Designer Jean Interviews
We caught up with the wonderful premium denim brand 7 For All Mankind for an exclusive interview! We asked Rosella Giuliani, the VP of Design & Merchandising for the brand, a few questions to see what she had to tell us about the brand. She talks about what is hot for the coming season, some interesting info on Cameron Diaz’s jeans, what their best sellers are and more! Carry on reading to find out about the brand. A huge thank you to Rosella for taking the time to answer our questions!
DB: Do you have a favourite cut you have designed?
I have several. It really just depends on the day, occasion, etc. Currently I love the women’s skinny fits and the men’s Rhigby.
DB: What inspires you when designing a jean or creating a wash?
Our design team is inspired by any and every thing. Art and architecture, music, people on the street, our team is truly inspired by the world around them.
DB: How many pairs of jeans do you own?
So many I don’t keep track anymore!
DB: What 7 For All Mankind cut has been the most popular overall for both men and women?
From day one our Bootcut jean has been the most popular cut for both men and women. Today, slimmer fits are trending. For men it’s our Standard fit and for women The Skinny and the Gwenevere.
DB: What is your latest collection about?
For our women’s spring 2010 collection, we created a whimsical, ethereal mood by mixing unique, airy fabrications in unexpected ways. This infuses the collection with texture, color, and visual interest. The focal trends of the season – Mixed Fabrics, Peek-A-Boo & Repair, Second Skin, and Skirts & Shorts – each combine to celebrate the luxe lifestyle of an Ethereal Gypsy.
Our men’s collection was inspired by the artistic individualism of the Bohemian movement. The 7 For All Mankind Spring 2010 collection modernizes the off-beat, unconventional sensibility of Bohemian culture with clean, sophisticated elements. The focal trends of the season – 2.0, Focused Novelty, and Texture & Color – combine to create the aesthetic of a Refined Bohemian.
DB: What was the very first jean by 7 For All Mankind?
It was our Bootcut in New York Dark – it was the jean (and the squiggle!) that started to put us on the map!
DB: 7 For All Mankind jeans are worn by so many celebs, do you have a favourite celeb who loves the brand?
We love and appreciate all of our loyal celebrity fans! Celebrities are very image driven and are always looking for something that makes them look and feel good. They are looking for jeans that fit them well and that maintain an air of exclusivity. 7 For All Mankind is one of the few premium denim brands out there that can give a celebrity exactly what they are looking for. Over the years we have developed a unique relationship with celebrities and their stylists. A great example is the case of Cameron Diaz’s Vintage Nakita Roxanne jean. Her stylist, Rachel Zoe came to us to ask to ask for a heavily distressed skinny. We developed the jean specifically for Cameron and it became such a hit we produced it for all consumers. This is also how we developed the Vintage California Bell Bottom as well. Celebrities are important to use and work hard to maintain those relationships. It’s great that they continue to come to us for their fashion denim needs.
DB: We love your gummy denim leggings! Will we be seeing more of these in other washes?
Not only will our leggings be available in other washes, but they will be available in other fabrications as well! You’ve seen our new Mineral Blue wash on Sienna Miller already – that wash is so beautiful and so unexpected! One of our key initiatives for the F2010 season is the inclusion of non-denim textiles. We’ve hit the mark with our Gummy Corduroy in beautiful shades of Aubergine, Olive and Peacock as well as our neutral toned Lightweight Twills. It’s a sexy and sophisticated update to our amazing skinny fits.
DB: What is the best feature of 7 For All Mankind jeans (fit, wash, pockets etc)? If I could answer I would say fit because they are so flattering!
I think that we are best known for our extraordinary fit. We spend months perfecting the fit of our jeans to assure our customers they are getting the best fitting product in the market.
DB: We all love denim, but what is it that makes denim so important to you?
Denim is classic, season-less, and versatile. It’s the go to piece in everyone’s closet.
DB: What are your denim predictions for next season (FALL 2010)?
