Into The Blue With Local Denim Makers, Tarik Jeans

The road to finding the right pair of jeans is often if not always, a windy one. Ask about finding ‘the perfect pair’ and you’ll hear recounts of how one hugged in all the right places except the waist, or another which made your butt look splendid but you had to  alter the length. #teamCLEO’s found the answer – Enter Tarik Jeans, the denim company tailor made for Malaysians. Read on for our 10 minutes with Afiq Iskandar, Founder and Designer, and Romesh Kanagaratnam, Head of Operations and Sales.

Aside from its ties to local roots, what makes a pair of Tarik Jeans different from other denim labels?
Romesh: Tarik has effectively created Slim and Skinny fits to cater to the Asian male. Asians are generally shorter and have a smaller builds than Westerners, and this has been a major problem in finding the perfect fit.

What is Tarik’s signature cut and wash?
Afiq: Our Skinny Din and Slim Ramlees – raw and unwashed!
Romesh: [They are] our two best sellers. We have done a variety of washes but prefer to have denims raw so every customer can wear in their jeans and create their own story and relationship with their pair, as we feel that attachment you have with a particular piece of clothing is so important.

Since the brand’s birth in 2010, how has Tarik Jeans evolved through the years as a Malaysian brand?
Romesh: Starting out as a grass roots brand with deep ties to the music community, Tarik has managed to grow to a mainstay denim brand which focuses on limited, quality essentials for Malaysians.
Afiq: I’m beginning to see beyond the nationalistic aspect and more on the people. I’ve realised that I love Malaysia because of [them] and not just the flag, the name of the country or even what the country stands for. It is the people.

“[We] start by identifying with a fellow Malaysian. Understanding his problems and needs in a pair of bottoms. And then we try to relate it back to solving the problem in the most poetic, as creative and as denim as we can.” – Afiq Iskandar

Are there any new techniques in the production line?
Romesh: Our brushed cotton tees just arrived! [We employ a] new technique of brushing the cotton before construction to achieve a much softer feel against the skin for added comfort.

What are your favourites from Tarik’s archives, and why?
Afiq: The Patched Batik Sarong we showed at KLFW RTW 2017 – it’s so simple, easy to pull off and very versatile.
Romesh: Our early Japanese selvedge tapered fit which [are] so classic and timeless.

What’s next for Tarik Jeans?
Romesh: Watch out for our upcoming Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week Ready-To-Wear 2018 collection. [#TeamCLEO Tip: It’s a womenswear line!]

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Romesh Kanagaratnam, Afiq Iskandar with their Tarik Jeans offerings at Tiga Supply Co, Gasket Alley
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