Ammar Belal believes in a highly personal touch when it comes to denim and his exclusive As Jeans label, which has been spotted on the likes of Margherita Missoni, Kelly Ripa and Boy George.
For Belal, founder and chief executive officer of the Lahore, Pakistan-based label, customization is a passion. As Jeans are made specifically to a customer's measurements. Embellishment and distressing are viewed as a way to further reflect the wearer's personality. It's clear Belal isn't interested in appealing to the masses.
"The aim of a jeans company is to come up with jeans that fit the greatest number of women to maximize profits," said Belal. "At the most, each brand specializes in a particular body type and different silhouettes are designed for the maximum women having that body type. Custom-made jeans are made specifically to fit your body. A pair of jeans that fits well is an eight out of 10, but one that is made only for you is a 10 out of 10."
Belal often consults with clients himself, taking measurements and listening to how a customer wants to look in a perfect pair of jeans. He follows up with his own series of questions designed to help him gauge a client's personality, questions such as: Who is the last person you found attractive? Who is your fashion icon? What's your favorite food? What is the last CD you bought or music you downloaded?
"It's a matrix. It helps me visualize the person," said Belal. "Jeans are a part of your identity and they evolve with you. My jeans are meant to mature with you and that's why we offer lifetime alterations free of cost. If you gain or lose weight, we'll adjust them. Even if they rip very badly, we'll patch them for you."
Naturally, this level of personalization doesn't come cheap. A pair of jeans for South American pop star Jocelyn Martinez featured a specially designed embroidered insignia, hand-painted detailing and Swarovski crystal embellishments, pushing the price up to $1,000. In New York, As Jeans are stocked at Patricia Field and Blond, where As Jeans with Swarovski embellishments run between $400 and $600. — Mahlia S. Lone
Issa Rae stopped by WWD's NYC headquarters to talk about season two of "Insecure," which premieres this Sunday on HBO. Click link in bio for all the details. #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery; Styled by @mayteallende)
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"