BEHIND THE SCENES WITH ROLLAS DESIGN DUO
Alchemy magazine recently interviewed the design guru's behind Rollas Jeans - Andy Paltos and Sarah Gilsenan.
The creative duo discuss their backgrounds in the industry, their inspiration and of course all things denim.
Tell me a little about yourselves. Where are you from and how did you both meet?
We both grew up in coastal towns south of Melbourne and met whilst working for Wrangler Australia many years later!
You both come from strong denim backgrounds. How did you each get started in the fashion industry?
Sarah – My mother is a dressmaker so I learned to sew early on. I was always making my own stuff and scouring for vintage and it grew from there. Industry-wise, I started out in denim retail and ended up buying for a few iconic Melbourne denim stores. I then moved into wholesale, learning as much as I could all the way from everyone I worked with.
Andy – I’m a trained graphic designer and textile designer, but denim was always where my heart was. It was all about jeans and wheels – old cars, skateboards, bikes - I loved them all. In my late teens, ‘60’s cars became somewhat of an obsession for me, which led to vintage clothing and denim. They seemed to go hand in hand. I then started collecting tons of vintage denim I found, but the fit was never quite right, which got me started on customisation. The more I got into it, the more I fell in love with it. I started adding darts, patching, running the legs in, bleaching, painting them with house paint etc. I experimented constantly, which eventually led me to working in a denim specialist store and being approached by the creative designer at Lee and Wrangler for a design job. I have spent the last 10 years or so designing for global denim brands.
What inspired you to start ROLLAS together?
We have always shared a really similar aesthetic and often had the same ideas in terms of bigger picture stuff and business ideas. We wanted to break away from working for a big, traditional, global denim brand, and doing something closer to our hearts that we could personally connect with.
What are your favourite styles to work with and why?
Sarah – I love a high-waist classic slim leg. I just think they are timeless and flattering. The high waist elongates the leg, and the skinny silhouette is easy to style back with everything from huge cardigans to trainers and everything in between.
Andy – Black and skinny. I have personally always loved this look, and also believe it is a look in the global denim market which has not yet reached its peak.
How would you define the style your line exemplifies?
We always aim for simple, relaxed and a little sexy.