My love for denim started back in the mid 80’s, when I started buying for Westside, Button street, Liverpool. We were the first in Liverpool to have accounts with Diesel, Liberto, Classic Nouveau, Fiorucci and C17 to name just a few. As I write this, I wonder how many people reading will even know these names. But back then, these brands were equivalent of stocking the latest luxury brand.

Denim was the back bone of Westside, we had every fit and wash to cater for all needs, and the funny thing is, as big as denim was at the time, for going out on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, pants, suits, shirts and smart shoes where the only way to gain entry to clubs or top bars, which I suppose is the equivalent of today where tracksuits are strictly day time and denim is now the option for a night out.

Denim stayed a constant in the majority of my career in fashion, brands have changed, rips and paint splatter became the norm, and fits became so tight with stretch they became like a pair of leggings. When I started work on MARAI, denim sales were already on the decline, lifestyle brands were ingrained into our customers buying habits. So, I started to work on the designs for our plain pant and cargo pant, getting the fit right took some time back and forth with the factories. For me, initially my thought was to still swap between denim and our pants, this quickly changed once the first delivery of our technical pants arrived. Now across both styles and all colours they are part of my everyday wardrobe, and even better, they don’t need ironing.

July 06, 2023 — Martin Webster

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