When designing his collection, Eden Slezin sought inspiration from his “life and loves.”
For him, that meant an old-school military influence, a working class upbringing, and a sustainability pulled from his work as a backpacking guide in the Grand Canyon. The result? A denim-heavy, utilitarian line that demands the attention of any room.
That’s exactly what it did, for example, at New York Fashion Week this past season. To be at the pulse of fashion was an experience that flew by all to quickly, Eden said, given the fast-paced nature of the week and the rush to make everything come together backstage so the magic could happen on the runway.
“You’re locked in the back sending the models out, watching everything from a screen,” he said. “It’s such a whirlwind. The most amazing experience of doing all that was working with some of the top male models in the industry. Having them model my collection was surreal.”
Eden credits the MFA program at Academy of Arts University San Francisco for the actualization of his line. He said the school is largely responsible for bringing San Francisco fashion and designers onto a global platform for the first time.
“Fashion has always been something the city has struggled with,” he explained. “But now with more money, fashion is the natural by-product of that. We get flack for only wearing hoodies and jeans, but you see more people taking risks with fashion now. It just needs to get more momentum. With growth and more places to go, there are more reason to dress [for that].”
With all that in mind, Eden’s collection speaks to the city’s ingenuity. He weaves recycled rubber into knitwear, giving the impression of leather. He seeks to bring artistry to relatable fabrics like denim, creating something unexpected out of a functional textile.
In regards to his design heroes, he naturally cites Levi’s as one of the most enduring brands, speaking to his love of denim as well. Eden is currently undergoing an interview process with Levi’s, in fact, and has hopes of eventually producing and selling his collection at shops in the city.