What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of True Religion? Is it the big horseshoe stitch on the back pocket? The pervasive, rockstar-inspired branding? The guitar-strumming buddha that was once the company’s logo? If you live on planet earth, then you probably know something about True Religion jeans, and their look, although lately, that look’s been changing. “We have always stood for great denim with handcrafted details,” says Rosella Giuliani, chief product officer at True Religion. “Now we’re really digging in and taking what’s authentic to the brand to a new place.”
One of the best examples of this change is True Religion’s incredible new Runway collection, which Rosella and her team, lead by Cory Guest, women’s design director, developed in response to the activewear craze currently outfitting all things off-duty. (Rosella, whom I used to work with at Gap, btw, and who has been on the design and merchandising teams at Seven For All Mankind, Guess, and Banana Republic, too, has loads of experience and serious skills when it comes to making jeans.) “With the Runway, we’ve taken something as traditional as a five-pocket jean and given it a modern feel,” Rosella explained. Not just that, she’s given the Runway’s super soft and versatile pull-on styles amazing leg-lengthening fits. Want to know why I showed True Religion’s Runway moto legging (and my own butt in them) on the site last week? Because they’re really flattering. That’s with huge thanks to Rosella.
Here, at TR headquarters in Manhattan Beach, California, she talks about how the Runway collection started, and what they can do not just for the length of your legs, but the way you feel, too.
First, tell us what’s always in the very front of your mind when you are designing True Religion jeans?
Fit. It has to fit perfectly and it has to feel amazing.
What does the new Runway collection do that other denim can’t do?
The entire collection is flattering on all body types. It looks like a classic five-pocket jean, but it has the pull-on comfort of an active legging.
What’s your favorite style from the Runway line, and how do you like to wear it?
For me, it all depends on the mood I’m in and the occasion. The entire collection gives you variety, is casual and dressy, and all of the styles are super comfortable! Most recently, I’ve been wearing the Runway legging in the Pacific Ave. wash. It’s clean, classic, and I can wear it every day with a great sneaker or heel.
Click to get closer…
LET’S SLIP INTO SOMETHING MORE COMFORTABLE “It’s not about looking like you’re going to the gym,” Rosella says about the Runway collection. “It’s about looking great.” Go to truereligion.com.
How did the Runway start? What was the inspiration? And how did you execute it?
With the athletic trend resonating with woman at all levels of the market, we challenged ourselves to think about how to best address the trend as a denim brand, with our own DNA. We saw other brands literally make leggings. Instead of doing that, our team developed the Runway with the look of a five-pocket jean, and the flexibility of a legging.
What can women expect to get from their Runways?
A jean so flattering on your legs that it makes you look and feel like a runway model. They’re comfortable, but they don’t look sloppy or make you look like you’re headed to the gym. Just put together. And they are easy to dress up.
What’s some of the best feedback you’ve gotten from women about the collection?
Someone told me that every time she wears the Runway legging she gets a compliment. Hearing that directly from a customer meant we accomplished our goal. I’ve given the Runway to some of my friends that never wear jeans and they now swear it’s their favorite. I hear: “I never knew a jean could be so comfortable and still look great.”
Click on a pic for more…
PEAS IN A POD Rosella created the Runway collection with True Religion’s women’s design director Cory Guest, left. “It was really our response to what is happening in fashion with activewear. We wanted to give women an alternative to leggings,” she says.
What are you most proud of in this collection?
Giving women the opportunity to look and feel their best.
Do you wear Runways every day?
I wear them as often as possible. We offer a lot of amazing denim at True Religion, and I wear it all. But the Runway is my favorite.
Where was the last exciting or memorable place you wore a pair of Runways?
I was just in New York during fashion week with our collaborators, Joan Smalls and Russell Westbrook. It was the perfect street-style moment for me.
If you could give a pair of Runways to anyone in the world, who would you give them to? Why?
Gwen Stefani. She’s a rockstar, a mother, a businesswoman. Someone who does it all and looks incredible no matter where she’s going or what she’s doing. No one looks better at the grocery store than Gwen!
IN THE SWING OF THINGS “You can do anything in the Runway,” Rosella says. “The biggest thing is that it’s so versatile.”
Fill in the blank: My Runways are to me what _________ is to _________.
Amazing shoes are to my feet. An essential.
Fill in the blank: In my Runways I feel I can _________.
Be ready to do anything, for any occasion.