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Start Your Business Entrepreneurs

Small Business Snapshot: FIGI Jeans

Small Business Snapshot: FIGI Jeans Credit: FIGI Jeans

Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. Founded in 2014, FIGI Jeans produces a line of denim that brings artists' work to life on clothing. Diane Carleton, FIGI's creative director and designer, shares how this photo represents her company.

Carleton explains...

FIGI Jeans is a contemporary denim line taking classic American fits in jeans, tees and jean jackets that imitate the canvas of an emerging artist. This could be an allover print or it might be splashed with paint, torn and rubbed with resin. Each line will showcase an artist and the expressiveness and artfulness of their work will lead us to the processes used in applying it to the clothing of FIGI Jeans.

My partner and I both have a passion for art. We also have a compassion for those that pursue their art even when it does not provide for the most comfortable life. I have designed jean lines for many years and the idea came to us to start FIGI Jeans by incorporating the artwork of contemporary artists to provide exposure and some revenue.

The photo above is a leg panel submitted for production alongside the approved standard. In order to do justice to the artist’s work there are several steps that are carefully followed in professionally and digitally shooting the artwork with high resolution and then utilizing a printer with the capacity to get the definition of design and calibration of the colors correct. The photo shows that this is not a process that is usually done in one try.   

Our challenge in taking a piece of art, which sometimes is a collage of mixed media, and making it a wearable piece that can be laundered. We push the boundaries of what is possible. Sometimes we alter previous processes while we seek to represent the artist’s work on a pair of jeans. I have had long conversations with print and wash houses, as well as, sewing factories on how we can best achieve our objective of making washable and wearable art from an existing inspiration.

Nicole Fallon Taylor

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the managing editor. Reach her by email, or follow her on Twitter.