We discovered @dasyori, aka Liam Yori about 9 months ago whilst in an instagram denim rabbit-hole and immediately we just connected with what he was doing. The energy, passion and creativity just radiates off his feed and its refreshing watching someone fearlessly share his experimental nature with his followers: trial, error, iterate, perfect, sell.

To me, Liam sums up the spirit of today’s new creative generation. When answering our questions he talked about gaining confidence and finding himself through his brand, but what’s different about Liam and many others like him, is his openness to share that with us. Liam is smart, inquisitive and resourceful; he knows what he wants and he figures out how to get it. We at denim dudes are certainly tagging along for the ride!

Hi Liam! Tell us a bit about yourself: who you are and what you do.

I’m Liam Yori and I am from the suburbs of Pennsylvania but now live in the city of Philadelphia. About a year and a half ago my friends mark (@cove030), chuff (@southsidechuff), and don (@yusodon) had been pushing to get into the music scene; Cove raps, Don is an engineer / producer / creative director, Chuff was rapping and chasing his dream to become a successful NFL player at Temple. But they really motivated me to truly find my calling, at the time I was going to to be a preschool teacher. Through just drawing and doing little things in a sketch book at late night studio sessions with my friends, @dasyori came to life.

I started sketching with fabric markers on jeans but quickly realised I didn’t like that, I then moved onto fabric paint and wasn’t really a huge fan of that either! Then I moved into dyeing and got semi into it but I then bought a heatpress and started mixing that with different dye techniques and I slowly moved away from the heat press techniques and went super in depth with dye, and really did my thing with it and mastered it after about 6 months or so. That’s when I learned how to market myself: found my style, became friends with @lildenimjean and really just started to find myself and grow as a person. It was a really big time for me just because I was really gaining a lot of confidence and I finally felt semi comfortable in myself. At that time I also started to grow on instagram and that was pretty cool.

I had some people placing custom orders and that was another confidence booster and just nice to know I was going in the right direction . Shortly after that @levagabondny dm’d me and that was a blessing from god just because I was already looking to get into printing but I wasn’t sure exactly which route I wanted to take and I was having trouble finding a spot I could go for low quantities and 1/1’s etc. From there I really found myself, I started getting regular orders, and was really starting to gain a following on instagram which just helped me market my pieces on a larger scale which made me able to expand creatively and not have to worry about money so much.

Did you do design at school or just start on your own?

I started collage in the fall of 2019 as a communications major and in October I dropped out of college officially to put all my time into my work. That was really big for me just because I was able to live off my artwork and just fully go after it, while at the same time be able to support myself.

I didn’t study design but I’m much more than just working in DIY. I have just officially became an LLC and I’m working to maintain all that and also working to create pieces from scratch in small quantities and send them out to be manufactured just because I have a lot of ideas that I have been trying to put into play which are now about to come to fruition. It’s actually crazy but I can now call my self a CEO which is mad weird for me to think about but I now have to be assertive and shit on the phone and thats new for me but that comes with everything I guess!

What is it about denim that you like?

There’s just this thing about denim and the way a pair of pants looks with a pair of Ricks it’s honestly something that you cant even put into words, to me it’s more of a feeling. Like when I wake up I’m not up until I’m in my dennies. It’s like once I get everything together; I find the right shoe for the pant (even tho I only wear like 3) its really an indescribable feeling. All I know is that I truthfully found my calling within clothes and that really stems from a strong bond with pants and I can definitely say thats really where it started.

Jeans n Ricks

Can you talk us through your creative process and how you create a pair of pants.

My process definitely changes for every piece but I would say a piece starts in my iphone notes from an idea that stemmed from something I saw, heard, remembered, learned etc. Then it goes to my notebook where I draw super rough sketches. I get the graphics to my GFX designer (@gritsandgravynyc) if its a job involving prints, if not and it’s something like an old pair of Levi’s with fabric sewn on, the next step would be getting the fabrics, then finding the perfect placement/ distressing the fabrics , then onto figuring out placement again cause that changes 1000 times, then onto choosing thread colors then onto sewing the fabric down, then distressing and aging the denim as a whole , then finished product. There’s more in there thats the gist though. If it’s a printed pair, after I go back and forth with my GFX designer until its just right then I figure out a date to drive to New York from Philadelphia to get them printed, then I’ll find the right denim color which is normally a light wash because thats my absolute favourite, then after they’re printed I’ll distress them to my liking, then you have the finished product. Those are just two processes… I’m still learning the process of sewing denim from scratch and working with manufacturers for other forms of application.

What inspires your designs?

The Americana element to my work can definitely be associated with my love for the look of the vintage advertisement and really all things vintage. As of right now I’m EXTREMELY obsessed with workwear. Inspiration is really an everyday thing for me honestly, all of my ideas really just start from seeing something or getting reminded of something by something else. But as soon as I get that idea it goes in my notes, whether it’s something I saw in nature, the side of a truck I saw driving on the highway, to something I heard someone say that I didn’t know about, or even shopping for vintage Levi’s on ebay and coming across a crazy pair that the distressing is just too perfect on.

