Designer Jean Interviews
So we were lucky enough to get an interview with the co-founders of J Brand, Susie Crippen and Jeff Rudes. J Brand is such an important brand among the jeans company’s out there. They brought skinny jeans to life! Carry on reading to see the exclusive interview specifically for you DenimBlog readers! Don’t forget to get your J Brand jeans as well, I definitely recommend them, they are super flattering and sexy!
DenimBlog: What inspired you the most when creating J Brand?
J Brand: We wanted to create a really classic and clean jean with a great fit. We looked at hundreds of pictures from the 60’s and 70’s to get the right essence and ultimately took elements from all of them to get our first sample.
Also there was a great desire for what I personally wanted to wear and Jeff just understood that notion.
DenimBlog: What has been your favorite memory/experience since co-finding J Brand?
J Brand: There are so many! Winning the Denim Designer of The Year. Kate Moss and Madonna wearing J Brand. Seeing any girl on the street in J Brand. Getting to make new things everyday that women love to wear.
DenimBlog: Susie, do you have a favorite J Brand cut/wash? and why?
J Brand: The 910 Bruiser and DKV, they are so perfect and I love the tight leg all the way down. My other new favorite is the Henderson, which is a higher waisted bell bottom in rigid denim. I switch off every other day between a skinny and a bell bottom.
DenimBlog: Jeff, since J Brand now has a men’s line, would you like to tell us a bit more about it?
J Brand: We’ve created a men’s line that is a classic timeless line and it’s very masculine. We foresaw the menswear going in that direction. There are no bells and whistles just great classic fits that are updated and it’s all about the washes. There is something for every guy no matter what their age might be.
DenimBlog: J Brand now has lots of different lines, green label, blue label etc. Which has been the most fun to work on?
J Brand: They all bring new challenges and bigger ideas so they are all equal in my mind.
DenimBlog: What J Brand cut has been the most popular overall?
J Brand: Our 912 Pencil leg.
DenimBlog: Are there any new trends coming out next season that we should be keeping an eye out for?
J Brand: Fantastic washes and expanded variations of classics from the past; like The Henderson and Babe (both bell bottoms) and our newest skinny the Marta in a slightly higher rise that is so flattering it is ridiculous!
DenimBlog: The boyfriend jeans trend has been a huge hit this season, will we be seeing anymore of this trend from you?
J Brand: We have a new fit for the boyfriend craze called ‘Q’. It is cropped and more fitted and still has that slouchy perfect vibe…it is more feminine and flattering.
DenimBlog: We all love denim, but what is it that makes denim so important to you?
J Brand: When I was younger and used to love a top or a shirt the first thing I would say is …’Okay, I can wear this with jeans.’ To me jeans go well with everything and the more you wear them the better they get.
For more information on the history of J Brand click here.
Hot off the press from WWD is the news that Hilary Duff is about to collaborate on the design for a collection with DKNY Jeans. The line, which has been dubbed Femme for DKNY Jeans, is targeted to women in their 20′s, who, like Duff, aspire to that flirty yet laid back style.
In her recent interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Duff said that in her opinion, “One of the hardest things [was] to come up with [the collection's] name.“ She continued that, “Femme works really well and explains the line perfectly as feminine but tough all at the same time. It’s aggressive, but in a good way.“
We’ve all seen Hilary herself in that exact same light I think! There may have been a cat fight or two, but the girl has truly remained a class act…
“There is truly something in this line for every girl whose styles change every day, like mine does,” said Duff. “Sometimes I want to wear tight leather leggings with a big plaid shirt, or other days, I want to wear a floral-print dress but make it look edgy. Some days I like to be a bit more punk rock, but in a girly way. I love wearing layers and scarves, and I love that his line can be mixed and matched just the way you want it to. I think it’s the perfect line for young girls who can’t afford to buy a lot of clothes these days.“
Although we haven’t seen the lookbook yet, the sketches are looking nice. And, from her description, I have to admit, I’m pretty excited to shop the collection too. Check it out:
Photos & quotes via wwd.com
Check out our interview with Gregory Abbou, designer for Degaine – a hot label getting lots of attention lately! You can find Degaine at Revolve Clothing.
Who is your typical customer?
Our actual customers shop at A-list contemporary boutiques and deaprtment stores who carry the latest trends. I design for discerning sophisticated Men and Women. I am not necessarily targeting fashion victims but I’m trying to address shoppers who’ve seen everything, worn everything and now are going for a classic timeless style.
What is your most popular cut? Wash?
This season would be definitely our Boyfriend fit. It comes in various washes but our most popular is our Beat Up wash. Using a pure Indigo Denim we have been able to recreate an extremely authentic vintage look. Easy to wear and very comfortable.
Name your most favorite pair of jeans that your brand has produced?
