Haala Denim at the GBK Gift Suite for 2015 Oscar Nominees

Darren Haala for Haala Denim

Darren Haala for Haala Denim

Haala Denim jeans, made entirely in Los Angeles, strive for perfect fit and fashion

By Gabrielle Pantera

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2015/3/12 – “About four and a half years ago my brother and I were making custom washes from our own bathtubs, sinks and washing machines using raw denim,” says Haala Denim co-owner Darren Haala. “Once we started coming up with some really cool washes by ourselves, we wanted to use our own fabric, we wanted to create our own fit. One thing led to another. We started developing a brand out of L.A. with a small team of artisans. Now it’s ready for sales and distribution. Cone Mills out of North Carolina is one of the oldest and most recognized mills in the world. All of our fabric is basically the best you can get.”

“Haala Denim is small-batch, handcrafted, made right her in Los Angeles,” says Haala. “Each specific style is very exclusive to the consumer. Usually we make about a hundred pieces of each style, then move on to the next collection. It’s a very stylish, upscale lifestyle. We use Cone Mills denim from North Carolina. We have a Kickstarter running now where you can get the jeans for wholesale price. $189 to $275.”

“Los Angeles is the denim capital of the world. It enables us to have a small team that does all the cutting, all the sewing, the wash, in one central area,” says Haala. “We’ve built that relationship with those people to ensure quality control. We’re able to be there throughout the process which makes it much easier to get the product we envisioned instead of it being overseas and getting back a product we weren’t a part of. We like to be hands-on. We like to watch the whole process unfold. That’s how we learn to design, the entire production process, instead of from pen and paper. We rolled up our sleeves and went out to the factories. The factory is in Commerce, California. The sewing and the wash house are right next to each other. It’s easy to cut the jeans there, do all the patterns, then take them right down the street to the wash house and have an eye on everything.”

“[Choosing manufacturers] was quite a process,” says Haala. “I moved out to Los Angeles just to do all that. I spent two years learning who was the best pattern-maker, after that I would work with them for a while and ask them, who do you find the best wash house in town? They would refer to them and I’d build a relationship with them through testing and development, see how good they were. It was a slow build of bringing together the best artisans in the city and bringing them together as a team.”

“It’s bringing together the best people in the business to make our jeans,” says Haala. “I design them all. I manage the wash house. I manage the sewing. I’ll start with a general sketch, and it will begin to take form. I have a degree in graphic design. I design all our graphics for the leather, the label, the hardware. Illustrator, Photoshop, that sort of thing. Then when it comes down to making the jean look like what I want it to look like, all that has to be done through development out at the factory. It’s just a lot of testing. We’ll take one jean and we’ll have people do hand-sanding on it, use different chemical washes, stone washes, bleach washes, mineral washes. Once a wash gets close to what we want it to be like we’ll refine it or come up with new ideas to make it look different.”

“Next is a women’s line, 2016,” says Haala. “We’ll start in a way we know what we can build off of. So we’re going to do the best fit we can make, which will be a women’s mid-rise skinny. We’ll do it in three or four styles. Every woman is looking for the perfect skinny jeans. We’re going to perfect the women’s skinny jean, do it in three or four of our best washes, and go from there.”

“Right now we’re in a Beverly Hills boutique called Avalon,” says Haala. “We’re also in a West Hollywood boutique in Sunset Plaza called Shopire. We’re in some boutiques in the Midwest and soon to be in boutiques in Las Vegas.” Also available online.

GBK Gift Suite Press Release

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