The Fashion Folk S01 ep11 : Roy Christou, Christou Fashion, [Melbourne]
Interview with Roy Chistou
Some denim I have used is too good, and it just takes forever to bash up. The manufacturer of the fabric will spend so long making this bullet fabric and then only for me to come along and think, it has cost me too much money to fuck it up. Or they will make a denim that is really tight in its weave and I will want one that is looser in its weave so that it can release the fibres, so it is a bit hairier, there are all different aspects to everything.
KM What is Roy?
It is something I have found myself drawn into.
KM How did you get here?
Through being unable to find anything that I wanted to buy.
Yeah, so I just started by making shirts and....
KM When was this, how old were you?
I was 24
KM Were you born here?
I was born in the U.K. I worked for Aramis, as the first male grooming
consultant in the U.K. my claim to fame, did that for a couple of years and got
out of there.
After being there for 3 years and coming back and what was in fashion then
here I looked at with big eyes and thought where the hell did that come from.
KM How would you describe what you do?
It has to have some form of design element whether it be in the garment, or
the cut of it, something tweaked.
I don't know how I ended up just doing denim, My main point of starting up was
to make everything out of cotton. I'll even damage it in machines, which is
something I have always done, so when the customer gets it is a bit harder for
them to damage it as I have already done it and it ends up that it is supposed
to be like that.
KM What can you do with denim that hasn't already been done?
Pretty much everything has been done, and I think that the art is to not do
anything to it at all, that is what will be.....
KM That is coming full circle?
Yeah. It was interesting in the beginning using hand tools, and electric power
tools on it.
KM What, are you serious?
KM What do you mean using electric power tools on it?
You just go to the hardware shop and buy grinders and things...
KM Really and then what? People are looking for just that?
I don't know if that is what they were looking for but they ended up looking for
it, you know it used to be stone wash, and acid wash, now it is power tool
Some denim I have used is too good, and it just takes forever to bash up.
KM Oh really,
So the manufacturer of the fabric will spend so long making this bullet proof
fabric and then only for me to come along and think, it has cost me too much
money to fuck it up. Or they will make a denim that is really tight in its weave
where I will want one that is looser in its weave so that it can release the
fibres, so it is a bit hairier, there are all different aspects to everything.
KM Where do you get your denim from?
Local, local market.
KM They actually manufacture it in Australia?
KM What is the difference between the local denim and the imported denim?
Oh, just accessibility even I don't know it is like trying to make an average, the
way I do it, it is like making an average denim good. Where you can buy
overseas denim and you don't have to do so much work to it, it is what you
want, it achieves what you want with a rinse wash, whereas I know the stuff
here through experience, and lots of it, like I said it is just heaps of work to get
it to what you want it to do. Australian people try too hard.
KM Is that what it is?
Yeah, we've got the best denim in the world - it won't tear. We want it to tear!
We want it to fade! We want to get it to where it is going quicker.
KM How long have you been doing this for?
Five years, six years including this one.
KM And before?
Ten years in women’s wear, with a women’s wear label
KM What was that called? Roy as well?
No, we don't need to know.
KM O.K. sure but when you were doing the women’s clothes was it different to
doing this sort of stuff?
Oh yeah, completely, but then the market was different as well, it was a lot
sharper .... if you put holes in it, they would say "Ah there is a hole in it?"
KM Is there enough in denim to keep you motivated, if you know what I mean?
KM What is the next step Roy?
Who knows. You don't know until you start on it
KM When did you first start playing with this sort of stuff?
Ah about 15 years ago, everyone was wearing Levi's belted in, pulled up high,
blah blah, blah and in this other business I had started making jeans for chics
and boys wanted them so I just....that particular jean was unisex and they
were low ....
KM and off they went.
Off they went.
The funniest thing is when I thought I wasn't going to do it anymore, and I went
to North Africa and I'm in Morocco at the pool side and I met this Aussie guy
and we were talking, blah, blah, blah and by the time I get back to Australia
having gone around the world a bit wanting to get back into.....I found myself
not wanting to be in business but being dragged back into it and then finding
this store I wanted, finding out that it was this guys store that I had met in
KM You're kidding?
No, I rang him up and said.... he said it is your lucky day and off I went from
KM So this guy you met in Morocco at the swimming pool, had this store
Yeah, had the store yeah.
KM and just by accident
From that I thought well, looks like it is meant to be.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Roy Christou, Christou Fashion, Melbourne