Leave it to Hillary Kerr, co-founder of the Who What Wear, Byrdie, and My Domaine dot coms, to be one of the first to get her hands on a pair of jeans from The Great, the clothing line by denim veterans Emily Current and Meritt Elliott. New for fall, The Great jeans are everything you know denim by Current and Elliott to be: authentic, envelope-pushing, and fun (The gutsy washes! The playful fits!). Come to think of it, they’re a lot like Hillary, who is one of the funniest, most charismatic, most outgoing people I know. If anyone could turn The Great’s most sober style – The Almost Skinny skinny in black – into something sexy and wonderfully light of heart, it’s Hillary.
And that she did! Wearing her Greats with a vintage tee, cherry-red pumps, and the Levi’s jacket her boyfriend Jonathan has had since he was a kid (you can’t have Jonathan’s jacket, so I won’t even go there, but it’s sick), Hillary entertained me with rosé, potato chips, table dancing, high kicks, jazz hands, and – my personal favorite – the Charleston. It was a lot of action for such a serious jean. “I almost exclusively wear black skinny ankle jeans,” she said as she not-so-seriously handed me a glass of wine in a Kerr canning jar (natch!). Well, if Hillary’s new favorite Greats didn’t have a good story before Jean Stories showed up, they most certainly do now.
Describe your Greats for us in one word?
What do you love most about them?
The fit, of course! To find a skinny jean that’s perfectly cropped at the ankle, hugs your body without suffocating it, and has a flattering rise is tricky, but this pair truly ticks every box.
What do they give you that other jeans do not?
Confidence. They make me feel like my best self. Who could resist?
What do your jeans know about you that most people don’t?
The fact that I tend to break out my version of the Charleston – yes, as in the 1920s dance – on a semi-regular basis. [We can vouch for this, she did it at our shoot!]
What’s the most memorable place your Greats have been?
Well, they’re rather new, so we haven’t gone the distance quite yet. But I did take them bowling recently (a rather unusual activity for me!).
What’s the weirdest place?
Again, I think a bowling alley is perhaps the correct answer!
If you could go anywhere in the world in your Greats tomorrow, where would it be?
It’s a toss up between a Fleetwood Mac concert and Sydney, Australia. The former because I adore all things Stevie, and the latter because we’re launching Australian versions of our sites soon. I’m really looking forward to spending some more time in one of my favorite cities in the world.
What do you and your Greats have in common?
At the risk of sounding self-aggrandizing, we’re both people pleasers that you could take anywhere.
What do your Greats and Who What Wear have in common?
They’re both versatile staples that you can wear/read every day, and they’ll still be inspiring.
What do they say about the way that you live daily?
These jeans are both practical and polished, and can really be worn in a vast range of situations and ways, which fits my lifestyle perfectly.
What’s the best possible ending you could imagine for your Greats?
Ideally, they would have a long, fun, adventure-filled life with me, and then I’d bequeath them to my best friend’s daughter, Avery, in 20 years.
If you could give your Greats to anyone, dead or alive, who would you give them to and why?
Brigitte Bardot in the 1950s. They’d look amazing on her, especially styled with a Breton-stripe shirt and her signature tousled hair.
What’s the best possible thing you could be doing in them right now?
Eating fried chicken and drinking bourbon in New Orleans with my friends, or dancing at a Leon Bridges secret show in an Austin honky-tonk.
KERR-FECT The editor and entrepreneur at home in West Hollywood, California.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about how to wear jeans?
To wear what fits and flatters your body best, and don’t worry about the latest trends.
What do you think is the most important thing to look for in a pair of jeans?
Aside from fit, for me, it’s all about versatility. I look for jeans that work equally well in the office, on the weekend, and out at night.
What have your friends taught you about wearing jeans?
That the right hem can make a world of difference!
What’s your favorite denim moment in fashion?
Remember when Kate Moss turned up at a Topshop show in 2006 wearing a pair of vintage Chloe wide-leg jeans? No one was wearing that silhouette at the time, and she just looked so refreshingly cool and chic. That said, I’ve always secretly adored the psychedelic rock of the late 1960s/early 1970s, so I have a soft spot for worn-in bell-bottom jeans that I simply can’t quite quit.
KERR-IFIC She’s prone to spontaneous dancing. Especially when wearing The Almost Skinny skinny from The Great! $265, go to matchesfashion.com.
Tell us about your all-time favorite pair…
I will always be smitten with Current/Elliott’s debut bell-bottom style, the Elephant Bell, from 2008. My very first pair is incredible on every level— truly the perfect wash, the softest denim, and the most incredible fit—and there was nothing like it available at the time.
Was there ever a pair that got away?
Not yet! I’m a pretty decisive shopper, so if I like a pair of jeans, I generally pull the trigger immediately.
Is there a denim look or fit you think will never go out of style?
Well Levi’s 501s certainly are the gift that keeps on giving, aren’t they? I used to buy them at salvation shops in the 1990s, and have a button-fly pair from high school that are just thrashed—as in: totally threadbare and covered in patches—that I will always love.
Fill in the blank: In my jeans, I am _________.
Confident and mischievous!