Denim — it’s the tried and true essential that holds pride of place in your off-duty wardrobe. If you're searching for twill thrills this season, these are the designers and cuts you need now.
J Brand co-founder Jeff Rudes set up this label with one mission: to design jeans that women feel confident wearing. So it probably comes as no surprise that a flawless fit is at the heart of the brand’s DNA, and that fabric innovation is key — these jeans are created using a high-performance stretch yarn that helps create the perfect shape. And it’s not gone unnoticed, with the label’s fan base counting all manner of great Kates — from Moss to Hudson to Middleton — in its number.
J Brand is led by timeless style, not flash-in-the-pan trends, although that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t register on the style radar: its now-iconic Houlihans were the It-jean of 2010, selling 200,000 pairs worldwide.
Key styles: Love Story & Maria Flare styles capture the season’s ‘70s mood
As founder and Chief Creative Officer of MiH Jeans, Chloe Lonsdale has denim running through her veins. Made in Heaven was first founded by her godfather in 1969, and her father ran a denim boutique on the King’s Road in the jeans-obsessed ‘70s.
It’s impossible to ignore the impact this decade has had on the brand. Vintage-inspired washes and details abound, but even more than that, every piece is imbued with a relaxed, free-spirited mood that evokes the nostalgia of days gone by.
Key styles: Skinny jean fans need look no further than classic Bonn and Paris styles
For a brand that likes to look back for inspiration, taking design cues from ‘70s fashion and classic Americana styling, Current/Elliott has some serious ahead-of-the-curve cache. As a fledgling label, its go-to status among stylists made it a cult favorite in the music world, and it’s been credited with starting the as-yet-unabated boyfriend jeans craze.
Trendsetting aside, Current/Elliott remains true to its LA roots, with its relaxed aesthetic and dedication to time-honored techniques playing out in effortlessly cool denim creations.
Key styles: Go classic with the Stiletto skinny, or mix things up with the Fling boyfriend
With a design aesthetic that blurs the boundaries between masculine and feminine, modern and heritage, rag & bone is a label for which fusion is key. Starting life as a menswear brand, its /JEAN line makes a strong case for downtime dressing, with beautifully constructed denim serving as the perfectly judged complement to relaxed sweaters, off-duty dresses and cool-girl accessories.
It’s not just its aesthetic that pays homage to its British roots: the name rag & bone was taken from the term used to describe 19th century traveling vendors who made a living selling rags and other unwanted items that they’d collected.
Key styles: The Dre slim boyfriend style epitomizes boy-meets-girl cool
There’s nothing the fashion world loves more than a secret, and R13 was more secretive than most, with the brand’s Creative Director working anonymously for several years. It was only at the FW16 show that former Ralph Lauren designer Chris Leba stepped out of the shadows to claim the role.
The label may no longer be shrouded in mystery, but that hasn’t affected its place in the style stakes: with its grunge-inspired aesthetic and effortless styling, it remains a seriously cool denim contender.
Key styles: R13’s slouchy harem-style X-Over jean sets them apart from the pack
One of the original premium denim brands, 7 for all Mankind set the bar high with its high-quality denim, lived-in washes and flattering silhouettes. The label launched without even a whisper of advertising, choosing instead to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations shared by those in the know.
The risk paid off, with their perfect-fit jeans quickly earning cult status among the red-carpet set, with fans including Cameron Diaz, Sienna Miller and Kristen Stewart (to name but a few).
Key styles: Look to The Skinny, Roxanne and Rozie styles for classic skinny-fit options
Get closer in silhouette-skimming styles
So seventies, so chic
Denim dresses, dungarees & more