Although I think that skinny fits are here to stay, I believe that wide leg fits will be making a comeback! We are introducing our new Trouser which is done in beautiful drape-y denim – a must have for fall 2010. Non-denim will also be making an appearance in a big way. One fabric we are particularly excited about is our new Gummy Corduroy. It is an incredible, stretchy cord that we’ve partnered with several of our fits for sophisticated, chic silhouettes.
DB: Do you have a favourite piece from your new SS10 collection?
There are so many amazing pieces it’s impossible to choose just one! I love the new mineral washes on the Gummy Denim and the Romper.
DB: Can you tell us a bit more about your brand for the readers who are new to the brand?
The story of premium denim is one that is intrinsically intertwined with the launch of 7 For All Mankind in Los Angeles, California in the fall of 2000. 7 For All Mankind was the first company to truly bring premium denim to scale and it changed the landscape of denim forever.
7 For All Mankind’s premium jeans literally exploded onto the scene, quickly earning critical acclaim and an immediate following for our innovative use of fits, fabrics, and finishes in denim. 7 For All Mankind has become both an established modern classic for its sophisticated fits as well as a leading trendsetter for its newest fashion forward washes and designs.
Our brand continues to create luxury denim-lifestyle products. 7 For All Mankind is now a multi-category brand and features denim, sportswear and accessories collections for both men and women. Products can be found in freestanding 7 For All Mankind boutiques, on-line at 7forallmankind.com, luxury department and specialty stores in over 80 countries worldwide.
DB: What makes 7 For All Mankind so different from the others out there?
We are the world’s premiere brand of luxury denim-lifestyle products. Other brands position themselves as rock and roll, vintage or heritage. Our positioning is more aspirational and sophisticated while maintaining a cool California sensibility. This is the true differentiator for the brand. 7 For All Mankind is an attitude, an emotion and an instinct. We create products focused on innovation in design, fabric, finish and fit – which makes modern consumers all over the world feel sexy and sophisticated.
We got the chance to get an interview with Susan, the head of sales for Charley 5.0. We wanted to get to know the brand a little better as it’s getting very popular among the celebs and is really taking off! Thank you to Charley 5.0 and Susan for taking the time answering our questions for you. Enjoy the interview!
DB: How did you come up with the name Charley 5.0?
Well, Susan when first thinking of names for the brand wanted something that was feminine with a tom boy / masculine twist, because that was very much her esthetic growing up and still so today. If her first born is a girl she’d name her Charley. The 5 symbolizes her lucky # and also known in the Jewish religion as the sign of the hand meaning to ward away the evil eye.
DB: What inspired you the most when creating the brand?
Taking denim to a new level and the challenge of revamping a basic 5 pkt jean.
DB: Charley 5.0 is quite new; do you have a favourite memory/experience since it was founded so far?
TONS of memories. The entire process is one big feeling of “meant to be”. Mostly I (Susan) remember walking into my Presidents office and saying; can we do a contemporary denim collection?; him agreeing and putting our first Spring Collection together in 5 weeks. Concept, name, PR, hiring Yalenis (our designer) and a line in 5 weeks. Our favorite saying is; Pressure makes Diamonds.
DB: What inspires you when designing your leggings and other denim items?
DB: Are you a big denim fan? If so, how many pairs of jeans do you own?
Yes, I currently own every color of the Charley Skinny Minis (our denim leggings) Gunmetal is my fav right now, other than that I’m usually in a trouser; I’m a big trouser girl. Ankle length in particular, with a bit of a higher waist.
DB: What is your latest collection about?
The latest collection is about printed jeggings, a leopard print, a python print, a lace print that we love and so far all of our stores really love. Oh & seam detailing on the jegging. Lots of seams, ones that make your legs appear longer and thinnerÔÇªthey look AMAZING on. Dresses are a big part of Charley too, the sexy little night out dress.
