Denim Refinery

Turn your denim disasters (we're looking at you Britney and Justin) into stylish new creations with the click of a button

In the Curl // Sarah Hardt // 05/03/12
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Denim Refinery LA


Denim Refinery Australia


Denim Refinery Germany


Denim Refinery New York

Denim. Synonymous to cowboys, Levi Strauss and a young Brooke Shields, you'd be hard pressed to find one closet free of a pair of the trusty blues. Easier to find are those pieces that you just can't seem to part with. Janet Sung had all of this in mind when she started Denim Refinery, an online service that lets you give your denim a facelift. Mail your jeans into Denim Refinery and a whole menu of "refinements," including color, wash, distressing, dipping, and printing, is at your fingertips. Don't have an old pair to spare? The site also includes shopDR, a curated online boutique that stocks the best vintage and premium denim already refined in a plethora of creative ways.

Launching today, "Culture Shock" is a new exclusive collection to shopDR that celebrates the diverse international customers of Denim Refinery. The UK, US, Germany, Korea, and Australia are all represented in this line of vintage, one of-a-kind denim jackets lasered with images unique to each country. Here, founder Janet Sung helps fix our denim dilemmas:

What's different about your denim customization process?
I'm simply taking a part of a person's closet that already exists and reconceptualizing it, ideally giving it a few more years of wear. Every garment that comes through the factory is treated with an industry-wash and softening procedure. The difference in that is dramatic; where else can you transform a pair of stiff jeans to feel like a jersey tee? That's why I like to call it "refining"; you bought them for a reason, make them something you love again.

Give us an example.
Just recently I had a customer send in her vintage dirty wash Levi's jacket. It had these beautiful natural whiskers on the back from the previous owner, and she wanted to treat it with our splatter refinement. It's really amazing to think that we just added a layer to the history and character of the jacket.

The new Culture Shock collection celebrates Denim Refinery's customers from around the world. What's the farthest one of these creations have travelled?
It's a tie between Australia and Russia.

We all know denim and rock and roll have long gone hand in hand. Which rockstar would be your dream denim customization customer?
Debbie Harry, she rocked street, classic, and feminine style together effortlessly.

What is your most prized denim possession?
I have a pair of vintage boyfriend jeans that I wear to death. They honestly go with everything, so I have a hard time wearing anything else out. I've been meaning to distress a few other pairs so I have more than one option!

To start your denim makeover visit Denim Refinery here.

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