2015-11-02 - “We thought again and again that what we wanted to create simply wasn’t possible!” - Annegien Polderman, Lead Engineer, Bugaboo. We talk to the team in charge of designing and creating the new Bugaboo by Diesel Denim collection, available now. What does it take to make a masterpiece of engineering? The beauty is all in the details.
For our second collaboration with Italian fashion label Diesel, we focused on one of Diesel’s main pillars: denim. “When people think about Diesel, they usually think about three things: military, denim and a rock and roll. These are the key pillars. Diesel is rooted in denim and it’s the strongest element of our DNA.” says Andrea Rosso, creative director at Diesel.
From sketch to prototype: two companies, three countries and an incredibly complex production process. “The idea was so simple, but the process of getting to the finished product was anything but straightforward. It’s taken a whole year, from sketch to shop floor.” Bugaboo’s Lead Engineer, Annegien Polderman explains.
The process involved a tightly knit collaboration between the two companies, which took this idea on a journey from Diesel’s main outpost in Breganze, Italy, to Bugaboo’s head office in Amsterdam and to Bugaboo’s own factory in Xiamen, China. And back again!
“Our inspiration was to take Diesel’s iconic jeans and put them in a new and totally unexpected form. We worked closely with the experts on denim at Diesel to create an aged and gorgeously finished fabric to give a completely new take on the Bugaboo Buffalo.”
“Our first big challenge as a team was how to come up with a totally unique, yet instantly recognizable look. With a design like this, it’s all about the details!” says Annegien.
“What is great in terms of treatment is the use of a ‘Pollock’ technique: the distressed denim fabric features paint splatters in various denim hues - that makes every single piece unique.” Andrea Rosso, Diesel.
“We were at Diesel’s head office in Italy for this part, which is a wonderland of denim. We spent our time sketching, looking at roll after roll of different denim fabrics, making mood boards and samples. Our big decision was to work out the exact look of the denim. The stitching, the age, the texture, and the level of distressing on the material.”
After lots of hard core designing, many hours of detailed work and of course lots of back and forth, the team finished the design and created two prototypes. One was unveiled to Renzo Rosso, the founder of Diesel in Italy, and the other to Max Barenbrug, founder of Bugaboo in Amsterdam. They both loved it!
From design to production line
“Once the design was finalized by both the founders, the REAL challenge began. We had such high ambitions – so the actual process of making those dreams come to life was intense.”
“The thing was how to take the process of making a pair of jeans - which is already complex - and apply that to a stroller. Each Bugaboo by Diesel Denim is made up of almost 60 separate pieces of denim – and the matching bag has about 35 pieces. And getting the exact aged look that we wanted across all those pieces was difficult.”
And then there was the question of shrinkage. The team discovered that aging and distressing the denim made the fabric shrink by 6 to 8%. “We had to recalculate the sizes and shapes for every single piece. We thought again and again that what we wanted to create simply wasn’t possible! But we persevered and made the almost impossible happen.”
The final result includes paint spots in different places on each and every stroller, making them all different, as Andrea Rosso from Diesel explains: “What is great in terms of treatment is the use of a ‘Pollock’ technique: the distressed denim fabric features paint splatters in various denim hues - that makes every single piece unique.”
“For the first collaboration with Diesel last year we pushed the boundaries, for this one we broke right through them!” concludes Annegien from Bugaboo.
So there you have it – the making of a denim masterpiece!