Nearly 50 years ago, Adriano Goldschmied, a young and relatively inexperienced denim guy, decided to launch his first premium blue jeans brand called Daily Blue.
His strategy was to take his new creation, launched in 1974, and sell it in the northern Italian ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, known as one of the most fashionable and expensive ski stations in Italy where jet-setters and celebrities hung out.
Goldschmied, who had a small store in town, was selling his jeans for the equivalent to what today would be $1,000. The jeans were made of quality denim and well-constructed.
The newly minted designer was unsure how his product would perform, but he knew he had a winner when French actress Brigitte Bardot spotted the blue jeans and bought a pair. “The concept of a sophisticated product and premium denim for me started at that time, to make something different and unique,” recalled the fabled blue jeans maker, now in his late 70s.
After that, Goldschmied went on to cofound Diesel with Renzo Rosso, who took over the label in 1985, leaving Rosso a billionaire today.
Goldschmied continued along his own path, creating many denim labels including AG Adriano Goldschmied, now owned by Los Angeles denim manufacturer Koos Manufacturing. He also started A. Gold E., Gold Sign, Gap1969 and many others. After moving to the United States in 1998 and settling in southern California, he became a partner at Los Angeles premium denim brand Citizens of Humanity until he left in 2014. Recently, he helped Chloé develop its first circular jeans.
Goldschmied jokes that he has probably started more than 50 brands and then stepped away. But he is like a serial inventor who loves to think up new concepts and moves on. “What I do the best in all my career is to create brands. It’s like playing a game. When I know I am a winner, I walk away,” he explained.
With so many labels under his belt, his motto was not to repeat what he had done before and just move forward. But talking with a friend at dinner one night, the conversation drifted to Daily Blue, and the blue-jeans designer recalled his passion creating that first brand. “I remembered that enthusiasm when I started my career,” he recalled. “I didn’t go to any design school. Nothing. I didn’t know anything about this business. The only thing I knew was what the sophisticated customer was looking for.”
That dinner conversation hit a soft spot in his heart. Going against his longtime rule, he decided to relaunch Daily Blue using Japanese fabrics, eco-friendly washes and treatments and simple but sophisticated looks that can sit in someone’s closet for years. “I don’t design extreme fashion,” the denim guru shared. “I like to see a woman who cleans out a closet and doesn’t throw away my jeans.”
The brand’s reiteration, which ships in January for spring 2023, is being manufactured in small batches at three Los Angeles garment factories and treated at a sustainable wash house called Star Fades International in the industrial Los Angeles suburb of Commerce.
The ’70s-inspired luxury denim women’s collection right now consists of 18 to 20 pieces including blue jeans, shirts, jackets, vests and overalls, selling for $350 to $450. “I believe in small things made well,” Goldschmied noted.
The washes and treatments, unlike the highly distressed looks of the past, are toned down with the slightest hint of whiskering done with an eco-friendly laser processing.
For his first batch, Goldschmied ordered 2,000 pairs of blue jeans, 300 jackets and 200 shirts. He prefers to do small but more frequent collections that appeal to his luxury shopper who is in stores on a regular basis.
For those customers, retailers need to change their merchandise more often to keep people coming in. “When you shop, you go to a store to not only buy something but also to have some kind of emotion,” the designer said.
The blue jeans silhouettes in the new Daily Blue label will range from baggy and flared to wide-bodied and straight-leg.
When the designer created his first brand, he concentrated on the look. This time, he wants a great look that also incorporates sustainable elements and premium fabrics that is more eco-friendly. “At the time we started the first Daily Blue, we didn’t have that sense of what we were doing,” Goldschmied said. “We were using any product just to make a jean nice. It would be a bleach, a toxic acid, nobody was caring then. Then in the early ’90s, I started to realize that we were doing something very wrong. And at that time, I was a voice in the desert.”