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Designer rogan gregory expands his empire

April 27, 2006

Denim don Rogan Gregory got his first taste of fashion stardom thanks to a simple pair of jeans he designed for mega-retailer the Gap in the late 90’s. His jeans, part of Gap’s heritage “1969” collection were an homage to the worn-in romance of a great pair of jeans- back when wearing jeans was a countercultural statement in and of itself. It was a matter not just of aesthetics, but of timing as well. There were few options out there for the denim lover looking for the great fit, comfort and style of vintage denim, which was growing scarce thanks to a bull market in vintage american workwear overseas.

The ensuing years brought an onslaught of designer denim, which took the Levi’s archetype and tricked it out with fancy washes and all manner of factory fresh distressing including fades, rips and the ubiquitous “whiskering” around the crotch and knees. Luckily for Gregory, his debut collection under the name Rogan was a step ahead of the competition as he’d rigorously sourced the finest denim he could find and made sure that every pair was hand-detailed so as never to have that “made to look old” affect so many lesser jeans possess. The accolades were fast and furious and Gregory’s sophisticated brand of workwear grew into a full men’s and women’s collection sold at boutique retailers worldwide.

In 2004, he launched his second company, Loomstate, an all-organic offshoot of his signature aesthetic. Loomstate was quickly followed by Edun a similarly politicized brand focused on a social rather than environmental agenda. Owned by Gregory and U2 singer Bono and his wife Ali Hewson, Edun is manufactured in economically depressed regions of the world, including India and Africa, bringing trade and economic opportunity rather than simply supporting traditional aid programs. 2005 saw the launch of Gregory’s bespoke suit line A Litl Betr, which takes Rogan’s signature craftsmenship and homespun elegance into the formal wear market.

As if all these endeavors weren’t enough, Gregory has also found time to found the first Rogan retail store in his former showroom on Manhattan’s Franklin Street in TriBeCa and Rogan Objects, a furniture offshoot of what’s becoming quite the hydra-headed empire of style. Using recycled wood from barns in Upstate New York, cold-formed flat steel, hand-blown glass and tooling leather, he’s translated the “rugged resourcefulness” of his clothing lines into a furniture collection that’s both inviting and elegant, modern and handcrafted. Who know’s what’s next, but a home decor from a guy once profiled in a magazine for having his whole apartment carpeted in denim somehow makes perfect sense.

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