Frida Gustavsson does not like the way skinny jeans look on her six-foot-tall frame. And for that reason, the model, who hails from Sweden, can usually be found wearing a 70s-style flare. But about a month ago, she bought a pair of Acne Studios’ wide-wide leg Drift Vintage jeans. To see her in them is like waking up in the mid-90s (actually, our friend Hilary Walsh, who shot Frida for this story, told her she was having flashbacks of 1992). So how does a girl who was only born in 1993 get it so spot on? I mean, there were skater girls back in our high school days (we’ll keep it vague, but it was the 90s) who would have killed to look like this.
We’re going to say that Frida just simply has a great eye for what looks cool. We first met her four years ago while doing a shopping story with the then 17-year-old in New York. Frida’s pick for our first stop: the Jil Sander store on Crosby Street. Jil Sander. Seventeen years old. This look is a little different, but it’s exactly suited for her life in Venice Beach, where she hangs her hat – and her cruise board – these days. She and her boyfriend like to ride on the boardwalk or Abbot Kinney. Skater girls, take not.
Tell us about why you chose these jeans for your story…
I thought it might be cooler to do something unexpected. I’m more 90s than people would imagine, though my heart is very into 70s-style hight-waisted jeans, with a big flare. I’m not a fan of tight pants, and these are still wide, but they hang low. They’re like the cool sister of those other jeans. They remind me of what people were wearing when I grew up: Fila shoes, sports bras…that aesthetic is coming back and it’s so fun. It’s fun to play off these Acnes’ funny, baggy design. I even do a white shirt and a blazer with them. I wear them a lot. They’re so comfortable.
Where did you pick them up?
I got them at the store in Stockholm. I remember when Acne started. I love Swedish jeans. I only wear Acne and Blk Dnm – which isn’t technically Swedish, but the designer Johan Lindeberg is – or vintage. I’ve found a lot of great vintage jeans in San Francisco. I look for a certain look rather than a specific brand. Once I found a huge container of unworn Wranglers from the 70s.
My dad worked between Stockholm and London when I was growing up. He has the best taste. He even used to make his own jeans in the 70s and 80s. But he would bring me jeans back from London. Once, he gave me the most perfect pair of vintage Wranglers. I saved a lot of them for when I have my own kid.
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What’s the prettiest place these jeans have been?
We went hiking in Joshua Tree last weekend, and it got so cold at night in the desert so I wore them at night with a huge blanket.
What’s the strangest place they’ve been?
It was crazy, I had an emergency landing on my way home – these jeans are so comfortable you can sleep in them on the plane – and I had to spend the night in Boston. Then I had another the week later. This was the sixth emergency landing in seven years. I just want to stay in L.A.!
Who was the last person to see you take them off?
My boyfriend, unless I have a creepy neighbor watching me [laughs].
If these jeans could talk, what would they say about you?
Hopefully, good things. I think I treat them quite well. I take them skateboarding, hiking…
Oh, you skate?
I do. Along the boardwalk in Venice or to get coffee. I love Intelligentsia, Cafe Gratitude. I mostly use a cruiseboard.
What would happen if you lost these?
I’d get really sad. The more you live in jeans, they become a part of you. It’s almost like if you lost a ring or another special piece of jewelry – jeans are so personal.
Do you get a lot of compliments when you wear them?
People seem to get good memories when they see them. They put a smile on people’s faces.
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What’s the chicest pair of jeans you ever wore?
Probably a pair of really cute baggy, straight-leg Louis Vuittons with their logo on the inside – for work.
What’s the silliest pair you’ve worn?
Oh, so many. In high school I wore them really low and boot cut. It was so horrible, but I loved it. It was around the time Britney [Spears] and Justin [Timberlake] wore those denim outfits.
Who has the best denim style?
You can’t not love James Dean and that whole jeans-and-a-white-t-shirt look. But my favorite is Morrissey – black jeans, leather jacket and a tee with the sleeves rolled up.
Ooh, good one. No one’s ever said Morrissey before.