There’s a turning point in every designer’s career, when a collection really hits the mark. For Adam Taubenfligel, creative director and co-founder of Triarchy, Atelier Denim is that collection. Taubenfligel is a self-taught designer who learned everything there is to know about denim in the factories. He’s a self-proclaimed ‘denim head’ who refers to denim as “a material you can get 4 million ranges of blue out of.” But, it’s the very production process that pushed him to rethink how he was creating denim. In a saturated market, he explains, you have to really stand out, and Atelier Denim is the attempt to do just that. The collection consists of small-run pieces that are made from vintage and reclaimed denim from Los Angeles. Each piece is adorned with custom woven fabric made in France in the same mills that Chanel works with. The idea is that every creation has a unique twist – a one-of-a-kind detail that can’t be replicated. We caught up with Taubenfligel before his seventh runway show to talk about inspiration, Versace and the obvious: denim.
ON EARLY MEMORIES
“One of my favourite pieces of clothing ever designed is this Versace dress from the ‘80s that’s a full black column dress with long sleeves and the back is just wide open with a huge leg slit. I love a front looking conservative and a back having tons fun; it’s like an alter ego.”
ON MOM’S INFLUENCE
“When I was a kid, she would bring me back Versace catalogues and I would be like ‘what is this amazing world and how do I get to Miami.’ This was before Donatella. There’s this big gala my parents would go to every year. We would all sit and wait to see what my mom would come down wearing. And at one point when I was about 16 she asked me to design a dress for that party and I did that for her and I was like ‘ya this is it.’”
ON THE EARLY DAYS
“I found my old high school notebooks when I was going through [my parents’] garage and when I flipped through them its all fashion or architecture sketches – I wasn’t taking notes, I was drawing houses or dresses.”
THE MOMENT YOU KNEW YOU WERE IN LOVE WITH DENIM
“We would always go to this horse ranch in the summer and ride horses and it hit us one day that this material is so versatile. It feels alien for me to wear a suit; I just have a love affair with this material and the history behind it.”
ON THE DREAM
“We want to make pieces to reach the hands of a few that care, that love it and that want it.”
ON THE MOOD
“What I loved about this [collection] is the juxtaposition of a workman’s material and a super high end fabric from France – bringing those two together for me was awesome. It’s about looking like a million bucks but taking it easy. Like, relax. Be kind. Chill out.”
See more Atelier Denim pieces from the runway below.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.