DB: Charley 5.0 is really starting to grow in the celeb world; do you have a favourite celeb who loves the brand?
We are so grateful & humbled by every single one. Everyone has their own interpretation on how to wear something and we’re always excited to see who wears it and how. Honestly. Every single time we see a celeb in our items we get chills, same goes for girls who we see wearing it on the street.
DB: Are there any new trends coming out next season that we should be keeping an eye out for?
Higher rise. Warm color tones.
DB: What is the best feature of Charley 5.0 (fit, wash, pockets etc)?
Our fit by far, the jeggings REALLY suck you inÔÇªalmost as well as spanx, which btw are a human form of torture but soooo effective.
DB: Do you have a favourite piece from your new SS10 collection?
Our vintage wash Fringe back denim jacket oh and our ruffle jumpsuit in a dark denim that looks INSANE with a blazer and red accessories.
DB: Can you tell us a bit more about your brand? We would love to get to know you better.
Hmmm, what can I say so you know us a little betterÔÇªwe’re pretty much a 3 man band with a few back up singers hahaha. 3 girls, who merchandise it, live it, breathe it, climb the hurdles & put all of our heart and soul into it. Our designer Yalenis literally sews dresses in the office. She and her assistant also dye fabrics in a little pot in the office to come up with new washes. We’re CONSTANTLY creating, reinventing and doing whatever it takes to make it right.
DB: What makes Charley 5.0 stand out from all the other brands?
This is a tough one because I know everyone works so hard on their collectionsÔÇª.we have been told by many of our customers that our fit is really great & that even though the leggings appear intimidating once they’re on they NEVER take them off. I think that fit is extremely important for a jean brand. I also think what makes us different from any other brand is we create cool bodies that are easy to wear. It’s easy to shop & all of the style is built in, so you throw it on & you’re ready to go.
DB: What’s up next for Charley 5.0?
Something is ALWAYS in the works; we can’t reveal anything just yetÔÇªbut there’s always something brewing.
DB: What is your main goal with the brand?
To continue to grow and to become a staple in every girls closet.
We got the chance to speak to stylist to the stars, Simone Harouche. It’s really interesting to know what inspires her and how she creates her looks. Ashley Tisdale, Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera and Nicole Richie are a few of Simone’s clients and they all look fantastic, I love how she works with their style and creates the outfits that she does. Simone also has some fantastic custom jeans that she created and the fans of her work will be pleased to know a little something she says at the bottom of her interview! I can’t wait! A huge thank you to Simone for this!
DB: What inspires you when putting an outfit together?
Simone: That depends, if we are talking about me, or for a client.
I think that for both myself, and my clients, that answer is constantly changing. Sometimes, a client could love a new pair of shoes, and want to create a look around the shoes. Other times, it’s a pant, or a jacket, the list is endless, but there is usually an item or a mood that sets the tone.
DB: Which item are you most likely to start with and then work the rest of the outfit around?
Simone: It’s not one piece in particular, it is different all the time. Could be a piece, could be a mood, could be the event or even could be inspired by the people that will be at the event.
DB: What are your best style tips?
Simone: To feel comfortable in whatever your style is. I am a big believer that when you feel good in your clothes, you look even better!
Another tip I have, is to know your body.
It is important to know what shapes and cuts of clothes look best on you. One shouldn’t wear clothes because they are really in fashion at the moment but don’t flatter their shape.
DB: What do you think is going to be the next big denim trend?
Simone: Denim is so all over the place, it’s hard to forecast. I would say you will be seeing more distressing techniques, also more varieties of interesting color denim washes/dye techniques, softer denim a la “the jegging”, and more embellishments on jeans such as studs, eyelets etc.
DB: What is your favourite denim trend right now?
Simone: I don’t really follow trends, because they are constantly changing. The jeans I custom made for myself 3 years ago, I still wear today. The same brands/fits I wore, I still wear today. I’m a big believer in sticking to what works, you can modernize and update your look, but don’t change your style for a trend that will be here and gone faster than you can say.
