Darren Romanelli is creating luxury designer jackets from scraps of old Coca-Cola branded apparel, reports Ralph Gardner Jr. in The Wall Street Journal (10/24/13). Coke actually engaged Darren, aka DRx, to create a "200-piece collection … being launched across the globe." DRx’s designs include biker and bomber jackets, and lab coats, stitched together from items such as "deliverymen’s uniforms, some going back to the ’40s." "I sourced vintage over half a year," says DRx. "Some of these items were so rare."
Some of his source material included "the name of the deliveryman who had once owned it." "All the stains to me are so beautiful," says DRx. "It’s like the patina on a Paul Newman Explorer II Rolex from the ’70s. It’s 100% recycled." It doesn’t come cheap, though. The pricetag on "a biker jacket made from recycled Coca-Cola beach pants that were given away as promotional items during the 1970s" is $1,650. A lab-coat made from deliverymen’s shirts runs $1,500. "There’s eight delivery guys’ shirts in there," says DRx. A bomber jacket goes for $1,600. (images)
Coke’s partnership with DRx is far from its first with a fashion designer. Back in the ’80s it commissioned a young designer to create rugby shirts with the Coke logo. "The designer for that, that launched his career, was Tommy Hilfiger," says Kate Dwyer, Coke’s global licensing chief. (images) Coke also "sells between 200 and 300 million items a year with Coke branding." The DRx Coca-Cola collection will be available at a few boutiques in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, Toronto, Hong Kong and Shanghai.