Jerome Dahan has been known to reign a denim empire or two. Formally founder and creative director for names such as Lucky, Guess and 7FAM, Dahan channeled his expertise into founding notable brand Citizens of Humanity in 2003. With a keen eye for trends and a cultivated knowledge of the denim industry, it’s no surprise that Dahan has (somewhat) recently welcomed a new, youthful collection to the Citizens family – A GOLD E.
You may have heard the name A GOLD E thrown around in the early 90s, but this new collection is a total overhaul. Born and bred in Los Angeles, A GOLD E is manufactured with the same quality denim as your favorite pair of Citizens, but at a lower price point and with slightly more contemporary design – think skinny jeans and playful washes. With an e-comm shop and retail outlets like Urban Outfitters, Revolve and Anthropologie, we anticipate a bright future ahead for the kids of A GOLD E.
We had to catch up with Dahan to get the scoop on all things A GOLD E (and of course, sneak some denim secrets out of him). Read our Q&A below for some expert intel on the art of denim, and scope our latest editorial featuring these badass blues. Shop for your own pair here.
Photography: Kathryn Page
CULT: You’ve had your hand in so many major denim players from Lucky and Guess to Seven For All Mankind to Citizens – what spawned the decision to reinvent a more youthful line, A GOLD E?
Jerome: We’ve always wanted to do something for a younger customer, and now felt like the right time. There really isn’t a premium denim market on the market at a more accessible price point, but which doesn’t compromise on quality of product in any way. It’s a way for girls and guys to buy into luxury denim maybe for the first time.
We wanted to have fun with the line too, and create washes and styles that are exciting, whether that be acid wash, serious rips, or denim cut offs.
CULT: A GOLD E is a rebirth of sorts, spawning from the original brand in the 90’s – what makes it different this time around? What sets it apart from other denim brands in the market?
Jerome: The name is the same, but apart from that there aren’t many similarities to the brand. This time I have taken the name and then created a new brand and collection. What sets it apart is really the quality of the product for the price – there are other brands who create jeans and a similar or lesser price point, but the fabrications used aren’t of as high a quality.
We wanted the product to last, whatever they are put through by the wearers!
CULT: If we had to pick one pair from the collection to live in, what pair should we invest in?
Jerome: For girls, I love the Sophie high rise skinny in Stardust – it’s a high-waisted black skinny which is a really flattering cut, and it’s then been ripped and shredded to give a really cool look. They are so easy to wear, but also make a statement.
For guys we have a new skinny fit which is a lot skinnier than anything in the Citizens of Humanity men’s line and I think it’s great for a young guy.
CULT: What do you love about denim? (as a fabric, style, trend, industry and an art)
Jerome: It’s so versatile and unlike any other fabric.
The ways that you can manipulate and change denim are limitless, and for me as a craftsman that’s exciting. Every season I am excited to develop new washes and fits and discover new fabrications.
There are some denims I have worked with for 7 or 8 years and I am still finding new ways to work with them, equally there are amazing new fabrics arriving each season that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
CULT: Describe the denim process, from concept to completion – how long does it take to produce a quality pair of jeans?
Jerome: It all starts with the concept which is an idea that can come from anywhere: traveling, a vintage find, music, art or the world around. Then we start sampling – testing the fabrics with different washes and techniques, and refining and developing the silhouettes. If we are designing both a new fit and a new wash it can take almost a month to perfect and approve one pair of A Gold E premium jeans. It’s a labor of love!
CULT: What new trend/tech developments are next in the denim industry?
Jerome: We have an incredible laser machine, which means that instead of creating abrasions and whispering by hand – which is a lot more time consuming and inconsistent – we can now create details using the laser which gives an amazing quality of finish, and the same look on every pair of jeans. We also work with ozone washing now too, which uses less chemicals and water than traditional laundry techniques.
Denim is always surging forward innovation-wise, and I’m always excited to see what’s coming next.
CULT: In the last 24 hours, what has most inspired you?
CULT: What do you know now, that you wish you knew when starting a business?
Jerome: So much! But it’s all been a great learning curve and experience, I actually wouldn’t change anything as it’s all part of the journey. And enthusiasm and excitement is important, I wouldn’t have wanted to be weighed down by too much of the business side too early on!
CULT: Three things that you can’t live without:
Jerome: My phone, my family, and jeans
CULT: Words to live by:
“Seize the day”
Photography: Kathryn Page
Creative Director: Drea Sobieski
Model: Monroe Gallatin – Photogenics LA
Hair / MUA – Ashley Schaffer