When Sophie Buhai bought her Levi’s Movin’ On high-rise flares at Wasteland in Los Angeles in the late 90s the world was a very different place. First, Wasteland, the thrifter’s paradise on Melrose Avenue, sold only vintage and second-hand clothes (no new retail; no trendy labels like you can buy there today). And second, there was no YouTube, so if you found a pair of perfect, high-rise Levi’s with a label on the back left pocket that said ‘Movin’ On,’ like Sophie did, you couldn’t have Googled it and discovered this gem:
According to YouTube, this commercial first aired on NBC on November 15, 1980, which means that Sophie and her jeans were created at about the same time. Both have aged beautifully, don’t you think? And don’t you also think it’s fitting that Sophie, who recently left her role as Vena Cava co-founder/designer/cult leader to launch a new jewelry and interiors business in Los Angeles, chose to wear jeans called Movin’ Ons for our shoot? It’s the kind of fit – proverbial and not – us denimheads dream of.
Sophie showcases her work – handmade-in-L.A. wood and silver jewelry, curated objects (found and fabricated), and interior design projects – on her website, SophieBuhai.com. Click through and tell me you don’t want to move in! “The idea was to have it feel like boutique that you might stumble into randomly that’s owned by an older woman who’s just selling her own things,” she explained. “It’s very special and personal.” Like her jeans. Which is probably why they look so truly perfectly together…
Use one word to describe your Levi’s.
What do you love most about them?
It’s hard to find a good high-waisted vintage jean. I only wear high-waisted jeans because I find them more flattering. I’m short, so they make my legs look longer. What makes this pair unique is the subtle shape of the flair, and the soft wash.
Do your jeans and the jewelry you make have anything in common?
I actually think they have more in common then one might think! With the jewelry I am trying to make classic and essential pieces. I see jeans in the same way.
What do your jeans and you have in common?
We come from the West. We love the West.
If your jeans could give us a word of advice – maybe it’s something you’ve learned while wearing them – what would it be?
The longer the zipper, the less you look like a stripper.
No one is seeing my belly button in these jeans. They are the denim equivalent of granny underwear –old fashioned but somehow very sexy.
HOME BODY Sophie at her house in Los Angeles. Shop her jewelry below, or at sophiebuhai.com.
What do your Levi’s know about you that we don’t know?
That’s between me and my jeans.
What’s the most memorable place your jeans have been?
Countless road trips to Big Sur, The Southwest, Palm Springs, and Upstate NY. They are the perfect road trip pant.
What’s the wildest place?
A voodoo ceremony in New Orleans.
If you could go anywhere in the world in them tomorrow, where would it be?
A beach somewhere in Greece.
What’s the best possible ending you could imagine for them?
Death by red wine.
How do your jeans help you do what you love to do?
I move around all day and I usually get pretty messy at the studio, or doing interior jobs. The jeans allow me to get dirty and stay comfortable. In L.A. if you’re wearing anything other then exercise clothes you’re “dressed.” I like to think I look professional in my jeans, by L.A. standards.
What’s your favorite way to wear them?
White shirt, silver jewelry, red lipstick, a loafer.
If you had to give them away, who would you give them to?
I’d give them to my younger cousin Cosima. They must stay in the family. The perfect jean is heirloom material.
If you had to wear them forever, could you?
Sure could. I’d be happy to have a uniform forever.
Fill in the blank: In my jeans, I am _________.
Fill in the blank: My jeans are at their best when they are _________.
Doing their everyday normal things. They look great at Trader Joe’s or on my couch as I check my email.