With more than 25 years of experience in the denim industry, local denim guru Gary Lenett is shaking up the athleisure category with jeans that are fit for a modern lifestyle.
A North American-wide launch program is in the works, starting locally in Vancouver with a pop-up shop.
We sat down with Lenett to learn more about Dish and DU-ER.
What inspired you to create DU/ER?
I created DU/ER mostly for selfish reasons. I ride my bike to work and wasn’t able to find anything that allowed me to commute to work comfortably and still be appropriate to walk into an important business meeting. I tried different ‘commuter jeans’ on the market, but they just did not hit the mark in terms of fit or fabric.
I wanted jeans that would adapt to the typical Vancouver lifestyle and transition from day to night without requiring a change of clothes. I wanted to create a line of jeanswear that combined function and fashion and could take me from work to play and in everything in between.
How is it different than other denim lines on the market?
It is different in almost every way. Most denim brands in North America are primarily trend based and reflect one or more of three common themes – rock & roll, sex and or what I call “americana”. We are fundamentally different in that we start with trying to solve real problems (i.e. providing clothing that you can ride a bike in and still look good). More than just jeans, we are selling a lifestyle. If it doesn’t look great we wouldn’t develop it, but where this is the end of the story with most jean brands, for dish and DU/ER it’s just the beginning.
Talk to us about the fabrics L2X and N2X.
We developed two proprietary fabrics that mix performance wear with denim. L2X (lesiure to extreme) is built to function as a light, breathable fabric – so it feels like a jegging but looks like a traditional, structured jean. The mixture of unique performance fibres (common in coolmax fabrics) helps regulate temperature, moving moisture away from the body so the wearer stays cool and dry.
Our second fabric, N2X (nature to extreme) combines denim with a fibre made from Tencel. Composed of eucalyptus wood pulp, Tencel has natural moisture absorbing and anti-bacterial qualities that provide a luxurious, lightweight feel to denim. Naturally odour resistant, N2X fabrics absorb moisture so you don’t feel it on your skin and helps stop the growth of bacteria so your clothing stays fresh longer.
Why are you launching in Vancouver?
I was born and raised in Vancouver and the concept behind the brand (jeans as lifestyle) was really inspired by the West Coast / Vancouver lifestyle, because of that it was a natural decision to launch the brand here.
What is athleisure and who do you think is your target buyer?
Athleisure is clothing that is designed both for athletic & leisure activities. Our target is the on-the-go, urban man or woman who lives a healthy, active lifestyle. Someone who wants both performance and style in their clothing and does not want the hassle of having to change their clothes as they move through all the transitions of a typical day.
You’re taking DU-ER on the road. What locations do you plan on going and when?
We will be doing another pop up store in Vancouver in the Fall and then planning to do pop up stores right across the U.S.A. beginning in the Spring of next year, starting with Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, L.A. and San Diego.