Learn about G-Star Raw
by Yoeri Khyrian Jonker / posted on 01/09/2015
Launched in 1989, G-Star has seen its business become global by believing in the simple, down-to-earth statement “Just the product.” Back in the 90’s, their vision was perhaps as simple as it looks. However, what we see today is a company that is constantly trying to push the mainstream market of jeans and other products (sometimes not even apparel) forward. For this week, let’s look into the brand that popularized raw denim in the Netherlands and possibly in Europe, and what they’re doing now.
G-Star is by any definition an international brand. It’s very successful, and has had a big impact with it’s focus on functionality. While all their latest campaigns from ‘Raw For The Ocean’ with Pharrell, their eyewear collection with Afrojack and their furniture collection might confuse you, as it might all seem incohesive and unfocused, it really makes sense when you look at their basis. Surely, it’s not “Just The Product” anymore, but it’s still about functionality and working within a certain aesthetic field.
Their collections, to this day, have followed a specific colour scheme and embedded military and industrial elements in denim that inspired a whole movement in the 90ies, and you would think this continuity would become boring after a while. But because they focus so much on aspects like creating something innovative with a function, limiting themselves to a certain colour palette and being forced to create something different within that limitation and trying to innovate the DNA of their fabric as well (for instance with the plastic recycling ‘Raw For The Ocean’ collection) they managed to keep things interesting.
Part of keeping things interesting is their step outside fashion in 2011, where they took their shot at creating a furniture collection. Together with French modernist Jean Prouvé’s daughter Catherine Prouvé the denim brand created a highly functional, industrial collection of chairs, desks and lamps that just made sense for the brand.
G-Star has always had an incredible interior direction in their retail environments, something they were nominated for multiple times and which strengthened the brand. One of the most poignant example might be the skeleton of a dog dressed in denim, the geometrical shapes and concrete tones that tell the story the same way the clothes do.
We’ll be curious about what’s next for the denim brand, as they’ve pretty much done it all.