Learn about Neuw Denim
by Yoeri Khyrian Jonker / posted on 28/07/2015
When it comes to interesting backgrounds, Par Lundqvist is a prime example of how your past can shape your future. Before he became the founder and frontman of his denimbrand NEUW, he already had 4 years of experience as a product developer at Lee. But to why Par created Neuw in 2010, we’ll need to go even further back through time.
His passion for denim began while working in a denim store, which he was working at to finance his punk band. This love for rock and punk -and the denim & leather jacket style that comes with it- is one of the first inspirations that spawned denim brand Neuw. “Through music he became passionate about denim. He used to look at the clothing of his idols in the punk scene and analyze how they wore it,” explains Nick Stavrakakis, head of sales for Neuw in the Benelux and UK, during his visit at the HQ of Ganbaroo. “Many of the fits and models that make Neuw the brand it is today are modern reinterpretations of vintage denim models worn by these rock legends.”
With an archive of over 3000 vintage pair of jeans and jackets ranging from the late 1800’s to 1990’s stocked up in storage, his specific Swedish sense for keeping things uncomplicated and knowledge of punk culture it isn’t a surprise that Neuw is the brand it is today. Specifically this eye for detail and minimalism is something that’s sometimes overlooked, yet however beautifully displayed throughout the collections.
In all his old vintage jeans he saw a similarity in tearage in the back pocket, created by wallets that used to distress the fabric throughout the years. It’s the reason that a saddlestitch is added to strengthen this specific spot in every pair of Neuw jeans. Funnily enough, the zigzag saddlestitch pattern also resembles a repetitive pattern of linked N’s and W’s, a smart yet subtle reference to the name of the brand. Another interesting detail is the ring attached to the beltloop on the front of the jeans. “Par always used to wear the most intriguing pocket watches, so that’s a small personal detail that he wanted to add to further tell his story.”
To explain the special method of tapering added to the bottom of the jeans, we’d have to go back to his time at Lee. During his four years at the company he worked closely with a genius pattern maker that goes by the name of Ray. After Par left the brand, he thought of a concept called “Vintage Revision”, where he would take old vintage models and revise their fits and washes to create a more contemporary look. To do so, a fair amount of jeans needed to be slimmed down and tapered. Ray would cut out big triangles to make the jeans smaller, a small part in the process that became part of the branding story behind Neuw.
Five years after starting the brand, we find ourselves at the release of the Black Rope collection. This collection was inspired by his love for black jeans, and the problem that came with them. “You see, when black denim fades, they end up looking pretty bad. To solve this problem, this collection changed the whole process of dyeing the fabric. What you see when you zoom in on a rope is multiple yarns twisted together into one rope. What Neuw did is to dye every yarn individually before it becomes a thread. The middle yarn is always white, the three yarns woven around that to make the full thread are deep black. Par dyed the middle thread as well.”
A few weeks after our meeting with Nick Stavrakakis at Ganbaroo, we had the chance to speak with Par himself. The result was a short, yet very interesting interview in which we found out more about his vintage denim collection, his first denim item and what we can expect to see from Neuw in the future. Read our conversation with Par Lundqvist here.