Spring of next year will be an exciting time for denim, with fresh L.A. collections changing the game – and giving women whatever they want, from vintage-inspired boy fits, to eco-friendly innovations and sporty interpretations of indigo.
THE LINE: AMO
THE DESIGNERS: Kelly Urban and Misty Zollars
CAN’T WAIT TO WEAR: The Babe (above left).
WHY: Because it has a higher rise, a button fly, and an unstitched hem…and it totally lives up to its name.
“We love vintage jeans, and there’s no better feeling than finding a pair that you love – the perfect wash, the perfect fit…and lovingly broken in. The problem is that actually finding that pair is very hard to do,” says designer Kelly Urban.
“We love the hunt, but we also wanted something that really fit and that was comfortable,” says Misty Zollars.
So, Urban and Zollars, friends and denim diehards who come from Current/Elliott and True Religion, respectively, launched AMO, a five-style collection inspired by vintage classics. AMO, simply translated, is the Latin word for love, and there’s little else to feel about the line than that, actually. Total, all-in, need-it-now L.O.V.E. In addition to the Babe, described above and completely babe-alicious in every sense of the word, there’s:
The Kick: “Our version of a flare, that has a slightly higher rise and a long, gradually-belled leg that fits loosely at the knee and continues to widen for a leg-lengthening silhouette,” says Zollars.
The Tomboy: “We love boyfriends but wanted to create one that was more flattering than what’s currently out there,” Urban says.
The Twist: “This jean is cropped and works perfectly with any shoe,” says Zollars (magic words when it comes to selling jeans these days). The Twist’s lean leg, forward-bending side seam, and slit at the ankle make it an absolute original.
…and The Skinny: “Slim-fitted, but not too tight, and definitely not a yoga pant!”
Hallelujah to that. And AMO, we say!
THE LINE: TORTOISE
THE DESIGNERS: Lukus Eichmann, with Erynn Todd Feldman
WHY WE LOVE IT: Lukus and Erynn repurpose undesirable (read: deadstock and/or damaged) raw materials, and, using innovative and environmentally-friendlier wash processes and practices, they make some of the coolest and most expressive jeans we’ve seen.
ANOTHER REASON WE LOVE IT: The styles are named after turtle breeds.
“Tortoise is about incredible, luxurious washes,” says Lukus Eichmann, who with Erynn Todd Feldman launched the women’s extension of what was originally just a men’s line three seasons ago. “Our sensitivity to the environment sets us apart.” Using only reclaimed denim and organic pigments, Lukus makes jeans as rich in character as they are in quality. His wash system in Los Angeles wastes no water, Lukus tells us. He isn’t interested in trend. “For the most part, inspiration comes from our personal collections, clothes Erynn and I have loved and grown up wearing,” he says. New for spring:
The Bruma: “It’s a fuller leg than we’ve done before, and it has a leather cinch back detail. We cut it from structured, light-weight chambray, and finished it with delicate handwork and distressing.”
The Savanna: “We took our most popular women’s silhouette, and incorporated some floral embroidery, giving it a wonderful pop.”
The Hermann: “For guys, we did two new treatments in our signature cut. One is a white jean with a speckled black wax treatment. We’re also bringing back our distressed jean, which has a lot of fine handwork, that would normally require a lot of chemicals. We achieved it without wasting any water or using bleach, which is really extraordinary.”
Wondering why they’ve called the collection Tortoise? The creature’s slow, steady, race-winning way of life is a perfect metaphor for the designers’ sustainable production process.
THE LINE: MADE GOLD
THE DESIGNERS: Marta Goldschmied, with Shane Markland
THE LOOK: Traditional workwear-meets-street-inspired workoutwear.
WHAT THAT MEANS: Indigo knitwear. For real.
“We are like the rebels of the denim community,” says Marta Goldschmied. “Doing things our way without regard to the ways things are supposed to be done.” Leave it to the daughter of one of denim’s biggest innovators and influencers, Adriano Goldschmied (Rivet, AG, Goldsign), to break away from the status quo and start something totally new. “We want to make the rules as we go along. We are comfortable being unconventional.” How so? By applying techniques often saved for denim to indigo-dyed knitwear. “We use laser and stone-wash techniques to get these authentic effects on knit fabrics,” she explains. There’s denim, real denim, in the Made Gold collection, too, but it’s mixed in with a ton of sportier athletic-wear, which is right on trend for spring. Expect to see:
The Prospect Drop Crotch: “An over-sized jean that tapers down the leg so that it can be worn with a heel or a flat,” Marta says.
The Legend Skinny: “Our extra-long fashion jean that ruches at the ankle. To experience the advantages of a 40” inseam, you must put it on!”
The Jasmin Sweat: “A slouchy skinny from our indigo knit group that has a drawstring and tapers and has a ribbed cuff. It’s the ultimate travel pant.”
An indigo legging and sports bra? That stretch we love so much was bound to lead us there, eventually.