaged left an indelible mark on us
There is a very evident move towards a “share economy” in fashion right now - a spirit of camaraderie and openness to collaboration among brands. Against a backdrop where the consumer is asking for heightened corporate integrity and better quality products, there is no time for the old “me first” school of thought that arguably dominated the landscape for decades.
“Welcome boys - keep your heads up … and stay humble”, said Chip Foster of the infamous Canadian/California surf brand Chip & Pepper to us.
Words that we will remember forever. There is much work ahead of us, but we are incredibly privileged to have had the chance to witness the fraternity and sense of family that is held by many in the industry.
We eagerly look forward to attending MAGIC again in spring 2012. Julien and our design team have already started work on our F/W 2012 offering, and just like that, the giant, unforgiving wheel that is the fashion industry continues to roll forward.
In the next few days to weeks, I will share more about our experiences at MAGIC, and also there is a ton of exciting behind the scenes video featuring Julien and Adam during our last production excursion in Istanbul.
Building a premium Canadian brand is a tough game, but it has never felt so good to be alive.
Until next time,
VP & CMO
Rebus Productions .
So its official. VICE’s infamous July Big Photo issue is on the streets and its a raunchy rager if there ever was one. Our ad looks stunning, and we couldn’t be happier.
Our odyssey with VICE actually got started in a strange way, as alluded to in a previous post, REBUS + VICE = LOOOOOVE!
Rebus’ Moshe Modeira was blown away several weeks ago when, after never having even heard of the documentary series VICE Guide to Travel, he sat down and caught an episode late one night that rocked his consciousness to the very core.
The episode was VICE Guide to Travel: Liberia
To talk about what transpires in that episode is worthy of its very own post, and Moshe has made us a promise that he will craft this one himself to share with our readers in the coming weeks - the poor guy is still recovering from what he saw.
In a nutshell, Liberia is probably the country on the planet that needs the most help - while human rights activists and world leaders are not even pretending to give a crap. Staggering statistics of poverty, warfare, and crime, and a legacy intertwining colonialism, imperialism, and racism intersect so perfectly that it truly is hell on earth. VICE uncovers this relatively unknown hinterland for viewers in a gritty, gripping manner that would leave an indelible mark on even the most seasoned documentary film connoisseurs.
Weeks after seeing this and becoming hyper-focused on the VICE brand as a result, VICE got in touch with us at Rebus and encouraged us not to be shy about our efforts to bring a premium denim house to Toronto, and Moshe was absolutely floored as he was ushered even deeper into the intricate world of magazine publishing, online content syndication, film production and advertising that the VICE empire represents. Ever a student of the process of building brands, and probably one of the biggest product and brand marketing nuts you will ever meet, Moshe was at this point absolutely frothing at the mouth to work with VICE in order to further bolster his efforts as Rebus’ marketing maven.
Enjoy the July Photo Issue - in typical VICE style, it is visually astounding, to say the least. The Rebus ad that appears is part one of a four part series of a campaign we have dubbed “RebusHearts” - a playful, mischievous, sexy series that is of course itself a puzzle!
Can you figure it out?
Only time will tell. There will be a special giveaway in the fall for those of you who do - stay tuned for Part 2 in August!
UPDATE - 10/04/11: After a strong reception, we have since re-jigged the Rebus Hearts campaign to become an intermittent one where we call loud attention to anything we proudly endorse - and what better thing to start off with other than that thing that makes this world go ‘round …