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Fabric treatments and jeans with Pence 1979

"The drive behind our creative process is the infinite love for textiles and the constant focus on experimental treatments"
Reference Studio

The brand is an innovator in the field of “treated fabrics”, a trend that shaped the fashion industry throughout the Eighties. The path of the brand in the world of jeans was so important that the company became one of the stars of the Enciclopedia del Denim Italiano (Encyclopaedia of Italian Jeans)

Reading: Fabric treatments and jeans with Pence 1979
Written by Reference Studio

Pence 1979 is the intersection between fine Italian craftsmanship and textile development under the creative direction of Dora Zecchin. Individualism-exuding pieces with an androgynous element place the Pence 1979 wearer at the forefront of Italian history and innovation.

The brand is known for its signature denim and eclectic chinos which undergo intricate treatments and become a personalised experience for each wearer. The ‘lived-in’ appearance of the denim assures that quality goes hand in hand with the sensibility of character cultivated by the brand.

The story began in 1979 when the founder Ottello Zecchin returned from London, together with his partner, and decided to embark on a personal project. Having returned to Italy with just a few pence in his pocket, he decided to register the brand name, which subsequently became Pence Jeans. The name became a play on words as ‘pence’ also refers to the Italian name for the small dart with inner stitching that shapes trousers.



Pence 1979 is a pioneer within the field of treated fabrics which are transformed into mediums of exploration and a starting point for textile innovation. Through their signature technique, the ‘marble washing’, the house consolidates the particularity of every pair of jeans that comes out of production and placed them on the ranks with textile visionaries, such as Renzo Rossi and Adriano Goldschmied within the pages of Enciclopedia del Denim Italiano (Encyclopaedia of Italian Jeans).

The ‘marble wash’ which was originally considered impossible, has been successfully industrialised by Pence in symbiosis with other complex dyeing techniques, including hand-dyeing. Through marble washing, the denim which is rigid in its natural form is softened and becomes flexible. This means that the garment quickly emulates to the body of the wearer who relishes in the unique pattern which resides from the pumice stone washing process.



Every season the brand explores different themes aligned with the cultural ethos through their campaigns. The latest Spring Summer 2021 Pence collection is a tribute to new generations, a good post-pandemic omen for restoration and creativity. The frailty of human existence demonstrated in the past few months is encapsulated in the collection through the purest signifiers of innocence and vulnerability.

Exuding freshness and vitality, the oversized fit of the garment is intentional and multilayered; at first glance, it is light-hearted and humorous tugging at the heartstrings in the gentlest of ways. However, placed in the current context it may be regarded as an analogy to the helplessness felt by the fashion industry and its correspondents during these months. The materialised feeling of having to fill shoes which are too spacious for one.



The latest campaign does not only aim to soothe the collective pain experienced by the fashion industry, but it exudes hope for a better, more mindful, and more empathetic future. The direct results of this ideological shift can be seen in the creative director’s aim to push all stages of production towards sustainable waste-free approaches, emphasising the use of natural dyes, organic materials and fabric recycling.

As the Covid-19 pandemic forced subjects of the industry into an ‘adapt-or-perish’ position, fashion houses had to readjust their modus operandi. Pence 1979 chose to turn the proverbial yet distressing lemons into their most significant expansion so far by assigning the majority of their stakes to Ipo Fashion & Design S.R.L.

This operation will lead to the commercial expansion of Pence 1979 in two directions: the strengthening of their presence in their already covered European markets, alongside the implementation of targeted growth in new markets (including North America); as well as the expansion of their product range, entering the accessories segment.

Shifting uncertainty and imposed limitations into fast-forward implemented lessons of sustainability, craftsmanship and creativity, Pence 1979 will continue to immerse their customers in the universe of Italian wear under the authenticity of Dora Zecchin’s vision.


Pence 1979

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