DB: We have seen your customized Ashley Tisdale Paige jeans and Miley Cyrus Siwy jeans, will you be customizing any other celebs denim soon?
Simone: I have customized for my other clients too! Christina Aguilera and Nicole richie have a bunch of jeans I have made for them, and they wear them too! I’ve seen the pics.
DB: We haven’t seen them yet, we will be on the look out for them!
DB: What are your favourite denim brands to work with?
Simone: I love Siwy, Paige Premium Denim, and J Brand.
DB: We all love your work, what made you decided to be a stylist?
Simone: Fate. It’s a very long story, but the short version is, I knew I wanted to get into fashion, but didn’t know what I wanted to do. I happened to pass by a boutique in Los Feliz that was owned by a Stylist. She recognized me as someone her little brother used to play with when we were little kids. Asked me what I was up to. I let her know I was graduating college the following month and trying to figure out how and what to do with fashion. (keep in mind I still had no idea she was a very successful stylist) she had me intern for her that summer, and now, 6 years later I’m here, the rest is history!
DB: Do you have a favourite pair of jeans?
Simone: Yes, I do have a pair of favorite jeans. They are vintage Levis 646 bellbottoms from the 70’s. They are highwasted and the denim has been perfectly aged, so they are super soft and comfortable.
DB: What one fashion item could you not live without?
Simone: My cashmere scarves that I bought in India last winter. They are so cozy! Even when the weather is nice, I still wear them!
DB: What do you love most about being a stylist?
Simone: I love the fact that my work is constantly changing from job to job, the focus changes. It’s amazing because projects start and finish so quickly that you never have time to get bored. Your eye is constantly being inspired by new things because of the people you meet and the various jobs you are working on.
DB: Tell us more about what your job involves?
Simone: Everything and anything! I’m serious. I could write a novel on this question alone. But you name it, and it will most likely fall under the “styling umbrella”. As long as you get the job done, the road you took doesn’t matter- the result is the same.
DB: How do you decide to customize jeans? Do the celebrities ask you to?
Simone: I customize jeans for my clients. So I either make them for a specific job, music video, photoshoot etc. or it can happen organically, they will like a pair I made for myself and ask for something similar.
I get inspired by the look and feel of the project and from there, I create. It’s fun, I get to be totally creative and not worry about the end result, because usually, even the mistakes look good! Most of the time, I will start on a pair, with no specific intention in mind of what I want them to look like, but then through the process, they kinda take on a little life of their own.
DB: We see so many gorgeous outfits that you have put together, do you have a favourite one or do any stand out for you?
Simone: There have been so many different looks that have all been fun and unique in their own right. But how could I pick just one? I love my clients all so much, and their style is all so different. I think that’s why I love styling so much, working with my clients allows me to cater to all the aspects of my own personality and style. Some days I am girly, some days, more bohemian, some days I dress in all black with big chunky moto boots, and somedays I’m more classic, it really depends on my mood.
DB: Which is your favourite pair of jeans that you have customized?
Simone: Hmmm, my favorite pair of jeans I customized are a pair of grey J Brand skinnies I made for myself- they are awesome! They are super distressed and covered with paint splatters. Check out the gallery below to see them.
DB: Denim leggings are very hot right now, as a stylist what would you say is the best way to wear them?
Simone: You would wear denim leggings the same way you would wear leggings. They are made for comfort and ease, but are also very cute. You could dress them up or down. I think there are no rules when It comes to things like this. The best way to wear anything is to feel comfortable with your choices, because that’s the only thing that shows- if you feel beautiful and comfortable in your look, people feel that from you and believe it!
DB: That is how I love to wear my denim leggings, just like leggings, with longer tops to cover the butt and crotch area of them.
DB: What do you think makes denim so important in the world of fashion?
