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Q&A May, 27 2009

Q&A with Donwan Harrell of PRPS

In some respects PRPS are a lot like Church’s. Like Church’s they’re well known within their respective communities and like Church’s they’re known for their purist’s approach to their products. We caught up with PRPS founder Donwan Harrell and quizzed him about the background of the company, his prior roles and how he discovered his love for denim.

Read the interview after the jump and check back tommorow for PRPS’s AW09 collection.

How would you describe PRPS?

Prps is a denim brand of the best possible quality. My design philosophy is to create a product embodies free and easy American lifestyle and culture.

How did the company come about?

As a denim collector and wearer, I wanted to create a company which didn’t exist in the market at the time. Denim with an authentic vintage look and feel of someone who was at the race track or a rally. The washes that were available in the market did not look very authentic with the heavy whiskers and fading.

Prior to PRPS, what did you do?

I was a head designer at Nike. I had also worked at Donna Karan.

How did your love of denim develop?

I’ve always worn and collected denim, but my passion really was driven so to speak as a kid by going with my father to 70’s drag races as rallies on the weekends. How the mechanics wore their jeans and the oil stains and creases and bleach spots. They were the coolest.

Did you meet opposition to the way you wanted your denim made?
I didn’t meet opposition because Prps jeans are made in Japan by artisans who pride themselves on the quality of the product, not the quantity. The cotton is woven on vintage American looms from the 1950’s, which creates premium quality durable fabrics, including the custom-made purple selvedge-edged denim.

What’s the inspiration behind the SS09 collection?

The Prps Spring / Summer 2009 collection offers men’s and women pieces that are inspired by time-tested classic denim, and sexy grunge combined with weekend luxury.

Do you have an ideal customer?

The Prps customer is the person who has everything and who wants simple product of the best quality.

What are the future plans for the company?

There a few exciting projects that I am working on which I can’t reveal at this time, but you’ll see soon enough!

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