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In the contemporary world the retail sector is the key when it comes to selling a pair of jeans.
Gianluigi Candiani, Chairman and President of TRC Candiani S.p.A shares his expertise about denim market and retail sector as he converses with Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Manushi Gandhi.
Candiani Denim is 75 years old denim manufacturing mill based in Italy. The company is one of the bastions of denim where most of the European mills have vanished. It is a family owned business, with a very small management and decision making process. Candiani today has over 650 employees, produces 35 million meters each year and can be considered the most advanced industrial structure in the history of Denim.
Gianluigi Candiani was born on December 24, 1956 in Busto Arsizio, near Milan. After his graduation in accounting, he attended the Bocconi University in Milan and in 1980 he graduated in business economy. Then he worked as CEO in the family industry, the Candiani Denim. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company since 1997.
Being a 75 years old Denim maker, according to you, how has the usage and consumption of Denim changed over the years?
Denim has undergone changes over the years. There was a fundamental transformation at the beginning of the manufacturing process, when there was an evolution in spinning, from the open-end to the ringspun yarns. There was also a modification in the way of seeing the jeans: during the revolutionary periods in the twentieth century, they became a fashion item with an alternative reputation, and no longer a workwear garment. This improvement in the global view of jeans is due also to the changes in its fabrication, and in this regard Candiani has played a key role with the development of the most beautiful stretch Denim fabric which influenced the global Premium Denim Industry. Jeans prospective changed also in washed garments.
Recently, in which regions the demand of Denim has been steadily increasing? According to you what can be the major reason for this?
Candiani is 100% global, and it is really difficult to define our confines. Europe, for example, expanded its borders, and we are talking about the EuroMed, which includes whole Europe, North Africa and Turkey.
North America grew a lot in the last ten years, and we are developing relationships with South America and Asia and we have good expectations on both.
What kind of innovations have been recently seen in the Denim market and which one of them is expected to have a boom in the future?
In our case, leading the stretch industry, the biggest innovation seems to be referred to an improvement of the performances. We combine new elastomers, new fibers and specific finishes, to create the perfect stretch Denim with great recovery and very low growth. This is booming for us and it is replacing the 98-100% cotton fabrics.
Another important innovation takes place in dyeing with different technologies, to achieve multiple colors which will wash down in a lot of different ways, including a variety of non-proper indigo shades, which can be a big alternative to the classic blue.
In our specific case, innovation goes hand in hand with sustainability. Thanks to the advanced technologies and to the knowledge accumulated during the years, Candiani develops and offers continuously new proposals for our customers. An example is the N-Denim: it is a new way to dye, conceived in our company and patented, which uses nitrogen in the dyeing process in order to safe 33% of water consumption and 50% of chemical agents.
You have a really impressive clientele. What factors do Denim brands take into account when they decide which mills to work with?
It is fundamentally the product, even if some brands really take care about the origins of the fabrics. They evaluate important aspect of the business such as the environmental consciousness, working conditions, and obviously the price.
As I said before, in Candiani innovation matches sustainability, and this simply means to do the right thing during the manufacturing process, at the right price. The product looks good, or even better than the others, and has the same price as the other, or less.
What is the market size of stretch Denim? Is it an old and out of fashion thing in the global market?
Stretch Denim is almost 75% of our production and we have to consider that preferences and desires of people have changed over the years. Nowadays, men appreciate comfort stretch fabric, while women admire both comfort and power stretch Denim.
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