It’s the plight of women everywhere, a universal and inevitable challenge: finding great jeans. It’s made all the more tricky when you look at what a great jean really is: a time-tested classic that’s worn every which way. Jeans are so established in our wardrobes that it’s no wonder the perfect pair can be so elusive. But we think it boils down to three things. Our head of denim design, Mary, explains.
REALLY GREAT DENIM (IT’S EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU MIGHT THINK)
“It’s like cooking—your food only tastes as good as the ingredients you use. So starting with premium denim is key,” says Mary. “That’s why we work with Orta, Isko and Candiani, mills that have been producing really great denim for a very long time.”
IT TAKES A CERTAIN EXPERTISE THAT’S HARD TO COME BY
“We’ve been working with a washhouse in Kentucky that is helmed by a wash master, a man who’s been perfecting his craft for decades,” says Mary. “No one is better at replicating vintage-inspired washes or giving denim fabric that loved and worn feel. Our pattern maker Victor (pictured above) works out of our LA studio and has also been in the business for a long time. He got into tailoring as a teenager in Russia and understands how to make a timeless fit. He’s our resident denim purist.”
LOTS AND LOTS (AND LOTS) OF TIME
“By the time our jeans get back to our in-house design team in our New York office, over 100 people around the world have been involved,” says Mary. “When the sample comes in, you can tell within seconds if it’s something really special. Then we put each pair through a wear test, trying them out for as long as needed to ensure we’re confident with the final product.”
Photography by Thomas Neal and Angi Welsch.