Earlier this year, I was faced with an annoying, uncomfortable reality. My jeans no longer fit me. Not in the way that jeans sometimes don't fit as well as they did the month previously, but they literally didn't fit me. After years of yo-yo dieting, I'd finally found my set weight and, well, it wasn't what the 10+ pairs of jeans I previously owned was use to.
Buying jeans, whatever size you are, can be a life sucking task that makes you question your entire self confidence. Or maybe that's just what the experience was like for me. I needed one of every style, right? A skinny jean (I hate the name of that style), a flared jean, a boot cut...
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But every skinny jean I wore made me feel like I was squeezing into someone else's pants, even if they were the right size. And every cropped jean made me feel like an overgrown kindergartener.
Denim is not the type of thing I'd typically invest in. Shoes, bags, jewelry, yes. But jeans? Great at every price point, fashion editors everywhere say. But when I started asking my chic friends where their favorite jeans were from, I kept hearing the same thing: "I have one pair. They are from [insert name of whatever brand]. They were stupidly expensive, but I only have one pair, so..."
One pair at a high price point. Could this be the answer? Here, we talk to arguably the King and Queen of the luxury jean, Laura Vassar and Kris Brock, who, days before the CFDA's (for which they are nominated for Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent) sat down with us to discuss all things denim.
I think we can all agree that a staple pair of jeans is something that almost everyone, whether they care about fashion in a big way or not, needs in his or her wardrobe.
Kris Brock: People are so dedicated to their jeans.
Laura Vassar: [Growing up] I had, like, four drawers of just denim. Denim, denim, denim for days! I’ve had an obsession with jeans since probably about eighth grade. I had every kind from vintage to, like, my mom’s jeans. Earl Denim really sticks out in my mind. I loved Earl Jeans. [They] were the pair started my jean obsession.
The Earl Jean shearling lined denim jacket? I wore it everyday.
LV: Yes! It was the Earl Jean jacket with the shearling inside and I had a long corduroy Earl jacket…
I remember a huge fight with my parents about my VERY serious need for that jacket. I needed to really convince them it was worth that $200. I think my loved ones continue to be shocked when I admit how much money I spend on clothing. I try to explain, you know, there’s this thing called cost per wear. I have one pair of jeans and they’re $500 and they'll stay with me for years. Your jeans are definitely up there in price point.
LV: Personally for me, I have your same philosophy. I think it absolutely goes back to how many times you wear something. If I am going to live in it, I can justify that [higher price point]. For us, the cut and the fit and the feeling of the jean are really why we landed on this classic style. It’s an everyday fit. Another thing to note with this style is, of course, the Japanese denim. It’s salvage. The 100% cotton in the jean makes it feel really substantial and super secure on your body. This pair of jeans will last you a lifetime.
KB: All the jeans that we make are really authentic, from the washes to the fit. It is something that gets better with age. You can buy that one pair of jeans and it’s going to continue to get more worn and become better as you wear it.
Are your jeans made in L.A. or…
KB: The denim is cut, sewn, and washed here in L.A.
Was that an important intentional decision for you guys to keep it Made in the U.S.A.?
KB: I think since the beginning, it’s always been important to keep things close because it’s such an intimate process for us…to be able to just go to the factory and have a personal relationship with the people making the clothes. So yeah, I think so. It doesn’t hurt that L.A. is the denim capital of the world.
Brock Collection is one of those brands where you go on Instagram, or look at a lookbooks, and you feel like you know everything about that girl. You know what sort of perfume she wears, what she likes to do on the weekend…it’s much more than just the products. Denim is so much a part of the Brock Collection womans’ story. Is that because you both love denim so much personally? Is that because you saw that that was something that your customers were really wanting?
LV: Denim is such an important part…I want to say an important part of your soul. We spent a lot of time working on the fit by doing numerous fittings with our friends and family and testing out different washes of our denim— and from there, we worked very closely with our factory in Los Angeles to get the everything just right. Our signature Wright jean has a higher waist and a simple straight leg that hits just at the ankle. There is no stretch, which gives it a classic, almost vintage feel. I love that it gets softer with wear but never loses it shape, which is so important.
And it’s not a jean that is an in-you-face statement with logos or zippers everywhere. It really feels like you're wearing YOUR OWN jeans, not someone else's.
LV: Making a statement doesn’t have to be over the top. I feel that being subtle is sometimes more powerful. In the way we dress, voice opinions and how we work, I prefer to take a simple approach. And this is very much part of Brock Collection’s DNA. We design pieces that will live in a woman’s wardrobe, whether that be one of our mink coats down or our denim, we create pieces to last.