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When Turkish native Arkun Durmaz moved to Canada from his native country, he likely had no idea that Mavi would become the global presence that it’s become to this day.

Founded in Turkey in 1991, Mavi is known for their men’s and women’s jeans collection throughout the world, including at over 4,000 speciality shops, chains, and department stores. The word Mavi translates to blue in Turkish, very fitting for a denim company (pardon the pun).

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Arkun began working at the tender age of 10 at his father’s textile store in Istanbul’s lively Grand Bazaar, serving tea and keeping an eye out for shoplifters.

He then went on to receive his Bachelor of Commerce in Vienna, Austria as well as an MBA from the City University of Bellevue, choosing to stay involved in the fashion industry while studying by selling miscellaneous garments at the Vienna Flea Market.

In other words, he never ever left the world of retail, bringing Mavi to Canada in 1997.

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In Vancouver, Istanbul, Berlin, and Frankfurt alone, the global premium denim brand has over 260 stores and counting. Mavi’s first Canadian store opened in Toronto’s Eaton Centre; here in Vancouver, there’s one in Yaletown and a newer Kitsilano sister location on West 4th Avenue.

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I visited the Yaletown flagship store earlier in the month to learn more about what Mavi’s been up to over the recent years. In addition to the regular Mavi jeans-wear collection, there’s now Mavi Gold and Mavi White Edge, both utilizing high-end, high-quality denim material that’s guaranteed not to shrink or lose its softness for years to come.

Back in early 2000, while Mavi had already become a household name in the fashion industry, luxury lines such as 7 For All Mankind and Rock & Republic came onto the scene, driving up prices of boutique jeans. Mavi chose to stay the course with their affordable collection.

A few years ago, the brand launched the Gold and White Edge lines, ranging in price from $115 to $160 (compared to Mavi regular with $88 to $100 price points).

Denim washes change per season, and the Zack men’s jean has a great story behind it. The muscular, bulky Vancouver Canucks were looking for a roomy jean to wear, and Zack’s roomy in the thighs, nicely tapering around the knee. Once they discovered this great-fitting jean, the Zack non-officially became known as the Hockey Jean.

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Walking through the shop, you’ll not only find jeans, but jackets, shirts, jewellery and other accessories. I tried three of their popular Gold label jeans: Ashley, Emma, and Kerry.

Both popular Emma Slim Boyfriend jean and Kerry Mid-Rise Straight Leg models are perfect for tucking into boots this winter, while the wider-leg Ashley Boot Cut fits nicely over them.

Mavi_textures Modeling Ashley, Emma, Kerry from Mavi Gold line
[Bottom, L to R: modeling Ashley, Emma, Kerry from Mavi Gold line]

I’ve been to Mavi on several occasions and each time I’m in there, the service is attentive, and advice honest. I wound up with the Kerry Mid-Rise, a soft-as-butter denim wash that hugs the waistline and is flattering in the legs and tummy.

Mavi also offers a free hemming service at both shops.

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’Tis the season of giving, and I’ve partnered with Mavi Canada to offer one lucky reader a chance for a personal fitting session, and choice of any one pair of women’s or men’s jeans from the store.

There are two ways to enter:
1. Follow Mavi Canada and Vancouverscape on Twitter, and RT the following:

Enter for a chance to win a private fitting session + pair of Mavi jeans from Mavi Canada + Vancouverscape

2. Follow Vancouverscape on Instagram and upload a pic of your favourite pair of jeans using hashtag #Maviholidays

Extra entry if you do both 🙂

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I’ll draw a winner on Monday, December 29 at 5 pm. Congrats to Monica Frost, whose name I drew at random this afternoon! Thanks to all of you who entered and Instragrammed your jeans to Vancouverscape’s account too.

Winner must be able to visit either Mavi Vancouver store to claim their prize. Happy holidays and thanks for your continued support and readership this year!


  • Comment by Laurie Helgason — December 24, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

    love to try these

  • Comment by Lor Grande — December 28, 2014 @ 9:53 pm

    Time for new jeans; love to be fitted in yours:). Happy holidays!

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