7 posts tagged "Jeans"
Every day, Style.com’s editors reveal their current obsessions—and where to buy them. Check out today’s pick, below.
Blame it on the racks of unworn floral blouses in my closet, but lately I’ve been turning my attention to high-quality, timeless basics. From the best T-shirts to the wear-every-day boots, I’m pretty much covered as far as normcore goes. The one thing I haven’t been able to track down? The perfect white jean. I’ve tried dozens of pairs, but they’ve always been too sheer, too stiff, or—worse—too stretchy. All summer long, everyone from Emmanuelle Alt to weekenders in Sag Harbor was living in their ivory denim. I had basically given up, until Industry Standard released its newest style: The Odette midrise white jean. I’ve been a fan of Industry Standard ever since I met founder Nicole Najafi earlier this summer and became obsessed with her inky high-rise Simone jeans. Najafi has mastered the quintessential blue jean and worked tirelessly to design the ultimate white version: They needed to be forgiving but not stretchy, and slightly cropped at the ankle for the most flattering silhouette. I wear mine a little loose, and even after a long day at the office, they don’t sag or stretch out. They really are the best white jeans I’ve ever tried.
Industry Standard Odette midrise skinny white jean, $105, Buy it now
Anyone who has perused our Fall ’14 denim guide received the memo that vacuum-packing yourself into second-skin stovepipes is officially over. Here, we’re turning our attention to the breakthrough indigo trend—dovetailing with this year’s buzzy #normcore meme—that’s been gaining serious traction in the streets: “mom jeans.” For many, the notion conjures up memories of ’90s television series such as Beverly Hills, 90210 (not to mention that infamous SNL skit, but the new wave of mom jeans are decidedly not your mother’s. It girls including Miley Cyrus, Chloë Sevigny, and Tumblr star Staz Lindes (seen here at Bushwick Open Studios back in July) were among the early champions of the high-waisted, relaxed-fit styles. Meanwhile, models-off-duty from Daria Werbowy to Tilda Lindstam to Drake Burnette have embraced the navel-grazing movement in a major way, trading out their standard black skinnies for vintage, bum-cradling Levi’s. Off the streets, we’ve also witnessed mom jeans cropping up in recent collections from Rachel Comey and Ami. While you arguably need to have the right proportions to properly rock this look, it’s unquestionably a refreshing change of pace from sprayed-on jeggings.
Click for a slideshow of mom jean inspirations.
Acne Studio’s Jonny Johansson on Getting Out of the Denim Box, the Globalization of Style, and Innovation Versus Appearance-------
The denim business today is nearly as fast-paced as ready-to-wear. Boyfriends have been replaced by mom jeans. Printed denim? So 2012. And flares go in and out almost too often for even die-hard jeans lovers to keep track. Acne Studios is a label that survives and thrives not by rushing in to grab its share of the trend pie, but by staying true to the simple principle that it launched with back in 1997. The Swedish brand’s denim philosophy is best summed up by founder Jonny Johansson: “I’m not into fancy stuff.” For Johansson, cool anonymity is a virtue, and over time it’s that very quality that has become Acne denim’s signature. Johansson called in from his vacation in the Stockholm archipelago to talk about the company’s origins, the competition, and where Acne is headed.
Acne Studios’ entrance into the denim market has been told often enough that the story has made it onto the brand’s Wikipedia page. Can you tell it again?
Acne was built on the Warholian Factory idea. I thought it would be so cool to be a film director and a fashion designer and maybe a musician. We had these big round-table discussions: How do we enter the fashion thing? What the discussion came down to basically was that five-pocket jeans are the Coca-Cola of fashion. It was never about doing some new denim approach. That was never the idea. We had success with the first 100 pairs we gave to fans and friends and photographers we knew, and forced them to wear. It was a very good start but also a very shocking start. Everything happened really fast. We wanted to be a fashion brand, not just a denim brand, but we got placed in the denim box. It was a bit of a struggle to try to make people interested in the other stuff we wanted to do. We were scared to be this one-product project where you’re hip for a certain moment because you have a new name.
In hindsight, how do you account for the quick success of Acne’s jeans?
Today if you enter the fashion denim space, it’s a race that’s much more complex. It’s much more layered, it’s much more about the finishing, about the weaving. At the time [Acne got into the business], it was just about your approach to fashion. It was about your attitude. Today, it’s a super-big, complex industry where the race is much, much tighter. Your approach might be a good idea, but a good idea is not enough.
Talk about the “idea” behind Acne jeans.
I’m very focused about the word generic. It’s not really about the silhouette [for me]. You could say, “You should have a pair of ’70s-cut, flared jeans today because the ’70s [are trending].” Yes, that may be so, but I think it’s more about the fabric and how to circle around it. I don’t like what you call the stereotypes of fashion, which would be the flare, the super-skinny. I like a five-pocket [style], and I’m not too much into fancy stuff. And I don’t like vintage. It has to be very straightforward for both men and women; I’m very [into the idea of] unisex.
