I have been lucky enough to know the Candiani’s for a few years now. My first memories are from my early days at trend forecasting company Stylesight, where I would attend the Denim by Premiere Vision fabric trade show in Paris. I think it would have been in 2010 that a friend of mine first introduced me to Alberto Candiani, 4th generation son of the famed Italian denim mill.

Since the denim industry is a tight-knit community, gradually friendships are formed as you are thrown together season on season at industry events, trade shows and parties. I have, over the years, become friendly with the whole team and am proud to count them as my close industry buddies. There are many companies in denim doing wonderful things but Candiani are at the top of that list, and for good reason. You don’t stay in business for 80 years simply by being good. You stay there by being excellent, being forward-thinking, disruptive and experimental and by challenging yourself, your company and the industry.

About six months ago I was asked to work with Candiani on this project, creating a video to celebrate the mill’s historic background and what the future holds. Over a meal here in LA (of Pizza, naturally) we all talked about Candiani; the history, the stories and the legacy that each generation has shaped. I have been lucky enough to visit the mill in Robecchetto, set in the Valle Del Ticino; a protected natural park just 40 mins south of Milan. What struck me, beyond the obvious impressions of size, history, technology and all-round awesomeness, was their ability to stop work, have lunch and bond.

So in this short film I set out to tell the story of The Candiani’s. I wanted to convey the fact that the most important things in life are friendship, family and human connection. Whatever you make in life and whatever you do, do it with passion, innovation and a warm, Italian-style heart.

Happy birthday Luigi, Gianluigi, Alberto, Julian and all of the extended Candiani family!

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Trend forecaster, denim designer, industry journalist and author of Denim Dudes.