But I really have just been studying culture in general just because I feel like growing up in the school system I learned about stuff that wasn’t necessarily the most interesting to me. So now I’m just catching up on moments in history: people, foreign countries, art, fashion, the construction of garments, old movies, old board games and just so much more. Which is where a lot of my current and past inspiration comes from.

Liam’s marble surface effect

You experiment a lot with different wash and finishes. What are some of your favourite techniques to use?

In terms of technique I have had a lot of fun with a lot of different dying techniques, one being the marble finish which is a process involving shaving cream, wrist swirling, dye fixative and a whole lot more but the finish is definitely one I’m proud of. Another is digital printing which is definitely something I use a lot and feel lucky to be able to work with it in small quantities. Right now I’m working with a lot of new techniques involving sewing which is done by @collin.hilt, using a lot of patchwork, different stitching techniques and now pieces from scratch in the next few weeks. I have also been working hard at aging denim with the resources I have access to at the time, that’s my current obsession actually; so much so that I have really been trying to perfect the look of someone who has been wearing a pair of pants at work for 30-40 plus years just by literally looking at my stepdads old pants and trying to re emulate the distressing on them etc. It’s definitely a process but I know I’ll have it right here within the next 2 weeks or so. I’m working on a lot of new techniques I would love to speak more on but I will be able to soon, I can say ill be working a lot with sublimation, cut n sew, and laser printing!

Liam Yori and Colin Hilt

Where do you get your pieces?

My pieces are a combination of a lot of different kinds of denim, I first started out buying dickies from Amazon because I needed flat white 100% cotton pants for the dye to properly set, then when I finally had access to printing I switched over to buying vintage Levi’s from ebay and thats where the term ”Denim Univercity” came from just because I was already obsessed with denim before, but at that time in June of 2018 I was literally wrapped up in denim figuratively and literally. But from there after I did my first “real” drop and tried to fulfil all orders using thrifted Levi’s from ebay I realized very quickly that it wasn’t the most practical. So then I started buying brand new Lee and Dickies jeans and honestly went through a whole thing trying to find the right fit in a new jean that was able to be printed on and still be cost effective so the people that were interested and able to purchase. So from there I made the decision to print samples (personal pieces) on vintage Levi’s or really whatever I wanted as long as I was able to find the right version that can be distressed emulating the vintage personal pair. You can see on my page that there have been many pieces teased, and never dropped just because I couldn’t find the right denim wash or something along those lines. The reason I do that is simply because this whole thing got started because I make what I like and what I want to wear and what I want to see in the world, in my opinion thats the whole point of making stuff, I wouldn’t see any other valid reason!
”Denim Univercity” cap

What are the challenges of working on denim and how have you overcome them?

There have been a lot of challenges from taking 6 months to really master the art of dyeing and just going through all the trial and error, especially in the beginning I remember just trying to find the right fabric (especially when bleaching black denim! That shit is mad annoying!) A huge challenge has just been due to being limited with resources really just because I work in low quantities. But overcoming that is just a process and in that process I’m learning so much so I guess you can say its a blessing in disguise too depending on how you look at it, I’m just grateful to be able to work towards my goals everyday.

How have you been coping during quarantine and how does creativity inspire you during this time?

I have been fine throughout quarantine really, a few issues I have had to deal with have included my printer being in NY so I’m unable to go see him for samples at the moment so I’m basically sitting on a few ideas I really wanna put into play, but thats ok it, wont be long its just a little frustrating! Another issue has been the fact that shipping sucks right now and I had ordered denim for my most recent drop the “RONARESTOCK” and  it showed up as delivered then wasn’t there so I was stressed out a ton, ready to re buy the denim and then 2 days later it got delivered and I was saved…

Can you tell us about some of the questions you get asked most from your followers? What do they want to know?

For one I get asked all day everyday “how do you get the images on denim though?” and the answer is always DTG, I have seen mad forums and shit on Facebook and reddit and people still DM me asking how it works and I totally get it, if I didn’t know better I would be on forums asking, 100%. Another is “what kind of shoes” and its either Rick Owens Geobaskets or creeper boots, sometimes the ROA hiking boots and again totally understandable there’s been times where I was curious about a shoe and I peeped the comments to see if someone wondered the same and someone blessed us with an answer.

Have you had any brands approach you about working collaboratively?

Deff, I have had a few but my favorite has been @plagueround.world I recently found out he’s in NY so we will have something coming for sure. We have been in contact for a while now but right wen when found out he’s like 15 minutes from the studio I print at in NY ‘rona hit and threw a wrench in our plans, but its coming 🙂

Who would be your ideal brand to collaborate with?

I really wanna work with @coldwash, I have been obsessed with their denim for forever now. Also the queen Vivienne Westwood, and Kiro Hirata from Kapital.

What are you future plans for the Yori label?

My future plans are really just to expand resources and really get all my ideas out there, the world really hasn’t seen much of me, just what I have had access to. I really wanna do a lot with aging denim, a lot of cut n sew and just really intricate pieces that fit my style. Theres a bunch I want to do with sublimation, laser printing. I have been working with a lot of straight fit denim and I really wanna start messing around with baggy denim and that’s something thats coming this month as well as a few trucker hats 😉

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