Italian fashion entrepreneur Claudio Buziol, then only 21, had a fashion epiphany when he first came across the word ‘replay’ on his TV set while watching a live telecast of the 1978 football World Cup in Argentina. What if someone were to revisit and redesign casual apparel then available, including jeans, in a style that was more reminiscent of the fashionable 1950s? He registered the name Replay and one of his earliest quests was to reimagine the classic jeans in a fashion-forward style, ‘replaying’ its textures, hues, finishes and even fits. His experiments were a success, first in Italy and then around the world.
Replay is one of the three denim brands that came out of Italy in the 1980s – the others were Diesel and Gas – that become a global success over the next two decades. Replay opened their first Indian store last month in Gurgaon and will follow it up with one in Mumbai soon. The range I saw is pretty wide; denim to shirts, jackets, accessories like shoes and bags and even some pairs from their hand-finished maestro series. The best bit is they will also be available online through Ajio. Com
As I browsed through the products at the launch, a few things stood out: they have a patented technical yarn/ fabric which when turned into jeans accommodates a regular textural feel, and yet allows for a four-way stretch. These are lightweight and yet durable; a pair of denim that fits snug but doesn’t get mistaken for tights. They call it Hyperflex+, where the synthetic stretch-yarn is wrapped all around with natural cotton, a combination that creates a unique texture and fit. Because of the nature of the fabric, customers are advised to avoid alterations and resizing. Instead, the brand provides several size options for both waist and length as well a combination of the two.
This isn’t a first by a long shot, but it is something that few brands offer, as it leads to large inventories. It also means getting the perfect fit right off the peg, without needing to have a local tailor do a hack job with the hem. This is particularly useful when buying Japanese selvedge jeans because they don’t look the same when altered by the neighbourhood tailor unless he can rework them with non-sanforised thread.
Replay, to me, has also revisited its branding a bit, taking a lot from the formal meets-casual look that is so in nowadays. I like the brand, although I feel my mind acts a lot older than my body and restrains me from indulging too much in such fits and styles. I am sure I will acquire a few choice pieces in the months to come, while I take my time to settle in comfortably with the Hyperflex+. I will then move on to the Maestro and the Selvedge finishes.