But silhouette is so important to girls. I have a pair of high-waisted, straight-legged Acne jeans from eight years ago that I adored, but I can’t wear them now. The fit isn’t quite right.
For women it’s about finding something that will make you feel confident. It’s about the body. That’s what I find quite interesting with women and denim—it’s about trying to present yourself in a good way. It’s about pocket sizes and things like that. I think for women it is about being contemporary, but more so it’s about being flattering. Women are not so conforming about what to wear, so I like women’s fashion more for that respect.
Back to the fabric. Where do you source yours?
I’m not too much into the whole selvedge Japanese denim phenomenon. I do like Japanese fabrics, but when it comes to heritage, re-creating a complete heritage never interested me. That has never been the core for me. We work with a factory, which we’ve worked with for many, many years. They do a plain denim that I really like, it’s a twill denim. Another reason I love denim, it’s also very sustainable, it’s not a garment that you throw away every season. I envy sometimes friends who have one pair that they’ve had for a long time. I’ve always been into that.
Do you remember your first pair of jeans?
I try to forget the first ones my mother forced me into in the ’70s, but, yeah, I do remember the first pair I decided to have. It was a pair of Levi’s 501s, a straightforward American import. I was 12, maybe 11. Everything else that was available [in Sweden] were copies of Levi’s. It was Levi’s or nothing, for me at least. Our parents were quite heavily influenced by American pop culture, and they channeled it down to us. When I discovered my own aesthetic in terms of design, I remember changing the 501s. I’ve done everything, from changing silhouettes to dyeing. But I still wanted 501s to play with.
Where do you stand on washing or not washing your jeans?
Oh, I wash. My mother told me to take a shower every day.
When you look around, are there brands you think are doing interesting things in the denim sphere?
I always like A.P.C. They’ve carved out this timeless zone. They’re never really in and they’re never really out, which I kind of like. And they sort of sprung up in the same period as we did. Not maybe in everything, but regarding the jeans, they’re the brand I like.
As a Levi’s fan from your earliest days, when you look at Levi’s now, what do you think?
Confused. It makes me confused. I’m sorry, that’s the first word that comes to my mind. I think it’s about scale. It’s really a super-big machine that supplies everyone everything. That’s difficult always.
Acne itself is now a global business. Are jeans tastes the same in New York versus Stockholm versus Tokyo?
No, I think it’s going more opposite, I think it’s becoming more unified. I think it’s maybe the World Wide Web. [laughs] It’s becoming so unified it’s almost scary. [I compare it with] when you go out in Stockholm, [where] everyone looks the same. If one thing is right, everyone is on it, and if it’s not right, no one’s doing it anymore.
Is Acne’s denim design team separate from its ready-to-wear team?
It’s always been a big challenge to make it one. The cycles in denim are not six months or four months or one month, or whatever it is [in ready-to-wear] now. Denim kind of has its own life. But our developer for denim is always in every meeting about what we’re doing, how we’re progressing, about the look or whatever it is. He’s in the mix. That’s very important.
How big a part of the brand is denim, and is it important to align the personality of the jeans and the ready-to-wear?
Denim is 25 percent of our business, a figure that’s been quite stable for the last five, seven years. It’s never in, it’s never out, that’s the beauty of it. But the five-pocket jean is a classic thing, which is why it’s so difficult for a fashion show. Because you want to stay in the realistic field, but you still want to try to do something [on the runway]. So you don’t see much denim at Acne shows.
Acne stores are popping up everywhere now—on Paris’ Left Bank, in downtown L.A. Where to next?
We’re opening in Hong Kong in September, a very small, little cute store. Our New York store is due for a rethink. We’d like more space, or else we’ll have to split men’s and women’s.
What do you see as the future of denim? How important are technological innovations, in terms of stretch, say, to the Acne brand?
We had success at the start because I developed a denim fabric with a supplier that had stretch. So I’m interested, but I’ve become more and more about the visual, less about the technical. I’m not smart enough. I’m so much about appearance and first impression. I think the technical aspects are very difficult. I’d rather like to be the Hermès of jeans than the North Face.
Karlie Kloss has more in common with Taylor Swift than a new blond ‘do—it turns out the BFFs have a matching weekend uniform, too. Spotted at Sarabeth’s in Tribeca, their off-duty style seems to consist of simple T-shirts, ladylike black bags, and—what else?—denim. Swift opted for distressed cutoffs, while Kloss gave us serious white jean envy. Both looks epitomized a laid-back summer vibe. For more style inspiration, you can check out our favorite cutoff moments and today’s brand-new shopping guide dedicated to another summer favorite: chambray shirts.