Meet the Maker: Nudie Jeans

Founded in Sweden, Nudie Jeans has been delivering sustainable denim since 2001. We spoke to Nudie’s CEO of Australasia and long-time friend of Superette, Bryce Alton about his career highlights, what keeps the Nudie team inspired and his go-to spots in Sydney.

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Bryce Alton, CEO Nudie Jeans Australasia

When and how did Nudie Jeans come about?
Maria Erixon and Joakim Levin founded the brand in 2001 creating a denim brand together with Palle Stenberg. The brand was built with passion for the product whilst focusing on minimising the impact on the environment and the people making the clothes. Fast forward 20 years and the 3 private owners focus is clearer than ever continuing to make a great product whilst leading the denim industry in the sustainability field in the process.

 

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Nudie HQ, Sydney

How would you describe the Nudie Jeans customer?
No specific age nor gender but instead someone whom has the same view of loving and caring for products (in this case a pair of jeans) and making them last by repairing them. T-shirts and Jeans = easy and simple.

 

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Lean Dean - Blue Temple | Steady Eddie - Sunday Blues

Any advice you would give to someone thinking of starting a brand?
Vital to consider the end-game for the product. Meaning; where will this product finish up in its life-cycle? Can it be re-newed or recycled? What impact am I making on this planet by inventing said product? Knowing what I know now, there should be a LOT of responsibility and accountability at the design process before (another) product is created on this planet.

 

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Amundsson Sport Socks | Olsson Leopard Socks



What’s your design process and is there anything you do to help to get the ideas rolling?  

We have a phenomenal design Team based in Sweden working freely with creative without the pressure of answering to a big corporation/shareholders but instead know and understand the DNA of the brand. ALL products MUST be approved by our internal CSR Team prior to being produced to ensure that they meet our company standards.

 

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Sten Blackwatch Wool Shirt (Coming Soon) | Franke NJCO Circle Hoodie

What inspires your  collections and aesthetic and how do you keep it relevant?  

This is a question for the Head Design (Martin Gustavsson) whom is also a close friend of mine. I know Each collection has its own inspirations and direction derived from various walks of life focusing on denim but always with a ‘playfulness’ in mind.

 

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Do you have a favourite style that you’ve created over the years? 

As my role is CEO for Australasia I’m not involved with design whatsoever but I would say that the ‘style’ our designer (Martin) has created is so fun or playful that it allows customers to pursue their own style. There are sooooo many ways that the brand can be worn and that’s the interesting part for me. For example; when we, the company, all meet once a year there are about 100 staff all wearing and sharing the same samples but no one looks the same, its inspiring how people interpret the brand in their own way.

 

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Otto Breton Stripe L/S Tee | Samuel Logo Sweatshirt

 


What is something not that many people know about you or your brand?

I found it crazy that after working with the brand for nearly 20 years that loads of people don’t know that we offer Free Repairs Forever with every pair of jeans sold. We have been telling this message for a long time but I still meet customers all the time that don’t know this.

 

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Lean Dean - Dry 16 Dips | Grim Tim - Dry Ever Black


What has been the absolute highlight of your brand / career to date?    

Highlight from a brand perspective would be when we shifted the entire denim collection to 100% Organic cotton in 2012. This was not an easy achievement given at the time there was not a readily available supply of cotton. As for highlight of my career; there isn’t one particular moment but an ongoing relationship of trust and respect that the 3 private owners have empowered me to take their brand into my hands and develop (in my personal opinion) the best denim brand in the world across Australasia. Today I have been part of opening 8 (Repair) stores in Australia, 1 in Bangkok and 2 in Jakarta whilst positioning the brand in the market in a long-term capacity. This is my dream ‘job’ and love every day that I proudly represent Nudie Jeans.

 

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Nudie Jeans Paddington Store 

What are you listening to right now?  

Giving this new Taylor Swift album a go (guilty pleasure) but loving the new group called “Bronson” formed by my brother in law (whom goes by the stage name “Golden Features”) and US sensation “Odesza”.. great tunes…

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Taylor Swift Folklore | Odesza

What are you watching at the moment?

Everything and anything on Netflix. Finished everything. Really waiting for all the great shows to start back up again like Ozark, Hand Maidens Tale, Ray Donovan, and a bunch of others.

Describe your style in three words: 

Collective, 80’s, denim

What’s your daily go-to outfit? 

I’ve been breaking in a pair of the newest Nudie jeans denim fit about to launch called “Gritty Jackson” is a modern take on a classic straight fit. I’m in love. Vintage tee and long-sleeve Nudie jeans shirt made from Lyocell plus a hat as my hair is terrible right now.

 

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What’s the best advice you’ve ever been  given? 

One of the best things that resonated with me was back in 2002 when an esteemed colleague reminded me to “not worry what other brands/competitors/stores etc are doing and use that energy to focus on what YOU are doing”. Seems so obvious but hearing this from this person said a lot and still holds true to this day.

What should every guy have in his wardrobe? 

A pair of Nudie jeans of course. I always think about this (as unbiased as possible) but what a great item to have a pair of worn in jeans that you have broken-in and have the ability to drop off anywhere we have a repair location in the world to keep them going. What a great hand-me-down for your children or keep as a collectable.

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Nudie Jerry Jacket - Pacific Worn | Steady Eddie - Dry Selvage


What’s your favourite thing about living in Sydney? 

The ability to drive 10 minutes and swim in some of the best beaches in the world.

Can you share with us any of your local hidden gems? 
10 William St Paddington and then walk next door to William’s Chocolates

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10 William Street, Paddington


Where is your favourite destination of all time and why? 

I would have to say Hawaii as I grew up in cold-ass Canada and was very fortunate to go there for annual holiday as kids where I grew up surfing and love for the ocean and wildlife. Since then; I have continued the tradition starting with getting married on the island of Kauai and taking my 3 kids there whenever possible (or when the USD isn’t terrible).. but LOVE LOVE Italy too!

Where to from here, what’s next for Nudie Jeans? 
Pushing the envelope in the sustainability space is always top focus whilst making great products and I’m in love with the products more than ever. Developing our Repair Shops and seeking new locations around the globe has been a priority to ensure customers can have their jeans repaired in the city they live in. Few new fits are also coming in this year combined with the launch of our Women’s collection now in store and gaining strong momentum with new collections in coming months!

 

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