Nicknamed Dr Denim by his peers, Wade Taylor, UK denim brand manager at Diesel, prescribes the latest trends to Marie Davies
So Wade, aka Dr Denim, tell us a bit about your role at Diesel?
It encompasses all aspects of the business, primarily ensuring we have the right product and are meeting the needs of the UK consumer. I give feedback to the Diesel head office in Italy on the position of the UK denim market and what I think is relevant to consumers both current and target.
What do you love about your job?
First and foremost the product and the people I work with. I like trying to find a solution for the consumer, giving them what they want and inspiring them at the same time.
How do you chart denim trends?
The male consumer is much easier to please. The style is often timeless, a real investment product that lasts and evolves, with function being the most important factor. Trends move at a much faster pace for women. For them it’s about the denim’s softness and the fit - it’s a constant strive for perfection. Women know what they should be paying and where to get it. They are prepared to pay nothing or everything if it’s right for them.
How do you balance creativity and commerciality?
At Diesel we have our foundation styles in terms of commercial product and then we experiment, which allows for creative treatments and fibres. It’s about filtering those experimental processes down to keep the consumer inspired.
What styles are on trend at the moment?
For men, carrot and tapered leg denim. A few seasons ago it was all about the western, regular or straight fit but now the customer is willing to try the tapered option.
Do you visit any denim archives?
In Italy we have a warehouse full of archive pieces of every garment created by Diesel since 1978. The designers go back there for inspiration.
What denim brands do you wear?
I genuinely only wear Diesel. I’ve worked for the brand for nine years and I understand it and appreciate the denim. You could say we have a relationship - we hang out every day.
What other brands do you admire?
I admire the concept of Japanese denim brand Kapital - it is inspirational and uses the best Japanese denim factories. [Premium denim brand] RRL is purest and the denim is excellent, I like the silhouettes at [premium brand] Acne and I think [premium denim brand] Edwin produces really tasteful denim and is great for detail. [Premium denim brand] PRPS did a great job in the UK in terms of how it sold premium denim. It took a huge slice of the market a couple of years ago and there hasn’t been anything since that has got it right.
What do you think the next denim trends will be?
The more directional customer is going for function over fashion - something they can wear day to day and it becomes part of your life, naturally wearing and taking shape. The beauty of denim is it’s a natural fibre and it has a charm of its own.
Where do you like to shop?
I like to travel around the country in my 1978 travel home named Margot (below).
I explore small towns and find deals from antiques and books to pieces of clothing. I get inspiration from who and what I see (bottom).
Whose style do you admire?
[Actor] Dennis Hopper, I think he was an interesting guy. I like the brand Dries Van Noten and musically The Doors.
Which is your favourite pair of jeans?
A black Diesel pair I wore through the whole of summer 2009. They’ll be turning into shorts for this summer.
Wade Taylor is UK denim brand manager at denim brand Diesel