MEET THE PERSON #4 Gerold Brenner

Today the 4th episode of the topic Meet the Person. This topic Meet the Person is about passionate people, people in the denim industry with a clear focus, mind-set and initiatives. In Meet the Person I will give you an insight into their life; who are they, what are they doing, what makes them so special, where are they working on, etc. etc. The fourth episode of Meet the Person is with Gerold Brenner, designer and trend forecaster. Thanks for sharing your story Gerold!

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Gerold Brenner

  • Name: Gerold Brenner
  • Living in village & country: Zürich, Switzerland
  • Age: 55 years
  • Instagram ID: geroldbrenner
  • Number of Instagram followers: 12k
  • Website -> under construction
  • Daily work: Designer; developer pattern and sewing and trend forecaster

Can you introduce yourself:

I’m Gerold Brenner and I have learned for bespoken tailor and studied fashion design. I have worked for more than 25 years as a designer, product manger and head of design for different companies in Germany and Europe in the mid-fashion segment. Since 3 years I’m working as a freelance designer and doing trend forecast as ‘Trendbrenner’. I founded two years ago my collection ‘Brenner my denim soul’, which is a bag and accessories collection of up-cycling denim. At the moment I’m beginning with a small fashion collection of up-cycled and organic denim. Since some years I reflect about men skirt and tunics and will start a little collection with these items too!

How did you entered the denim industry:

As designer I worked for different companies and they all had a denim collection in their range. It was not their main product. Step by step I developed my own passion for denim and the idea of a sustainable product with denim. I’m thinking green, slow fashion with up-cycling, re-cycling and organic as basis.

What are you doing at the moment:

Besides trend forecast for different companies, I’m doing my first steps for apparels of up-cycling denim which is very individual and crafted. It’s against the throwaway society and preparing some pieces of organic hand-woven denim as well. I want to make experiences with natural indigo dye and preparing some men skirt styles, not only in denim.

Where are you the most proud of so far as it comes to your work:

I’m proud to work against the bad conditions of people and environment in the fashion business. Through the depreciation of clothes and the work force in the fashion business of the last 20 years I think it’s important to bring value back to clothes.

Besides this I want to open eyes and brain for new ideas, because I think the most are doing uniformed boredom. I want to bring men skirts, tunics etc. Back to western minded men, because many men were wearing skirts and skirt similar garments in their traditional wear. It’s a part of fusion and cosmopolitan union.

What’s the biggest denim trend(s) right now in your opnion:

To go with denim the next step will be new shapes, give individuality to denim to experiment with this material. Show people that there is more than just a 5 pocket, denim shirt and a denim jacket which you already see for more than 60 years.

On the other side, the small brands offering customized jeans and denim pieces.

All the Japanese inspirations are very interesting, like kimono elements to transfer on denim. And not to forget the workwear inspirations of all continents.

And what would be the next denim trend:

Individuality

Organic denim

Handmade and handwoven

Sartorial and couture inspirations

Slow fashion

What’s your favorite denim brand(s):

The Kapital brand from Japan. I know there are a lot of little brands I love and I adore, but I love the play of denim by Kapital and that they surprise always. Fore sure the big global players like Levi’s or Lee are an evergreen in special with there specialized collections.

Where is your inspiration coming from:

From traveling, from other cultures and history.

Another inspiration is the pollution, the climate change and the inhuman condition of people working in our world… so it’s important to change this conditions.

The internet, because I meet here many people I would never meet in personal life, from all over the world. I can correspond with them and put them on my travel list. 

What’s your favorite denim item in your closet en why:

Oh a lot, not so easy to answer…I think it’s my first up-cycled denim bag with boro and sashiko stitching, because it brought me to a new business. The bag is my daily companion since 3 years now. Another favorite in my closet is my handmade long boro tunic shirt.

(Last picture was taken in the Swiss Jeansmuseum from denim collector Ruedi Karrer)

What’s your favorite denim fit:

Looser styles, I’m not the skinny fan. My Levi’s Vintage Lot 201 No.2 or my Lee anglomania by Vivienne Westwood.

What’s your favorite denim city:

Tokyo. I think Okayama is very intersting for denim, but I have never been there.

Who’s your favorite denim designer:

There are some designers experiment with denim but not only with denim, I really love their new handling. Here are some of them:

Norton Folgate of Paymaster Garment & Stuff, Kai.D Fan, Yui Narita of Brown Tabby Osaka, Maurizio Donadi of Atelier & Repairs, Nigel Cabourn, Paul Kruize (for his craftmanship), Faustine Steinmetz (for her artistic and free-spirited handling with denim). There are a lot more I admire for their denim work!

What do you think it’s the best invention in the denim industry:

The selvage edge and it’s revival. And for sure one of the 3 pieces should be in every wardrobe;

  • five-pocket
  • denim shirt
  • denim jacket

Who’s your denim hero & why:

The Japanese society. I know that’s very global, but the craftsmanship Japan preserve till today is unique and they honour this culture and the value of products till today.

What’s your favorite denim store:

VMC Store in Zürich.

What are your ultimate denim accessories:

Think there are some…my denim Birkenstock, my boro/ sashiko waist band (a proto type and one of my first crafted denim pieces) and my new fisherman cap which I’ve just finished.

What’s your favorite inspiration quote:

Cultures and the ethnical history.

Who do you love to see in the next Meet the Person:

Philip Rudjeanski of Balagans.

Read also the previous episodes of Meet the Person;

Meet the Person #1: Amy Leverton (Denim Dudes): here.

Meet the Person #2: Jacques Grosz (Kiliwatch store Paris): here.

Meet the Person #3: Guido Biondi (Roy Roger’s): here.

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Written by Wouter
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine I'm working as a freelance marketing specialist for brands and retail. Specialized in denim.