The main focus of denim designers is to make a new garment look old. Enzymes can produce great results, without polluting the environment. In 1952 Carlsberg mapped a protein degrading enzyme for the first time. We shared this discovery with the world, kickstarting groundbreaking progress in technology and industry.
I like denim. It’s very democratic. Anybody that wears jeans doesn’t look like a poor guy or a rich guy. They can be used by anybody.
I’m Piero Turk and I’m a denim designer. Denim designer means that I work in all the areas of the denim. I work with denim mills to develop fabrics. I work with laundries to develop washes. I work with brands to develop their collections.
I live in Treviso. It’s a small village in North East of Italy. Living in Treviso is not bad – because I’m not really always in Treviso. I travel all around the world for my work. I like that when I come back home it’s not stressful at all – but honestly it’s a bit boring.
When the story of garment treatment started – we started using simple techniques, adding chlorine bleach to the water – to make the pant lighter. Then adding stones – then spraying sand or chemicals in some areas to have contrast on the pant.
This is where I develop all my new ideas – about finishing and different treatments on the denims. All of the different treatments and technologies and techniques – are used just for one thing. To make a new pant look like an old pant. Of course the big problem that the industry is trying to avoid – is polluting. With enzymes you avoid this. The discovery of enzymes has made a big change in the denim world. You spray the enzyme on the garment. The technology is really good – because with spraying the enzymes you can save a lot of water. Using enzymes you more or less have the same effect as with stones – and it means polluting much less.
I started working with denim not because I wanted to. I don’t have a design background. My background is totally different. At the university I studied medicine. I wanted to be a psychiatrist. But then I couldn’t finish college, so I asked a friend of my family – who had a company in this area, if I could work with him, and he said ‘yes’. That company was making casual jeans collections in the 80’s. Doing that I found out that I love that. So I kept my passion. I’m still learning a lot. You never stop to learn.
I can find inspiration mostly from vintage garments. I love them because I can guess – and try to imagine the life of people wearing them – in the 30’s and 40’s and 50’s. So they have their own life, they tell you a story. The denim is the fabric of workers. All these garments were used by workers. So you can see and guess the different kinds of work, they were doing. Of course, this one… was a painter.
It think the future of denim is to find a way to produce it – that is respecting the planet.