Established in 2003, Citizens of Humanity was founded by Jerome Dahan and now designs, markets and produces more than one million pairs of jeans annually in an internal laundry facility in Los Angeles. Citizens of Humanity is distributed in over 1300 retailers in more than 35 countries including Selfridges, Harrods and Harvey Nichols in the UK, and Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdales in New York.
Born in South Korea and brought up in Canada, Catherine Ryu joined Citizens of Humanity in 2012 after working at Urban Outfitters, Calvin Klein jeans, Gap and AG Adriano Goldschmeid amongst others. She lives and works in Los Angeles, and her working day will leave you breathless…
Over to you Catherine!
5:45 am: I reluctantly wake up to my iPhone alarm.
6:00 am: I start the day with half a lemon in warm water, and a coffee
6:30 am – 7:30 am: On Tuesdays and Thursdays I head off to the Shadow boxing gym for a boxing training session. My trainer Misty is a women’s world champion boxer and she trains me in the Mexican boxing style. I love punching my stress away and getting me amped up for the day ahead!
On Saturday I get up a little later, more like 8am and go for a one and half hour hike up Runyon Canyon. The views from the top are breathtaking, and I still love looking over at the Hollywood sign.
8:00 am: Get back home, shower and get ready for the working day.
8:30 am: Before I leave I make myself breakfast, which is a glowing green smoothie. It’s a delicious blend of spinach, kale, celery, a banana, 1/2 a green apple, 1/2 a pear, 1/2 lemon and a cup of water. It leaves me feeling really energised as I head off
9:00 am: Leave for the office. I usually catch up on phone calls to the East Coast with my mom or my twin brother on my way into work. (They are three hours ahead so it’s usually lunch time for them)
9:40 am: Get to the Citizens of Humanity corporate and design office. I check in with my design and product development teams and catch up on what we want to achieve that day. We review all washes that came back from the laundry and decide what washes we will put into next season’s collections.
I then catch up on my emails from the company president and PR and sales teams to see how the other areas of the business are doing and work on any interviews that have been sent over.
11:00 am – 12:30 pm : Daily fitting with our in-house fit model Lindsey. We fit prototypes of upcoming season fits to check that they have come out of production with the same style and fit that we envisaged at the design stage. We make any small adjustments and send back to the factory. We also look at all current season production as it comes fresh off the production lot to make sure the finishes product is to the standard and quality that we expect.
1:00 pm: Lunch with Jerome Dahan, the founder of Citizens of Humanity, Alaina my right-hand woman and the women’s designer. We eat together every day and catch up on business, it’s a great way to chew the fat in a more informal setting. I usually eat grilled vegetables on a bed of spinach and kale, with a green tea.
1:30 pm – 3:00pm: Meeting with Jerome, Amy Williams our president and Shelly, the VP of Sales to have initial look at the Holiday (resort) 2014 collection and discuss costing. We look at the cost of production on each style of jean and then price accordingly. For example some jeans take more time and energy to create as they go through more washes, distressing and treatments to achieve a certain look or feel.
3:00 pm: I have a conference call with the stylist, art director and photographer in NYC to plan our Holiday 2014 lookbook shoot. We discuss the concept, look and feel of the shoot, the kind of girl we want to cast and then the styling and pieces we want to put with the jeans and denim ready-to-wear pieces from the collection to make it come alive.
3:30 pm: Take a meeting with our VP of marketing, art director and editor of the Citizens of Humanity brand magazine. Each season we create a beautiful A3 book with our campaign images in as well as interviews and features on friends of the brand and interesting creatives or places we want to profile. We come up with some great names that we want to approach, and I go away feeling really excited about the issue we are going to build.
4:00 pm: Work on new season concept and choose fabric, wash direction. I am really feeling true blue washes and vintage looking styles at the moment. In fact inside each seasonal collection I have created a Premium Vintage capsule range of classic styles with distressed and faded washes that give a luxury vintage feel. This concept has been really well received by both buyers and press.
5:00 pm: I drive over to the West Hollywood showroom to meet with the PR and social media team to plan out next seasons press preview event in New York and also discuss upcoming interviews and get their feedback on which styles and washes have been well received. From the SS14 the Annaika jumpsuit has been a big hit!
6:00 pm: My day ends and I get to face an hour in the ‘quelle horror’ traffic that is the 10 LA freeway…I blast old school hip hop to get me through the manic traffic….
8:00p.m: I walk from my home to meet up with friends at Sushi Park in West Hollywood – my favourite!
10:00pm: Off to bed!