by Stephen Garner

French for “my brother,” Monfrère jeans has grown to have a loyal following since co-founders (and brothers-in-law) Sean Rudes and Steven Dann started the brand in 2016. Initially launching exclusively with Barneys and Jeffrey before their respective closings, today the brand is available globally with retailers including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Selfridges.

Each collection starts with the highest quality fabrics from the most exclusive mills in Japan. “We are targeting all types of men – the forward-thinking consumer looking for a straight, washed style and the millennial man who is still opting for a slimmer fit,” says Rudes. Every garment is meticulously and expertly designed, with every detail considered. The brand’s loyal following is built through its impeccable signature fits – the Greyson, the Brando, and the Deniro. Each style is designed with the utmost emphasis on comfort and fit (going through several wear and fit trials).

Now, for the brand’s new spring/summer 2021 collection and campaign, Rudes and Dann went for a more emotional collection. After lockdown, they felt there should be uplifting pieces (tie-dye styles) and when naming the collection, they went for destinations they wanted to visit when travel resumes. Dann says it is a collection about living in the now. Denim will always be a common denominator in their consumer’s closets and they are interested to see how they will continue to approach trends this year.

“As a brand, we are reacting to what is working,” Rudes and Dann tell MR. “We want to give our customer more of what he is asking for while staying true to the DNA of Monfrère. We saw exceptional performance during the pandemic, and the momentum keeps growing. Being a made-in-USA (specifically L.A.) brand where we oversee production really provides us the opportunity to be reactive to what our consumer is gravitating to. Since the onset of the pandemic with our consumer base not going into an office, his needs shifted. He is not wearing a suit every day – denim has become his ‘go-to’ and making the denim category a daily wardrobe essential.”

New fabrics this season include Tencel/Lyocell Stretch Twill used on the shorts and select pants. As always, there is a key focus on fit. According to the Monfrère team, retail buyers turn to the brand for its skinny and slim fits, and now that there is a consumer shift for relaxed fits they wanted to create a hybrid which is evident in the Brando style. It is a slim straight fit but when you size up it is more relaxed. The Rome and Palermo washes are selling very well.

But, the all-time favorite still the brand’s signature Greyson style. “It is a skinny style and predominately at the moment, the distressed Greyson is exceeding expectations,” adds Rudes and Dann. “Our slim Brando is very popular, as is the Deniro – a slim-straight fit both have a very loyal following.”

So, what’s next for the brand? “You can always expect the unexpected from us,” says Rudes and Dann. “Monfrère managed to create a new category for men’s fashion in the denim space that did not exist until the brand launched. We are working diligently to bring those same fundamentals to expanded categories.”