Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans, perfectly faded after years of wear. But jeans companies have never been able to reproduce that faded appearance in any other color but blue. Bradenton’s Terry Siegel, a 51-year-old fashion designer, however, believed it could be done.
The basic indigo dye “contains a special quality that stains but doesn’t penetrate the cotton,” says Siegel, meaning that through stone washing or grinding, the white cotton threads stand out against the blue. Other colors, though, penetrate the cotton and prevent the stone-washed look. “That was the stone wall,” he says. “That’s what they told me couldn’t be done.”
Siegel spent two years experimenting with dyes. “After throwing away hundreds of pairs of jeans that were uglier than you can imagine,” he says, “we cracked the code.” Siegel then trademarked the Made2Fade yarn technology and ClearH20 Colors, his eco-friendly dying process, and started M2F Brand Denims—the first denim company in the world to offer an unlimited range of colors that fade like traditional blue jeans. And word is spreading: Fashion blogs, magazines and celebrities are lauding Siegel’s company, which is now in 250 stores worldwide (Influence and Lotus sell them in Sarasota).
L.A. is the global denim capital, but Siegel moved near Lakewood Ranch three years ago to be with family. “You can live anywhere if you have something unique,” he says.