In 2010, sisters-in-law Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard launched a collection of jackets with removable, interchangeable dickies. You wanted a turtleneck or a hoodie under your blazer? Done – with all the chicness, but less bulk, of actually layering two full pieces. The styles were perfectly suited for…jeans! Just add a shoe and you were done. The 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists have since added several other silhouettes to their line, and they look equally good with denim.
So we paid them visit in their newly expanded studio space in Chelsea, where their identical desks sit next to each other in their shared office. Inspiration boards covered in women whose style they admire – everyone from Sheryl Sandberg, to Kate Moss, to their own mothers – are the backdrop. Veronica M. Beard had on a pair of tangerine-hued Jimmy Tavernitis. “I have them in blue and yellow, too,” she revealed. Good thing she’s stocked up; these babies are hard to come by. Veronica S’s ripped blue jeans were the spoils of her Zara shopping habit. “I go there once a week,” she told us. (We hear that quite often here at Jean Stories; Zara: the not-so-secret denim heaven). When you’ve got a good thing going, why stop?
What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think about this pair of jeans?
VMB: My jeans mimic my moods. I’ve got casual, dressy, frumpy, colorful, skinny, colorful…
What shoe do you like wearing the most with these jeans?
VMB: The navy VB jacket with gold buttons and striped hoodie dickey.
VSB: High heels – Rupert Sandersons or Manolos
What’s the prettiest place these jeans have been?
VMB: To the Hampton Classic Horse Show.
VSB: They’ve got a lot of holes in them, so I don’t take them out to fancy places.
What’s the weirdest place these jeans have been?
VMB: To Ushuaia, Argentina… “Fin del Mundo.”
How would you feel if you lost these jeans? What would you do?
VMB: I’ve already tried to buy a second pair in case I lose these or they rip. I also own them in different colors…
VSB: Luckily I always buy two of anything I like – especially jeans – so I’m covered.
Who has seen you take these jeans off?
VMB: My kids! I wear these a lot at the beach over a bathing suit.
VSB: My handsome husband, Jamie Beard.
Who else would you take them off for?
VMB: My husband, or Johnny Depp (he’s my freebee)!
VSB: The mirror.
Click on an image to see the slideshow
Why did you buy them and where?
VMB: I bought them for the pockets (I’m a sucker for cargos) and the color! The color is saturated and faded at the same time.
VSB: I bought them at Zara, because I have a Zara addiction and I’m there a lot.
If these jeans could talk, what would they say about you?
VMB: She never sits still!
VSB: Veronica Swanson Beard has a jean and shoe addiction.
Has anyone else ever worn these jeans?
VMB: NEVER. I don’t think they’d necessarily want to, either.
VSB: No. My younger sister Claiborne [Swanson Frank] lives in L.A., so she can’t steal my clothes anymore.
And do you two ever wear each others jeans?
Would you swap the pairs your wore in your Jean Stories shoot?
VSB: I’m not a colored jean girl. I stick to the basics – blue, black, or white.
Has anyone ever complimented you on these jeans? What did they say?
VMB: Yes! They want to know if I got my butt lifted, and I tell them, “It’s the jeans!”
VSB: Yes! My husband loves them. I think that they remind him of a sexy girl from his boarding school past.
What do you think your husbands think of these jeans? Your kids? Your friends?
VMB: My husband is a sucker for low-rise jeans. My kids love the color. They all want their own colored jeans.
VSB: My kids think they look old.
When you’ve designed denim looks for your own collection, what was most important to you?
VMB: Fit. The rear-end is crazy important. Seam detailing is everything.
VSB: That they fit perfectly and make your tush look like it’s 18 years old!
Click on an image to see the slideshow
What’s the best denim memory you have?
VMB: Going to the hospital in my pregnancy jeans to give birth.
VSB: My vintage Levi’s cut-offs I bought American Rag in eighth grade. They had an old section of the American flag sewn across the front and I thought they were the coolest things in the world. I also vividly remember buying my first pair of J Brands at Intermix almost ten years ago. They were the answer to my denim dreams.
Do you remember your first pair?
VMB: White Guess jeans with grey stripes, circa 1984.
VSB: I would consider my Osh Kosh B’Gosh overalls my first pair. There is nothing cuter than a kid in overalls.
Was there ever a pair that got away?
VSB: My sister Claiborne found the PERFECT pair of vintage boot-cut Levi’s when we were in high school, and I would have literally sold my soul for those.
What’s the silliest jean you’ve ever worn?
VMB: Acid-washed from the 80s
VSB: I bought Gap bell bottoms in eighth grade. They were crazy, but I loved them.
What’s the chicest/coolest jean you’ve ever worn?
VMB: Jordache jeans from the 80s.
Who do you think has the best denim style?
VMB: Kate Moss in her cut-offs. I wish I could pull those off!
VSB: Jane Birkin and Lauren Hutton.
What denim trend are you willing to try right now?
VMB: High-wasted, wide-leg jeans.
Do you have a favorite brand and are you loyal?
VMB: I love many brands. I am loyal, but I also try new brands all the time!
VSB: J Brand, Rag & Bone, and Zara
Bruce Springsteen’s jeans or Kurt Cobain’s? Why?
VMB: BRUCE!!! He’s from NEW JERSEY!!
What was your 80s denim style? (if you were old enough!) What was your 90s denim style? What was your early 2000s denim style? And how would you describe your current denim style?
VMB: 70s Jordache, 80s Guess, 90s vintage Levi’s, 2000s Chloe jeans. Currently, skinny jeans, wide-legs, ripped jeans!
VSB: 80s Guess, 90s vintage Levi’s, 2000s J Brand.
Whose jeans would you steal these days if you could? Why?
VMB: I’ll bet Mick Jaggar has a pair of vintage-looking jeans that would have just the right flare and maybe some studs on them!!
VSB: Brooke Sheilds’ pair of Calvin Klein jeans so I could frame them.