I want everything I draw to be brought to life for real!

-Tell us little bit about yourself and how did you come to establish the brand?

I was born in London and raised in Ohio by the most amazing creative and inspired parents, who encouraged me to express myself by any means necessary and this is what I have been doing ever since. I graduated from Central St. Martins Print for fashion course in 2005 and after working for Jeremy Scott for 2 years I relocated to New York and began designing womens outerwear for Coach. These experiences couldn’t have been more different but they all helped in making it possible for me to launch Gerlan Jeans. I had always been obsessed with printed denim..but it was always so hard to find.. The few labels that did do it cost over $400… and all the vintage denim I found came in the most unflattering of cuts.I didn’t want to make novelty printed denim.. I wanted to create prints that were vibrant but accessible and wearable in a more casual sense.

-Do you feel that brand concepts and seasonal themes are important in expressing a collection image?

Its all about telling a story for me.. I LOVE inventing a world with its own language, customs, dictionary of symbols, and a personalized soundtrack (the message is always in the music), … Making it all come to life is the biggest rush ever!
But there are definatley central message in the Gerlan Jeans world- Peace, Love, Unity, Respect, The Freedom to Express Yourself, The power to Overcome, and the power to make a difference!

-What are the source of inspiration in your fashion and graphic (textile) design?

Inspiration comes from everything that surrounds me- music, rhythm, and dancing are a HUGE part of my life, as well as my amazing friends and family, the streets of New York, Paradise Garage, the malls of America, Palm Springs, and all things bright and colorful.

-Do you view fashion design as a means of expressing yourself?

Fashion is ALL about expressing yourself… it’s one of the richest ways to communicate with each other! And its also one of the most universal ways to spread love, joy, hope and acceptance on a global scale!

-How would you describe your customer?

Someone who has loads of enthusiasm, loves color and print, and has a great sense of humour!

-How would you describe your design philosophy?

Gerlan Jeans is the Malls of America meet the Runways of Paris. Its about making creative design affordable and accessable and its all about PRINTS,PRINTS and more PRINTS.

-How do you describe characteristic of your style which makes it difference from others?

All of my graphics and textiles are hand drawn using the computer to enhance the graphic rather than to create it..which makes it all much more personal….its all in the details!

-What made you want to become designer?

It was an organic process that led me to where I am today… it just makes sense to me that illustration and art should be worn- not just hung on walls- clothes allow art to not only be seen but experienced and (re)interpreted on a much more personal and expressive level.

-Is there any designers or person that had a strong influence of your work?

Patrick Kelly has been a HUGE inspiration to me in all ways! His message was all about color, prints, Love and taking yourself and fashion less seriously, enjoying life and being yourself no matter what other people might say. He was a true originator!! Dolly Parton is also a huge influence on my design philosophy- like she says in her Backwoods Barbie album “Shine, Design, Refine!”

-Did you learn or get anything from Jeremy Scott as you had designed textile for his brand?

I learnt SO many things, both creatively and technically, while working for Jeremy, but some of the most important lessons I learnt were-Always trust your instincts, follow your heart, be true to yourself, and approach every obstacle as an opportunity rather than a set back.

-What are the most important elements of your design?

Its all about the PRINTS and the color! Print has always been about fashion to me and fashion has always been about print and I couldn’t imagine one with out the other. Its also about the process and working with other creative people to help the vision come to life. It’s a family affair!

-What are your plans or visions for the future?

Gerlan Jeans and Prints PLease is the FUTURE! (watch out for a Gerlan Jeans store coming soon to a galaxy near you!) My mission is to spread love and positive energy, World wide, through print, color, pattern and jeans! I am also working on raising funds to build a print studio Head Quarters where all your graphic dreams can come true, from interior to fashion to architecture! Let no surface be un-printed!

-Did you find difficulty when you start designing clothing (3D) compare with 2D things (e.g. illustration, textile design)?

Graphic design has never been a 2D medium to me. I want everything I draw to be brought to life for real! But just because it looks good on paper doesn’t mean it will flatter the body… This is the challenge that I love.. and I spend a lot of time making sure that the size, scale,color, and silhouette a print creates enhances and flatters the body shape.Its all in the details…

-Why did you show your collection in Patricia Fieled’s house?

I had worked on various prints for Pat over the years and when I saw her at the annual Pat Fields family Holiday party and she heard I still had not found a space for my show she offered to let me use her house!! I thought I was dreaming! But Pat has always been so incredibly supportive towards young designers and artists and she is a HUGE part of what is keeping the true New York spirit alive!

-Why are you based in NY?

The streets of New York are one of the most inspiring places in the world… I love having the opportunity to experience and discover all the different lives people lead. I cant walk a block anywhere is Brooklyn or Manhattan without having my mind blown by a look, a walk, a color, a pattern, a face, Some times I feel like I might explode with all the inspiration. There are so many incredibly talented and unique people and so much creative energy in one place. I feel so lucky to live here!

-How was the response around you after showing your first collection? And what did you think about their response?

The response was overwhelming… The energy at the show was so positive. Everyone had such a good time. I was working with the most incredible team of creative people and this is what really made it possible for my vision to come to life in such an animated way. I think New York was really ready for some color and a little bit of sillyness. The shows here are always so black, grey and serious..
Fashion is supposed to be fun!

-Why did you come to establish the label this timing?

Gerlan Jeans is something that I have been working towards for a long time. But I felt like last season was a perfect time to launch- I think things are really starting to change and people are starting to investigate and embrace new ways of thinking and living. I think Obama being elected has a lot to do with this shift in our collective conciousness.. and I think the current economic down turn has made people appreciate color and print in a new way.

HP –

Interview/Masaki Takida, Yana&Yusuke(Candy)

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