Simone: Denim is so important in fashion, because it is one of the great staples, a basic that continues to reinvent itself and stays in style. Denim started for utility purposes, but as denim started to go more mainstream, companies found ways to make denim more and more fashionable. It is so relevant because denim is utility, and mixing utility with fashion is a great coupling.
DB: Would you ever consider bringing out your own fashion line?
Simone: Of course!
I have worked on a few of my friend’s clothing lines as a guest designer for a few brands. I also make my own small line of handbags. Right now, I am just dabbling in it, as styling keeps me very busy. But yes, definitely, I will have a clothing line of my own.
DB: Lastly is there anything else you would like to say that we haven’t asked you?
Simone: No, I think that covers it for now. But I would like to just say, Thank you so much for all your support! I really appreciate that you like my work, and it was my pleasure to do this! Thanks!´╗┐
Not So Long Ago in Southern California, Scott Morrison Was Playing Golf: “I was always trying to reinvent golf clothes in new, more modern ways,” said Morrison, but he knew that there was not too much evolution on that path. Thankfully he was also drawn to denim, where he saw greater potential to innovate and when a mid-90s jeans movement introduced new wash technologies to the industry, Morrison moved to New York to lead Mudd jeans’ march into premium denim – before the term “premium denim” even existed.
With more inspiration than the room to realize it, Morrison was compelled to create his own company. With Mudd owner Dick Gilbert’s blessing and investment, Morrison launched Paper, denim & cloth in 1999. He was the only employee:
“It was me and three pairs of jeans selling to Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Barney’s and Henri Bendel.” Eight months later, he hired a second employee and within four years, Paper denim & cloth was a 40 million dollar business. And his timing wasn’t bad either. The late 1990s saw an explosion in luxury denim. Prior to Paper denim & cloth, the only related companies in the market were Earl (who wasn’t doing washes) and Frankie B.. Soon there were hundreds of companies – start-ups and establishments alike – selling premium jeans. It was a revolution reminiscent of the one that occurred ten years earlier in Osaka, Japan.
Late 1980s: Japan: The Osaka 5 Are Born. Comprised of denim companies Denime, Fullcount, Warehouse, Studio D’artisan and Evisu, The Osaka 5 led the hundreds of brands that emerged to produce replica denim during Japan’s “Replica Movement ”. The period saw a wave of mania via avid collectors pursuing and paying thousands of dollars for vintage jeans. After WWII, U.S. acts to rebuild Japanese economy included donating outdated industrial equipment. Among the imports were original shuttle looms from the 50s. At least one of which still remains at Evisu and facilitated founder Hidehiko Yamane’s fixation with reproducing the Levi’s 1944 501xx. The original pair was made for only nine months.
During wartime, the American government prohibited nonessential production (restricting the use of metals, rubber, paper and plastics ). Temporarily, Levi’s turned to painting on their logo – a technique that Yamane hyper-stylized, hand-painting the Evisu seagull on every pair (about 14 a day as was the max output of the old looms). This attention to detail was exemplary of Evisu production. Fans’ obsession was matched by the designers’ (artisans’) diligence in building each pair. Yamane saw denim as aspirational and Evisu constructed pieces for the connoisseur – to be coveted and collected as luxuries.
Their selectiveness about materials so particular that the replicas were as close to the originals as one could get. In the early 2000s, Evisu boomed internationally. Different pop-culture groups, particularly in Asia, Italy and the UK embraced the cartoonish logo; however Yamane’s focus was (and remains) maintaining the Japanese image, which left the brand quite open to interpretation elsewhere. Says Morrison: “One of the things that’s really complicated about Evisu is that it represents different things in each country.” In the U.S., Evisu became and urban staple brand, “very street” – as well as the most counterfeited denim product in the world. The first denim brand to sell for more than $100 a pair, and the one that spearheaded a worldwide want for premium denim lost its way a few years later.
Please continue reading this interview with lots more pictures by clicking here.