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House Visit: Daniel Corrigan

  • A couple of weeks ago, Roderick from our Venice shop paid a visit to Daniel Corrigan, co-creative director of denim brand Simon Miller, at his home in Silverlake, to talk about the the brand’s indigo dyeing process and new categories he and his business partner Jake Sargent are exploring.

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    Daniel and one of his dogs, Oliver

    How did you start experimenting with indigo dyeing processes and how have these processes evolved?
    When Jake and I started discussing expanding the brand into different product categories, we knew the products needed to have the same lived-in feel and texture as our denim. Fortunately, a few years ago I met Jane Palmer, who runs a natural dye studio here in LA and became fascinated with the process. Since then indigo has taken over my life! I wonder how my dog would look blue . . .

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    Prints by photographer Ben Tierney line the wall of the dining area

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    Riley getting comfortable between shades of indigo dye

    What exactly goes into the dye process?
    It’s definitely a labor and time intensive process. As I mentioned before, we do all of our own indigo dying locally in Los Angeles. The process is simple, but precise. Maybe simple isn’t the right word — it’s definitely a science when combining the different components. Each garment receives 3-6 dips in a vat containing a mixture of indigo, soda ash, and hot water. The pieces have to be dipped individually, swirled in the vat to remove all the air bubbles, then hung to oxidize. And repeat. Let’s just say the process can get a bit tedious during production!

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    A painting by artist David Maxim

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    The rug is a vintage kilim that Daniel indigo dyed. He also made the pillows our of vintage African indigo cloths.

    Do you have any favorite dyed pieces in your home? 
    I love the couch and chairs we did with Stephen Kenn. He’s been a good friend for many years so it was fun to collaborate on a project. My paintings are also in the top five. That’s just because I enjoy doing them so much. I think everyone would pick the chair when given the choice.

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    Daniel uses pure indigo for a lot of his paintings.

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    The chair was part of a collaboration between the brand and furniture designer Stephen Kenn.

    Where do you plan to take the brand next? Are there any additional categories you’re exploring?
    We’re about to launch the women’s line and will be showing a full collection for Spring/Summer 2015, which I’m really excited about. We are also opening an indigo dye house this summer with our good friend Jane. For now, we’ll be exploring all the possibilities of indigo within the collections. For example, we took World War II sleeping bags (cleaned them, or course) and indigo dyed them to create parkas for FW14. As we expand the collection, it’s essential for us to also create these limited pieces with a modern look but also an interesting story behind them. I’ll have you back when we have everything up and running so we can do some dyeing.

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    How do you recommend caring for Simon Miller jeans?
    The age old question! If you asked 10 people, you’d probably get 10 different care instructions. When you buy unwashed denim, aka “raw jeans,” and want them to fade in a way that shows the whiskers and color variation, I’d wear them every day and not wash them for 3-6 months. They surprisingly don’t smell like you’d think! When you do wash them, make sure they’re inside out, use just a little detergent, and hang dry. If you have light faded jeans, I’d wash all the time and they will only fade more. I’ve never been one to freeze my jeans or swim in them.

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    Many thanks to Daniel for having us over! You can shop Simon Miller denim in our Tribeca, Nolita, Brooklyn, Chelsea, Venice, Hayes Valley, Fillmore, Westport, Greenwich and web shops.

    - Photos by Roderick Hunt

    This entry was posted on Thursday, May 1st, 2014 at 8:37 am and is filed under In Stock. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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