Los Angeles-based Antik Denim is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Holdings Incorporated, formed in 2004 by Co-designers Alexandre Caugant and Philippe Naouri, and the denim tycoon, Paul Guez. French-born Caugant and Naouri are life-long friends who share a 20-year professional history that is steeped in vintage denim fashion. They share a personal history as well: growing up in the South of France, their emergence into denim retailing, and ambition to start their own brand. What unites them is a passion for antique Western and workwear designs, and perfectionism about their product. For them, the success of Antik Denim is nothing short of the American Dream.
Antik Denim has quickly become a recognized premium denim brand in the U.S. and internationally. The manufacturing of the collections is distinguished by a craftsmanship and care reminiscent of a lost art. Each pair is individually decorated, chasing an era when things were made by hand. Exclusive Japanese and Italian fabrics are used for their quality and comfort.
Antik Denim is a favorite among style-conscious men and woman. The brand offers a complete wardrobe in addition to jeans, including vintage-styled T-shirts, boots, and belts. Red Carpet celebrities who don the threads include: Johnny Dep, Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, Teri Hatcher, Julia Roberts, Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Ashlee Simpson, Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopes, and Vince Vaughn. Antik Denims advertising includes stylish and bold print ads in major magazines such as Vanity Fair, Vogue, and In Style, and on cabs in New York City.
The Antik Denim brand is fast expanding. The companys to-do list includes licensing jewelry, shoes and other products, and developing childrens clothing, an Elvis Presley-inspired collection, and two new lines: Antik Kargo and Antik Vintage. The company recently opened its flagship store on Hollywoods chic and swanky Melrose Avenue. Antiks one-of-a-kind denims, T-shirts and other novelties are available there, or at any of these luxury retail stores: Saks, Bloomingdales, Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Kitson. Antik Denim went public in 2005, and boasts strong worldwide sales.
Antik Denim is destined to become the new American classic. Its not about denim: its about the pleasure of denim. Antik Denim's comfortable fit, premium material, and an attention to details has raised the bar. According to Naouri and Caugant, ethnic cultures, vintage, art, and basically everything artistic with a soul", is at the heart of their designs. To this they add, We believe in authentic products, originality, and perfection. Antik Denim is reinventing denim for the 21st Century, and becoming a statement in the world of fashion.
Designer, Vintage Denim King, left
Designer Philippe Naouris 20-year commitment to vintage denim, measured by his obsessive knowledge of detailing and craftsmanship, earned him the title, "The King of Vintage, in the fashion industry. His passion for denim design was evident when he was only 15 years old. The year was 1985, and he was working at the only store in his hometown of Marseille, France, that carried authentic American denim. That store became the first vintage shop he would own. At barely 17, and with little capital, he roadtripped across America, uncovering rare vintage treasures for his store.
Naouri grew to be a sought-after expert in the fashion business. Reputable companies such as Replay, Diesel, G-star, Levis and Chevignon, bought his most exclusive and inspirational vintage pieces for their designs, and hired him to consult on style, details and wash. In 1991, he organized the first ever antique Levis auction held in Drouot, France, in partnership with Levis. In the book, Jeans of Heroes, Lincoln Editions, 1994, Naouri was dubbed the French Connection Of Denim. He also contributed to an event in honor of denim for the city of Nimes, France, where denim was supposed to have originated. In Texas, where he lived for 16 years prior to Los Angeles, his warehouse became a virtual Ali Baba cavern for antique denim buyers the world over. The future holds plans for this connoisseur of denim to open his own jeans museum.
Naouri says he is inspired by, vintage movies, fashion furniture, and music. He also notes his affection for perfection and authenticity. What motivated this perfectionist to create Antik, along with his friend Alexandre Caugant, was his experience working for other designers, timing, and his desire to gift the world with his fresh approach. Naouris vision for Antik Denim is to build a brand which, as he puts it, will last for another 150 years, and mark its time just like Levis did.
Fashion Designer, right
Alexandre Caugants reputation for innovation has made him one of the hottest fashion designers today, and is one reason Antik Denim has won the affection of some of the limelights hippest stars. Its a characteristic he shares with his co-designer Philippe Naourithe ability to invent designs that revive the past and connect with people. Of his designs, Caugant says, I bring out something different all the time. I like to surprise, and always keep it fresh.
At an age when other kids went off to college, Caugant began his career working at a Levi's store in his hometown of Marseille, France, and screen printing original T-shirts for fun. He went on to dress store windows throughout the South of France. In the '90s, he moved to Paris to work for the successful brand Chevignon, where he added a vintage flair to his designs. Other companies who tapped his talent include: Bisous-Bisous, and Morgan De Toi. He says he learned a lot from colleagues in the fashion business, especially Guy Azoulay (Chevignon), Christian Audigier (Von Dutch), and Jeannot Elbaz (Chipie). Caugant claims that modesty, and being open to learning new things is a secret to success.
Caugants dream of seeing his own brand sold in stores worldwide, was to be realized in 2004. But before coming to Los Angeles, where he now lives, he traversed South America, China, and Japan, and absorbed the beauty and passion of different cultures, colors, and life. He developed styles that looked sexy on women of many sizes; in Brazil, he perfected the ever-popular super-low jean. He worked with the high-profile brand Goa, in Columbia, where he invented his signature stitching and customized jeans. That led to his work with ABL Couture, at which time he became reacquainted with his old friend Naouri. About what inspires him, Caugant says, I believe fashion is on the street, fashion is people. The media inspires me, TV, movies, and music.
Caugant is perhaps best appreciated for his passion for perfection, and the details he gives to his designs. Caugant remarks, I think I have achieved one of my goals, which is to make a true denim line that suits everybody.