Andreas Guggenbühl, co-founder of Selfnation, on how his luxury jeans startup is merging technology and fashion

Steve Hogarty
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"Back during our university days, my friend Michael Berli and I would spend what felt like hours shopping for jeans with our girlfriends. They would try on pair after pair, looking for that perfect fit. I imagine their struggle is something many of your readers can empathise with – searching for the right jeans is frustrating and laborious.

"That was in 2013, and it was around then that we began developing our company’s concept. Selfnation is a fashion-tech start-up based in Zurich, with a creative headquarters located in Berlin. We solve the problem of finding the perfect fitting jeans by developing and manufacturing tailor-made jeans and chinos that can be ordered online. What makes us unique is the software that we developed – a process that took more than a year – which allows computerised cutting patterns to be produced based on a customer’s individual measurements.

"Today, as the CTO, Michael is leading the technology development of the company. As CEO, I’m responsible for the strategic positioning of the brand.

"To me personally, luxury means a deep appreciation of excellence. It means holding something in your hands that you know people with passion and expertise have created just for you, the individual.

"People don’t often associate the very latest technologies with this kind of bespoke luxury, but what our algorithm allows us to do is create precise sewing patterns, which are then used to handmake jeans using the best available raw materials from local producers.

"This is how we’ve linked together our shared passion for technology with a respect for classic manufacturing techniques. For example, our denim comes from a family owned mill in its fourth generation. It’s also produced without toxic chemicals, by a patented water- and resource-saving method in Italy. Sustainability is as important to us as quality.

"Michael and I have a passion for things that challenge our status quo, and the connection between the art of engineering and fashion design forms the core of our label. We want to be at the forefront of how fashion is being manufactured, designed and experienced."

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