Spanish denim label Cimarron has a late-night design session and a spilled drink to thank for its latest innovation.
The label, designed by Tiziano Folgia, has introduced scratch-and-sniff jeans for fall.
"They were working in the studio late one day and somebody was drinking a green tea and it spilled on a trouser," said Tatiana Reig, the brand's European sales manager. The spill was cleaned up, but the not-unpleasing green tea smell remained. "It was an accident and it came like a joke, but that's where the idea came from," Reig said.
The scratch-and-sniff collection consists of denim bottoms, shorts, jackets and skirts available in four neon colors. Those colors, naturally, match their scents. The yellow gives off a lemon scent, orange smells of mandarin, green is mint and the pink smells of berry.
"These kind of colors matched really well with the odors," Reig said. "They are sweet and it's a good result."
Reig stressed that the jeans do not smell all the time, but only when rubbed. A chemical application puts a layer of molecules on the surface of the fabric. Only when those molecules are rubbed is the scent released. But the scratch-and-sniff effect is not everlasting. The scent disappears after about 20 machine washings. For this reason, Cimarron is recommending that the items be hand-washed.
It took more than a month to develop the process and narrow in on the scents they wanted to use. Balancing cost and quality was also an issue.
"I think they were trying a long time to get this right," Reig said. "It not only has to have a good touch and a good odor, but also a good price. You have to have a pant with a competitive price."
The scratch-and-sniff jeans will retail for 100 to 200 euros, or between $136 and $273.
The collection was first shown at the Bread & Butter event in Barcelona last month. Reig said Japanese buyers were particularly excited by the concept and that buyers from the U.K. and the Netherlands were also drawn to the concept. Reig believes Cimarron will wait until the end of September to determine whether to continue developing the line, but she said early signs have been positive.
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