While attending Magu Studios’ release party at iLTHY in Cleveland, I met Brian Kupieck, one of the brand’s creators. I was very impressed with what I saw there, as well as with the quality of their jeans which are made of hemp fibers. Brian and Valentin Gakov are the pioneers of hemp denim, and they plan to be the number one hemp denim company in the world! Say hello to the future Kings of Denim.
WRiTTEN BY: Khrystian McCalister
KM: How did Magu Studios come to be?
Valentin: It was about two years ago. We were always into buying premium jeans and understanding what goes into making a dope pair. We came up with the idea to start producing some high quality jeans out of Cleveland, coming from Japan the specialists in denim and fabric.
KM: Did anything specifically inspire you to create your own brand?
Valentin: We just wanted to make something that would be high quality that stands out.
Brian: We wanted to add to the culture, and put Cleveland on the map in the fashion industry. Denim is right up Cleveland’s alley too because of Cleveland workwear.
KM: What is so special about having a pair of good jeans?
Valentin: It’s all about the quality of the fabric, which is why Japan is the best at making denim. They have been cultivating and producing cotton and traditional Japanese Fabric since the 16th century. I like the industrial, thick, nice quality from Japanese denim. It’s about where they came from, and how they were manufactured.
Brian: The fit and the details matter. You can have the nicest fabric, but if you don’t like the fit it doesn’t matter.
Valentin: It’s also about culture. Nudies started the organic thing with denim.
KM: What are your jeans made of?
Brian: We use hemp fibers. I traveled to Okayama, Japan which is the birthplace of denim. That is where we source our fabrics. I even met the owner of the hemp plants.
KM: Why did you choose hemp?
Valentin: It’s four times as durable as cotton, and it is very soft after about 2 years of wear. It’s extremely soft. It also uses less water and land to create, making it very sustainable. It isn’t contaminated by any pesticides, either. One of the main reasons we use hemp is to stand out.
Brian: We also found out that the hemp denim has a unique fade to them that differs from cotton. It’s pretty cool.
Valentin: Hemp has really good retention strength, as well. We suggest that you buy our jeans as tight as possible, because the fabric has about an inch of give after your wear them for 2 weeks. After a wash they don’t shrink but instead, they begin to mold to your form. It’s like wearing a second skin.
KM: What does the production process entail?
Brian: There is a lot of attention to detail and craftsmanship. Most of our production is done in Japan, we mostly just do the designing. Our jeans are made in Japan, and it takes about 3 month just to weave the hemp fabric.It takes antoher 1 1/2 months for the stitching. There are only 100 seats in the production facility, so consumers don’t have to worry about our product being produced in something like a sweatshop.
Valentin: Outsourcing is more expensive, but the quality of our jeans and the history of the city they are made in can’t be bought.
KM: What is your target market?
Valentin: Jeans are for everyone. Our target market would be people who have respect for quality, and want to have something new and cool.
Brian: People who are into culture and have respect for the value of things. We want buying and wearing our jeans to be an experience for the customer.
KM: What were some of your feelings during the official release?
Valentin: I was surprised by the turnout at our release. It was cool to get a lot of support from people we’ve never even seen. We also got support from some dope, respectable people in Cleveland like Ezze and Tezo. They showed love in The Land.
Brian: A lot of people brought up how they were both shocked and excited to see something like this coming out of Cleveland.
KM: How has the city of Cleveland influenced the growth of Magu Studios?
Brian: The love that people have for each other in this city is like nowhere else that I have ever been. Everybody who is “above us” in Cleveland wants to help uplift us, because they believe in our vision.
Valentin: iLTHY hooked us up with promotion and a space for our event. I feel like something like that wouldn’t happen anywhere else. People were really going out of their way to support us here.
KM: Why should your brand have a space in everyone’s closet?
Valentin: They’re my favorite jeans. I like the fact that the jeans break into my fit and my silhouette over a period of time. It’s all specific to the wearer. After 2 years, they look different than how you bought them which adds to the experience of wearing them. Our jeans are sustainable and non commercialized, we do it the best!
Brian: Why not have Magu Studios in your closet?
KM: What is the most popular selling item?
Brian: Our Raw Denim Jeans.
KM: What is your favorite thing about creating your own textile?
Brian: I like being able to experiment with things that no one has experimented with before. Being able to innovate with a textile that is good for people and the environment is what I like the most about it.
Valentin: I think that being able to have originality and doing your thing is the reason that we are alive. Us being able to put our own twist on a product that no one has seen before is pretty cool. The coolest part is when we put all our effort into building this brand up and finally, having people come to our pop up shop and seeing their reaction to what we created.
KM: Do you plan on collaborating with any other clothing lines?
Valentin: Definitely. That’s right up our alley.
KM: What are some of your future goals and aspirations?
Brian: Our next big piece we are going to produce will probably be jean jackets. Our next couple of releases will show our creative stamp on our work. We are excited about getting creative and innovative with our designs. We want to be the go-to source of hemp garments in the fashion industry.
Valentin: We want to be the number one hemp denim company in the world. Ten years from now, we want to be known as the originators. We want to integrate our garments into a wider market about 5 years down the line.
IG – @magustudios