Our Super Slim Boot in our Midnight Destroy wash. It will be available in stores starting January 09′. It is truly a new and innovative fit, from my 10 years of experience I haven’t seen anything like it in the market. By far the sexiest jean I ever made.
With so many premium denim brands, what makes your jeans better than your competitors?
I won’t say that our jeans are better from such and such, they are simply different. This is the beauty of denim and jeans in particular, the different fabrication are the direct expression of each brands personality, taste or way of life. This personality should fit the personality of the wearers. Degaine attracts the folks with a stronger personality who don’t need fashion to dictate their “style”, they exude real confidence.
How many pairs of jeans do you currently own?
I’ve stopped counting 5 years ago…I have never thrown away a pair of jeans.
Do you have jeans for different occasions?
Of course, I always have a pair that I wear most of the time but I have jeans for sunny days, cold days, movie night, dressed up night out, travel jeans, etc…
When do you wash your jeans?
I start wearing my jeans raw for a few months without washing them, just a quick tumble in the dryer every week. My way of life and time, takes care of the wash for me. When they are really used and get a very cool vintage character (usually 8 to 9 months), I give it a nice wash (soap without bleach). The result always amazes me and usually everybody around me…it just takes patience.
Name your favorite pair of jeans. Do you own these?
They are actually my own, Degaine Red Labels jeans.
Whom or what inspires you?
Mostly the streets of the big cities like New York, LA or Paris. My first passion is photography so I love to observe people in the streets. It’s a kind of sociologist study…I find the way you dress reflects so much of your way of life and who you are.
What are the most impactful/memorable pair of jeans you remember? Were they yours or someone else’?
When I was 15, one of my dad’s friend took me to an antique denim auction in Paris, I saw a pair of Levi’s from the 1920′s sold for more than $5,000.00….it was just like a piece of art.
Which celebs are currently rocking your denim line?
We have several, but Jennifer Aniston is actually the celebrity who has been spotted the most in our jeans recently.
Which celebrity would you like to see wear in your jeans? Why?
Probably a famous and extremely talented designer like Marc Jacobs or Tom Ford, it would be the greatest compliment.
Why are jeans are so popular?
Jeans are the only garment that crosses race, age, sex, social backgrounds…denim is universal.
What’s the worst denim crime you could commit?
Not wearing jeans!
Denim Fashion predictions for 2009 Summer? 2009 Fall?
We are going back to authenticity and vintage looks. Rigid denim is definitely back for women…
DenimBlog: Where can people find you on the WEB?
Kelli: Our website & store is at www.membersonlystyle.com Our Premium Denim line will be available on-line January 1.
DB: Who is your typical customer?
Kelli: Chic young women who take their fashion cues from Hollywood’s style stars.
DB: What is your most popular cut? Wash?
Kelli: The Ripper Skinny and the Sharpei. All of our jeans are a skinny cut~ that’s what our girl wants to wear right now.
DB: Name your most favorite pair of jeans that your brand has produced?
Kelli: My favorite pair is the Graffiti Girl. I love the mix of pastel sherbet colors against the crisp white denim. They are happy jeans!
DB: With so many premium denim brands, what makes your jeans better than your competitors?
Kelli: I think the MEMBERS ONLY premium denim collection distinguishes itself from other brands because each style has it’s own totally unique personality and look. My goal was to create seven instantly recognizable jeans that celebrities would crave, and paparazzi photographers could not resist shooting!
DB: How many pairs of jeans do you currently own?
Kelli: About 50.
DB: Do you have jeans for different occasions?
Kelli: Yes, but I usually organize my jeans according to which heel heights they look best with.
DB: When do you wash your jeans?
Kelli: I like them to be washed and pressed after each wear.
DB: Name your favorite pair of jeans.
Kelli: I have a fierce, bleached out pair from Stella McCartney’s first collection for Chloe. They have shredded tears in a pattern of a tiger attack!
DB: Whom or what inspires you?
Kelli: In terms of celebrities, Rihanna inspires me the most. I also get inspired by going through all of the Chanel, Versace and Cavalli pieces I have collected over the years. Most of all, I really get the most inspiration from the streets of NY. The fashionable girls here take risks and pull it off seamlessly.
DB: What are the most impactful/memorable pair of jeans you remember? Were they yours or someone else’s?
Kelli: My most memorable pair of jeans were made for me years ago by a brand called Greenhouse Studio. The designer was an artist named Sandra Florez, and she painted abstract flowers directly on vintage Levis that she would cut the waist off of and then sew back on much lower. You had to commission a pair to be made, and it took weeks to receive them. The jeans cost about $900; they were wearable art!
DB: Which celebs are currently rocking your denim line?
Kelli: The jeans don’t hit the stores until January but we already have requests from our biggest stars! Teen Vogue borrowed lots for their upcoming Taylor Swift shoot. The Gossip Girls and Hills girls have already received select styles as well.