A Chat with Gary Lenett
In recent years, Vancouver has asserted itself as a hotbed for forward thinking, functional fashion. Local brands have strived to bring 'performance' into everyday life, pushing forward the global industry and firmly planting the city on the fashion & design map. Whether it's our unpredictable weather or the natural playground in our backyard, we're incredibly lucky to have this community of energized and passionate companies. The best part? We've spoken with members from some of Vancouver's leading brands, and the support and insights they've given us and have helped our path to shaping the future of footwear.
Gary Lenett, founder of Dish/DUER denim, sat down with us in the early conception of the brand. We wanted to pick Gary's brain on the long term success he's seen as an entrepreneur in the garment industry, his experiences with Kickstarter and his vast knowledge of performance fabrics through Pimlico.
A few years back, Gary considered walking away from Dish Jeans, a company he grew from the ground up for nearly 20 years. Gary felt discouraged by the lack of substance, quality, and innovation in the industry. While countless brands fool their consumers with catchy marketing campaigns and "trendy" designs, there were very few brands pushing the industry forward through research and the injection of new technology into their designs.
When an opportunity came to work directly with fabric developers, Gary took Dish/DUER in a new direction. Performance-driven denim that truly suited peoples needs. Gary saw an opportunity with consumers who wanted to look great, but who's lives were active, unpredictable and required products that catered to that. We couldn't agree more with this approach and were pleased to see its success in a parallel industry.
Gary has launched 3 successful Kickstarter campaigns since his revamping of the Dish/DUER brand. He's been increasingly successful in these ventures and we were eager to see what he'd learned. We discussed the value of presentation and transparency, and how to build a supportive group on the Kickstarter platform. Gaining momentum and reaching your goals is a very nuanced process, and Gary helped us develop a framework and approach for a potential campaign in the future.
We're always happy to meet people like Gary, with such passion, interest, and knowledge for their profession. Gary was super receptive to the idea of high performance, everyday footwear, so he was passionate about sharing his ideas and discussing how we can optimize our shoes to be breathable, weather-resistant and durable. We nerded out on a variety of fabric treatments, 3-layer laminations and discussed the constant battle between breathability and waterproofness.
We look forward to continuing the conversation as the industry and technologies evolve. Thanks again Gary!