Since 2001, Rogan Gregory has taken the fashion world by storm.
The designer has worked with some of the biggest jeans makers in the industry, including GAP, Calvin Klein, Darryl K, and Tommy Hilfiger, in addition to putting out his own "black look" and "blue look" for men and the skinny-fit "Svelte" jean for women through his apparel brand, Rogan.
Beyond jeans, the sought-after designer is known for his environmentally and socially conscious clothing lines, including organic T-shirt line, Loomstate, and his collaboration with Paul Hewson, aka Bono, and his wife, Alison Hewson, on the line Edun, as well as his work designing uniforms for such companies as Chipotle.
From his home in Montauk, Rogan, who is married to Bethany Mayer of Surf Bazaar, clues us in to his inspiration, the lure of the uniform and how kids should dress.
How did you end up in New York?
I traveled a lot with my parents to North Africa, South America, but when I went on a trip to New York, I finally felt like I wasn't weird anymore and I could do what I loved. It was really the expression of culture and art that lured me. When I finished college in Ohio, I moved to New York. I didn't even know art school or fashion school existed. So, I have zero training. I just did what I loved.
What was your first job?
I was a creative consultant for companies like Calvin Klein, Gap and Tommy Hilfiger. They hired me to get my opinion.
What's your intention with design?
My intent is not fashion, but creating the uniform which says a lot about a person's identity and who they are. I got obsessed with indigo and denim 15 years ago. After I researched the fabric, I found that it was mainly in work wear. I admire the functionality of the fabric. It's become so American; it's humble and as work-orientated as it gets.
How did you get inspired by the idea of the uniform?
[My wife] Bethany [Mayer] used to wear a vintage blazer and jeans all the time. That was her uniform. I liked the identity and consistency.
What uniforms do you design?
We do uniforms for big companies; it's a great way to create and focus on the identity of the brand. Image is a big part of business, and we help to redesign their corporate identity like with Chipotle. They function better, it's sustainably sourced and they're able to have a modern vision in a potent way. Funny they don't teach work wear in fashion school curriculum.
Who else do you design for?
We design all the T-shirts for Surf Lodge in Montauk. Montauk is the inspiration for Surf Lodge: fun, East End-living where surf meets culture. I love the combination of artists and people who live in New York and the surfers -- different people living in the same environments.
How did Rogan's Svelte jeans come about?
For me it's both art and science. Some styles work on a lot of different bodies. I had an instinct for it. I first created a wide-leg jean, and then the super skinny jean and called it Svelte because it was funny.
What do you do with your kids in New York?
We live out east, but I work in New York. So when we come to New York, my kids love to stay at hotels.
What's your favorite hotel?
The Bowery Hotel and Wythe Hotel.
What are your favorite restaurants?
Il Buco, [the] Smile and Cafe Colette in Williamsburg.
How do you think kids should dress?
My wife likes to dress my son up in a French sailor, and I prefer a denim jumpsuit so he can't destroy it. My daughter wears fluorescent. She has a specific style: neutral and khaki with fluorescent. And she loves to wear hats. Straw hats with cool details and a bathing suit. Bathing suits are critical for a kid.