Curran Lewis (known to most as Looh) is a 24-year-old denim designer from Philadelphia PA. Curran attributes his personal style to comfort and feeling. “My personal style developed over the years and it will continue evolve naturally as all things do including us. Currently I do not describe myself as even having a personal style but if I had to describe it I would say “comfortable”. When I put my pieces together I simply watch the aesthetic and feel the comfort. There are times where I am preparing to make an exit after I am fully dressed and I am compelled to start over either from the beginning or figure out what’s wrong. Wrong in terms of feeling, like uncomforting and unbalanced”. Curran’s denim work is on the rise and I wanted to learn more about it so Curran gave me the opportunity to get some more insight to his beginnings with denim and what he hopes to accomplish from it.
Bran: How long have you been designing?
Looh: I have been designing since I could read and write, and probably before that. What I mean by that is I always had a knack for doodling and abstractness but I never developed that passion. However, I consciously made the decision to design for a purpose in 2012. At that time I taught myself, to the best of my abilities, Art Illustrator and Photoshop. From 2012 I focused on graphic design and it wasn’t until December 2014 I decided to try my hand at denim.
Bran: Why denim?
Looh: Again, to go back to feeling, that’s what inspired me. Dating back to 1996 and ’95, I had always been fascinated with ripped jeans. I remember one instance where my father asked me why I kept purposely making the whole around my knee on my jeans bigger and bigger. During that time I can recall being inspired by Jesse from Full House and the entire cast of The Power Rangers. From that time on, distressed denim has always been something that I fancied. It wasn’t until December 2014 where I made the conscious effort and decision to distress my own pair of denim, specifically a black pair of Diamond Supply jeans. What promoted that decision was that I had an event later that night, Turkey and Dirty Sprite: Muddy Water, and leading up to that day my spirit was yearning for a pair of distressed black denim. At that point I remember waking up and rushing my first pair of distressed denim. I had to rush because being that it was the day of the event, my partners and I had a lot of running around to do in preparation of the event.
Bran: Is it hard creating new concepts for the denim? or does you passion for it make it something that is relatively easy for you?
Looh: For me it isn’t hard to create new concepts, and I credit that to how my mind and energy operates rather than my passion. My passion falls for hard work, client satisfaction and always improving my craft and skill-set in hopes of creating something for individuals of the world to one day appreciate and connect with.
Bran: What to you hope to accomplish with the denim?
Looh: I want my denim-work to open up doors for those around me and myself. My denim can be the icebreaker for conversation between a person and their next venture or the beginning of a new personal relationship.
Bran: When did it occur to you that this is something that you have a knack for?
Looh: When I did my first pair of denim is when I realized I had some sort of skill-set at distress-work, simple trial and error.
Bran: In a city where we are seeing a lot of people do the same things, how do you plan on standing out?
Looh: I haven’t thought of that but I guess I just have to keep my tunnel vision up and stay focused on my craft and my clients. I never look externally to others for inspiration, I think that’s where “biting” and “copying” breeds from. If I can just continue to pull from within and my natural surroundings, I’m confident I will be O.K.
Bran: Where can people do to purchase the denim?
Looh: Currently I have pieces on display at Miss Mahogany boutique in West Philly at 60th and Walnut, 144 S 60th St. Also I can be directly reached via email at email@example.com.
Promising indeed, Looh's work speaks for his self, and to preview more of his work check out his instagram @1Looh.