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Celebrity favorite: The Denim Doctor aka The Hollywood Trading Company interviewed by Shopping and Info

on November 21st, 2008
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Shopping and Info got to sit down with Zip Stevenson, Creative Director of The Hollywood Trading Company recently to chat about what it was like to be THE DENIM DOCTOR.

The Denim Doctor is known all over the world and has a cult following in places like Japan where custom doctored denim is a VERY hot commodity.

Brad Pitt, David Beckham, Jessica Simpson, Angelina Jolie, Keith Urban and Usher among others have been photographed wearing HTC gear.

When I caught up with Zip Stevenson aka the Denim Doctor he had just finished a Vanity Fair shoot and talked to me about his start in the biz, his clientele, his favorite lunch, and being Eco Friendly. Check out the interview on the next page. It is a good one.

1. Before starting the Hollywood Trading Company apparel and accessories line, how did you decide to start your business as the Denim Doctor?

I was working for used jean shop in Santa Monica and we could not keep enough perfect small size 501’s in stock. When we found jeans with perfect fades with slight damage like a broken belt loop or button fly holes with tears etc. we would mend them virtually invisibly. One day a customer asked us if we could repair her personal jeans in a similar way. Without thinking I said yes and then when she asked “how much?” I said something like $20 bucks and she said G-R-E-A-T!! I talked to my boss at the time about this new potential business and he did not express much interest. A few months later I found a store on Third street and called it The Denim Doctors.

2. Who are your clients? Celebrities/ moms/ teens/ professionals?

Yes, all of the above.

3. Which celebrities have you worked with in the past?

Many, many. We have been serving the Hollywood area since 1994.

4. What do you do for the denim of your clients?

Restore and/or alter them using the original sewing machines used to make the jeans in the first place.

5. What is your favorite part of your day?

My favorite part of the day is walking all my dogs and hanging out with my kids.

6. What is the worst part of your day?

L.A. Traffic!!

7. Do you sell your HTC designs exclusively in your stores?

No, our HTC line can be found in specialty stores here in the U.S. and overseas as well.

Do you sell online?

We currently do not but there are fine stores that do so.

8. What inspires your designs?

Basically vintage leather belt designs from 1930’s Cowboys and Indians thru Rock and Roll music of the 50’s, 60’s 70’s and (yes even) 80’s,

9. What is in your iPod?

I am all over the place; from New Orleans ragtime, to 70’s Heavy metal to Kanye West, Eliades Ochoa and of course my friend Mr. Ben Harper. Recently I discovered for myself DJ Kool and his one hit (Let me clear my throat) it was playing at the ten year reunion party scene in the movie “Zack and Miri Make a Porn.”

10. What is your favorite lunch?

I love Mexican food from the places where they don’t speak English very well.

11. How do you feel about being Eco Friendly?

I was raised Eco. We had a compost in the back yard. My dad owned a recycling center for a time. Then my parents made glass wind chimes out of recycled glass bottles (still do to this day). I picked the habit and now we sell lots of stuff made from recycled leather, canvas and old stock brass hardware everyday. go GREEN, go GREEN, go!

12. What is your favorite piece that you have ever designed?

It is a belt that we continue to make after 10 years it was based on one I saw at a fleamarket I changed it a little bit and made it with great leather and real brass studs and real Czech glass stones.

13. Do you have any favorite clients you have worked with in the past?

My favorite clients are from Japan and they visit us every two to three months and we work together to tailor our goods to fit particular market and they really stretch me and pull the best out of me and keep me very inspired.

14. Can you mention names of celebrity clients you have worked with in the past?

Soon after opening my store in 1994 I began to hire managers to keep an eye on the day to day operations and so they get all the credit and fun of working with Hollywood’s who’s who. I did help Johnny Depp and Kate Moss when they were dating but gosh that was a long, long time ago.

15. Let us know where my readers can buy HTC goods?

At my store in Los Angeles (of course) and to name a few, Sugar Magnolia in Chicago, Devine in Los Angeles and Glendale, Different Fashion in Sylt, Isetan in Tokyo

16. Location of your business
7383 Beverly Blvd (@ Martel)
Los Angeles, CA 90036

323-964-0080

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