Find a Way

During the Agave 2012 Road Trip image campaign shoot in the California Redwoods I stumbled upon these trees and took this photo.  Life can be very challenging.  This photo symbolized my view on the best way to deal with those challenges. The photo says it all.

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Szafir

I have always been in love with the color blue.  It began as a simple child’s love of the color of the sky and water.   My blue love grew when I started surfing around age 12 and scuba diving at 13.  At around age 14, I start making ceramics and cobalt glaze became my favorite.  Eventually I also fell in love with denim jeans.  I became a jean designer and spend hours daily reviewing the shade and hue of Agave denim fabrics and washes.  Over the last few years I have acquired many blue shoes, blue vehicles and blue stones.  All of this makes total sense because my real name is not really Shafer but Szafir.  Szafir is the polish word for sapphire.

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Juxtapose

I just love the juxtaposition of these two elements.  Each one makes the other seam even more beautiful in a way that I would have never expected.  Juxtaposition is one of my favorite ideas in art and life.  The more unexpected the more interesting…

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Gold Coast

I grew up surfing the local Santa Barbara breaks from Rincon to Jalama.  This is a map of where my friends and i spent most of our time when we were not in school or at work.  The water was clean, the air was cool and crisp, the waves were great and the friendships were amazing.  Some of the best and most beautiful days of my life…

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My Lil Buddy

There is no symbol of American denim culture more iconic than a vintage Buddy Lee doll.  Only a vintage Levi’s western banner or a pair of Big E’s come close.  I have been in love with Cowboy Buddy since the first time I saw him when I was a kid.  I have wanted one since I re-discovered him in Japanese Denim magazines in the early ’90′s.  This one is in my home and came to me through my friend David who is a vintage dealer & collector.  He is in perfect condition with beautiful raw denim, copper burrs and rivets, scarf and cowboy hat.

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Ferrari Craft

Last summer I was in Italy with my family and we decided to visit the Ferrari Museum.  This exhibit to me was one of the most interesting.  In the design process of a Ferrari, first a clay model is sculpted into the exact shape of the desired car.  Then a wire frame, as the one shown, is constructed based on the model.  Then sheet metal is wrapped around the frame to create the shape of the car in metal and this becomes the foundation of the geometry of the chassis.  Each one of the wire frames are made entirely by hand with to the exact specification of the engineer.  The level of skill and perfection required to make this wire frame is almost unimaginable.  True artistry that the Italians are so brilliant at.

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Plate 67

There is just something a about strong, beautiful and intelligent woman that I find irresistible. (Duh… check out Lauren).  Dressed in black leather and on a hot bike only adds to the formula.  Make that bike a classic Italian cafe racer puts it over the top.  Putting the number “67″ (my old plate) is just too much for me to handle.  Now you see why I find this photo so inspirational.

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Forbidden Fruit

All great brands must start somewhere.  Usually it’s the result of some need that an innovator finds the first solution to.  Some of the best brands were started by serendipitous luck.  Others after years of research.  Apple was started in a garage by two renegade kids named Steve in California.  One was in a genius engineer who wanted to give their product away.  The other was a “once a century” visionary who wanted to sell a million of them at crazy high prices.  Regardless of what they intended the Apple 1 and Apple 2 were a huge hits that propelled apple through years of non winners including Lisa and early Mac.  Personal Computers started with this Apple 1 computer, eh board… input device and output device sold separately.  Woz called this a “thing of beauty”.  Jobs was already dreaming of iPads…

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True Love

I have owned and driven many outstanding automobiles and motorcycles in my life.   Over time, the novelty and excitement wanes, the spell wears off and the car is traded or sold.  True love is when the spark doesn’t fade and the love and appreciation gets stronger over time.  My first true love is my wife Lauren.  My second is my Golden Retriever “Sweetie” (I love you too Ziggy!).  My other true love is my blue beast.  Lauren won’t let me post of photo of her so you are stuck having to look at my Audi.  Happy New Year.

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Blue Christmas

In the denim world there are lots of different types of companies and designers.  Most, unfortunately, lack real creativity and are simply making a product at a target price and it happens to be indigo blue.  Some are in love with a historical period or a historical reference and simply copy it.  Some are inspired by the past and based on those references create their version or interpretation of it.  Then there are those creatives who make something and call it a blue jean but it is far from it!  The best designers are part tailor, part artist, part inventor and part craftsman.  They live in laundries, fit sessions, libraries and fabric mills researching ideas to make a wonderful product that moves our industry forward.  Very few are true visionaries and icons of our industry.  People and companies I put in this elite class are Francois Girbaud [Girbaud], Adriano Goldschmeid [Goldsign], Pierre Morisette [G-Star], Jacob Davis & Levi Strauss (Levi’s] , Renzo Rosso [Diesel] and Panos Sofianos [Denim Valley]. There are a few more at this level but not many. Panos is the fabric designer of the Denim Valley line of Royo, located in Spain.  He is a master innovator who embraces all the available tools to move forward on sustainability [organic cotton, recycled cotton, lyocel, recycled polyester] while at the same creating authentic and wonderful denim.

This photo is Denim Valley’s holiday card.

Happy Holidays!

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