Allow them to reintroduce themselves as: DURIMEL. Originally known, affectionately, as ‘Those Damn Twins.’ The twenty-year-old fashion bloggers/film students have already re-branded themselves in the fashion world. With a name that better matches their personal aesthetic, Jalan and Jibril Durimel are laying the groundwork so their namesake defines them, and no one else. Born in Paris, the boys spent some formative years in Miami and the Caribbean before landing in Los Angeles the Summer of last year, making them perfect candidates for our latest style-blog series, The Diplomats.
LAC’s latest style exhibition, aptly named The Diplomats, gives the good people of the Internet access to those tastemakers who have chosen to hang their hat in the greatest city in the world (Bias? Maybe). We are bringing you the movers and shakers who have migrated to Los Angeles and are now representing their respective countries and/or cities while making a considerable stylistic contribution to the LA culture and scene. We asked Jalan and Jibril to style some pieces from Zanerobe’s upcoming SS ‘14 collection, and the results are smart outfits that feel wise beyond their years — It must have something to do with always having a pseudo-mirror equipped with opinions and good taste.
We sat down and spoke with the Durimel twins about blogging and what’s ahead for their bourgeoning career in fashion.
LA CANVAS: Do you like being seen as twins or as individuals?
DURIMEL: We like the twin thing but we feel like, this might sound cocky, but without us being twins, I feel like I’d be just as good… We are good together but we can create on our own as well. We don’t want to just feed off of that twin effect. That’s why we changed our name, too.
LAC: You guys chose to change your name from Those Damn Twins to Durimel. Why do you think that was a good move for your image?
D: We are still always going to be Those Damn Twins, but we had to change it. It was just like, we would walk around and people started recognizing us and that was cool, but people were like, ‘Oh my god, it’s Those Damn Twins!’ and I’m thinking, man, branding-wise, we are doing collaborations with [people like] Ozwald Boateng and it might sound weird to see ‘Those Damn Twins’ [in print].
LAC: Where did the “Those Damn Twins” name come from?
D: It was [originally] a YouTube video, and we made our own YouTube page. At first, it was just Jabril and it was called Jabril Talk, then I joined the show and we changed the name to Those Damn Twins. We weren’t even into fashion, it was supposed to be a comedy page. When we decided to get into fashion we felt we should drop the less serious name and stick with our last name.
LAC: Why did you ditch the comedy show in lieu of fashion?
D: Well the YouTube thing, it got some buzz but growing up it just got corny. Older people made YouTube videos but they were genuinely funny, and they can appeal to an older audience. With us, we used to show the videos to our mom and she would be like, ‘yea its funny, for your age,’ and… our mom laughs at everything so we knew we were doing something wrong. The videos were our biggest time of trial and error.
LAC: You guys are in LA for film school too, right?
D: Yea we are studying film, but we more want to use the techniques we have learned in school [in fashion]. [T]he thing I am realizing now is that I am more of an avant garde thinker in art and everything, so, I would take lighting techniques in film and bring them into fashion… We realized we like things that are more subtle and less in your face. We are definitely going to use film for that.
LAC: What’s the long-term plan for your blog/careers?
D: We’ve started thinking more than just blogging, pretty much. For the future, we just want to focus on expanding things. We want to push our photography. We want to start pushing that more so our shoots become more like editorials. Eventually, we want to start a clothing line, but not yet because we like to think things through and study who’s in the industry, why are they in the industry, who are the good ones, who are the bad ones – so when we dive in we are doing good.
LAC: What do you not respect about the bloggers currently on the scene? What would you say is the biggest thing they are doing wrong?
D: They’re too content with accepting free things, too content with accepting to be invited to fashion week, they’re too commercial, in a sense. There is nothing technically bad, they are doing something good. They’re like tutorial blogs that teach normal people how to dress, but that’s what we don’t want to do. We don’t want to be a tutorial blog, we want to just create. In a sense, we are teaching inspiration more than fashion; anybody can see it and take inspiration from that.
LAC: Do you feel the direction you are going in is organic?
D: It is organic but it is what we want. Our friends that do the same things we do – low key – are like ‘oh man how did you guys get to where you’re at,’ but its not about how we get to this but organically it’s what we wanted. Organically I moved up. Some people don’t realize when we blog how much time we put into it. I wake up thinking about it. I go to sleep thinking about it. Half the time I am searching for how to get better at it. Constantly, every single minute.
LAC: We asked you guys to style pieces from the upcoming Zanerobe collection. What do you like about their clothes?
D: What we love about Zanerobe is how the pants can be worn pushed up. Ever since we did a shoot with them and they sent us some pieces it’s all we’ve been wearing. I’ll literally wear them to school and then to a really high end party, where people have to be well dressed. I like that so much about these pants. We hope to continue working with them. There’s cool people that work there, too.
Additional pieces provided by Jalan and Jibril Durimel.
MODELS/STYLING: Jalan and Jibril Durimel
ART DIRECTION: Aaron Ramey, Lauren McQuade
STYLING: Aaron Ramey, Lauren McQuade
PHOTOGRAPHER: Mark Wales
SPECIAL THANKS to Zanerobe.