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Chicco makes jeans talk

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DENIM DUDE Chicco insists denim can never go out of fashion
DENIM DUDE Chicco insists denim can never go out of fashion

He has designed for Hollywood A-listers including Brad Pitt, Beyonce and Busta Rhymes. Now Chicco is going to turn jeans into works of art

Denim's had the cowboy look, the hippie and yuppie look... for every period in time there's always been an icon for denim He decided that Indians were flying too high and would not want an old flying machine. Very soon, if you find that quaint little aeroplane missing from the label on your Flying Machine jeans, blame Chicco. The Italian denim designer has given the logo new wing."Indians are changing and travelling the world. They are the best users of the latest computer. So I thought they wouldn't want to use an old flight," says Chicco with a thick accent on his newly learnt English.

Indian brand

Flying Machine, the first Indian denim brand has roped in the Italian designer to bring out a new line of apparel and concept stores that will soon re-launch the brand in the garb of `Eclectic Fusion'.Chicco (pronounced Khee-co) started his design career 10 years ago (he's 33) with the famous Italian brand Replay and then went on to co-own a company that produced the Cycle brand of premium denims in Europe. He then joined the sports brand Puma and collaborated with Japanese denim company Avisu to create more denim."In my mind, denim is like a picture without a picture... a white empty canvas. In this case blue canvas! You can work with this fabric in amazing ways," says Chicco of his fascination for the fabric.The designer is as colourful as the history of the fabric born in California. By the way, his name is Federico Barina, but he assures me he responds to no other name other than Chicco.While denim started out with a macho cowboy character to it, it's undergone a lot of changes, says Chicco. "Newer fabrics don't look so hard; they look precious. The tailoring and fit are different. You don't just see it as trousers; you see if it fits someone. The character of the jeans changes with who wears them." Ten years ago, denim was considered the epitome of the casual look. "Later the rich people and Hollywood stars started wearing it and it became cool and popular." Seasons can come and go, and imitations can come and go. But true denim stays. "It's had the cowboy look, the hippie and yuppie look... for every period in time there's always been an icon for denim, whether it was Clint Eastwood, Marlon Brando, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen or Brad Pitt. And I'm sure Brad Pitt is wearing my HTC brand!" he laughs.Hollywood Trading Company (HTC) is a brand Chicco co-owns with the legendary Fred Sigal. Their store in Santa Monica is where Hollywood stars shop. Chicco started with creating accessories for Fred Sigal's store and became such a hit with Hollywood's hot set that he started custom-making clothes and accessories for them. "I've made a belt just for Brad Pitt and pants for Beyonce and rapster Busta Rhymes," smiles Chicco. Pitt's belt came at a cool 500 Euros it was completely handcrafted leather, the studs were handcrafted as well. "In India the concept of hand work is not important for pricing. But in our country, hand-made things have great value. There are very few artisans left in Europe. For making everything, there are big machines." And to keep up with Busta's bling image, he made a pair of jeans hand-studded with a "moustache" of original Swarovski crystals for a whopping 1,000 Euros.

Ga ga over India

"I've found a super team here at Arvind Mills. When I say something crazy, they start doing it! But really, people are ready to try something new here... unlike in the U.S. or Europe. India is the best in the world when it comes to embroidery and shirts. With this project, the style is mine, the hand is yours," he says, stressing on the talent available in the country. Flying Machine will come out with its premium range of denim, and accessories with new graphics and art including limited edition collections. "The target is the young guy and also the old guy who is young, like Peter Pan," grins Chicco.BHUMIKA K

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