The Design Desk: Volcom S GENE With Designer JJ Gonzales

Last month, Volcom announced a ground-breaking new stretch denim, the USA-made Cone Mills' patented S GENEfeaturing controlled stretch with true recovery, premium durability, and superior wear-ability.

We caught up with Men’s Denim Designer Jeffrey James “JJ” Gonzales to learn more about the new fabric and line.

Give us a little background on your design experience and philosophy.

I have been very fortunate at this point in my career to have worked with some talented designers and mentors. With that said, I have picked up a lot of things in my experience as a designer that I creatively connect with and that work for Volcom Brand Jeans.  My philosophy is simple: I don't have one singular vision. Instead I find inspiration in things plain and simple.  I look to stay passionate and committed to creating high quality jeans that are durable, detailed and produced with high standards of workmanship.

How long has the S GENE been in the works and what was the inspiration for it?

We began working on S GENE more than a year prior to it's Volcom debut in the Fall 2012 collection.  Our concept for using S GENE was inspired from our relationship with our skate team where high quality, durable and superior stretch denim is always in demand.  When Cone Mills, a long time denim partner, approached us with an innovating denim fabric, I found this story to be very intriguing.  After the first samples went out to the team, I almost immediately received positive feedback.


Volcom Men’s Denim Designer JJ Gonzales

Cone Mills is legendary. Why did you decide to work with them on this?

Volcom has had a close and long standing relationship with Cone Mills for nearly 15 years.  They have played a big part in our growth as a jean brand.  They are one of the oldest and still operating denim mills in the world.  From our point of view, Cone Mills shares the same values and vision as Volcom.  They strive to combine their vast experience in quality with new concepts and innovation in all of their denim products.  So, every denim fabric selected from Cone we know that we are getting the highest in quality and craftsmanship.

What’s the MSRP for these?

We are offering both black and indigo S GENE denims in a variety of fits and styles.  Depending on the style selected, the jeans are available at either a $70 or $75 msrp.  We are really excited about the launch of this new superior stretch product at such a reasonable price for our consumer.

It’s great to see more brands producing product domestically. Do you plan to make more product here in the States?

At this point, U.S. made products are still not as accessible as nearly 10-plus years ago.  With that said, we have a lot of interest in finding opportunities domestically.  Whether it be US made fabrics or US manufactured apparel, we strive to find these sources.  When the design and manufacturing process can align to be made here in the US, it feels good and right.

Three things that make S GENE rad:

1) Superior stretch high quality denim

2) Volcom skate team approved

3) USA-made denim