PENCE1979: NAME, BEGINNINGS AND EVOLUTION
A play on words and pure chance gave rise to the name Pence, which refers to the Italian for the small dart with inner stitching that shapes trousers (which has always been a manufacturing focus of the company) and also to pence as the plural of penny in British currency. The story began with a trip by Otello Zecchin, who, on his return from London, together with his partner, decided that he wanted 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 (it was 1979), which subsequently became Pence Jeans, because it was mainly linked to denim and the northern European markets.
The brand was 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), together with figures of the calibre of Renzo Rosso and Adriano Goldschmied, to mention a couple.
After completing her degree in Media Studies at the University of Padua, Dora Zecchin decided she wanted to pursue the project by personally investing in registering the brand, which changed to Pence1979 adding ‘Revived’ to the logo to communicate that it was for all intents and purposes a revival and revisiting of what it had been ‘since 1979’.
The first capsule collection by Pence1979, with just five men’s and five women’s garments was presented at WHITE in Milan in 2009 and met with immediate success. In June 2019, the company will be celebrating 10 years since its relaunch by the daughter of the original founder, Dora and her brother Davide Zecchin, who succeeded in taking forward and revitalising this all-Italian firm.
Dora herself says: “Between 1979 and now Pence has changed a lot, even though its DNA is still the same. The passion for raw materials and fabrics and the desire to experiment on them with special treatments remain. In the past, it was mostly a question of jeans, whereas today, in the collections, we find a wide range and variety of materials. The style has adapted to the times, while remaining outside of the fashions that dictate trends; proposing its own way of life and therefore, its own way of ressing”.
From specialist in the production of chinos, the brand has grown into a total look collection for men and women, in which the fabrics, specially developed original prints, embroidery, details and various treatments are always the stars, making each garment special.
“I have always loved men’s fashion and have always liked to wear men’s clothes,”– says Dora Zecchin, “but over the years, I have also become passionate about women’s fashion, so much so that the collection, which at the outset was fifty percent men’s, now takes up seventy percent of production”.
The main feature of the Pence1979 collections is the contemporary reworking of classic casual fashion garments and the almost obsessive focus on tiny elements and sartorial detailing. It is no accident that the first models designed by Dora were a pair of chinos with a flounce in ontrasting blue mesh and then a pair of jeans with an unusual cut on the hem.