The best thing about buying a pair of jeans in an indie boutique is the curation of labels you probably have never heard of. Alongside mega brands and standby vintage jeans, each season there’s something and someone new to discover. Here are seven denim designers that are poised to take over in a big way.
When it comes to cropped, wide leg and novel washes, this is the new guarde in designer denim. Daniel Corrigan launched Simon Miller as a men’s denim brand first in 2008 and later developed into a full-fledged lifestyle brand with men and women’s ready to wear clothing and bags. The American designer left his hometown of Seattle to study at the California Institute of the Arts before settling in Santa Barbara. His partner Chelsea Hansford joined Simon Miller as Brand Director before later becoming a Creative Director in 2015. Chelsea has been a catalyst in pushing the brand forward and played a major role in launching the women’s wear and accessories collections. The label focuses on quality American craftsmanship combined with Japanese garment dyeing techniques. Shop Simon Miller >
“This industry is the worst. It’s so dictated by a specific type of person who chooses what people want to look like. I hope that I’m at least part of the movement for change.” Since the first collection flew off the shelves at Assembly in New York, 69’s collection of unisex, non-demographic clothing has kept us wanting more. The designer of the brand is anonymous and chooses to remain so, shunning the typical, public expectations of social media. Femininity and masculinity are brought together with loose, oversized silhouettes, fashion-forward washes and billowy tops and jumpsuits. Shop 69 >
Whether it’s novelty denim or staple jeans, this New York City-based line masters it all. Launched in 2011, 3×1 was Scott Morrison’s third denim venture (named for this fact and because of the brand’s weaving construction, the “3×1 Right Hand Twill”). Scott is the man behind Paper Denim & Cloth (founded in 1999) and Earnest Sewn (launched in 2004), so he was already a pioneer in the industry before launching 3×1. His love of Japanese and Turkish raw selvedge denim has inspired it all since day one. No one does luxury denim quite like Morrison and limited edition, custom and bespoke jeans are this brand’s specialty. The price range varies drastically from $295 for a pair of limited edition jeans to $1,200 and up for the bespoke service. For 3×1’s growing fan base, the luxurious quality and unbeatable fit makes each pair worth every single dime. Shop 3×1 >
It all began in New York when a mutual friend introduced founders Stacy Daily and Claire Lampert. They had both moved east – Claire grew up in Minnesota and Stacy in Michigan – so they were fast friends, bonding over a love of vintage clothing, upcycling and denim. First came friendship, then came business as the pair founded the influential vintage store Where I Was From. It wasn’t long before they decided to launch B-Sides, a denim label which transforms vintage jeans from the southwest into something totally new, all in their Brooklyn studio. Since they went into business together, they have collaborated with rad brands like Assembly, Ace & Jig and No.6. As far as we’re concerned everything they touch turns to gold, so consider this denim with the midas touch. Shop B-Sides >
NAKED & FAMOUS
We’re willing to bet you know at least two guys who swear by this Canadian denim line. Naked & Famous was created by Brandon Svarc when he decided bring something to the designer denim table that didn’t involve a celebrity and celebrated the raw denim. One thing you will never find in a Naked & Famous collection is distressed denim – Brandon hates it. Sleek and simple styles are a constant in every collection with five main fits for men and three for women. Innovative fabrics and unusual treatments and washes are where this brand goes all out. Naked & Famous prides itself on unique, novelty fabrics such as selvedge and Kevlar denim, cashmere denim, multicolor nep fabrics and even scratch and sniff denim. As if we needed any more reasons to love this growing label, every pair of jeans is manufactured in Canada using high quality Japanese denim. Shop Naked & Famous >
This California-based line of denim is the answer to all of our ’70s love child dreams. Chloe Chippendale created Stoned Immaculate with her partner Chace after first building a career in the fashion industry as a stylist. The raw, inhibited culture of the 1970s and 1960s constantly influence the vibe of each collection – think fitted flares, patchwork denim and pastel suede. They officially launched in 2014 with their selvedge denim and reworked vintage jeans and have already garnered a cult following with denim heads and fashion editors alike. Bonus points: they produce collections in small batches in California so sustainability is also a constant. Perfectly imperfect is also the brand’s MO. All flaws are treasured by Chloe and Chace, considered part of the denim’s story. We can’t wait to make them part of ours. Shop Stoned Immaculate >
“Wood Wood is much more than a brand. It’s about style and attitude. We were raised with the desire to constantly evolve and we’ll keep on taking the brand even further by combining elements of underground and high-end into our very own aesthetic.” It was love at first sight when we were first introduced to this Danish label by Karl-Oskar and Brian SS Jensen. Founded in Copenhagen in 2002, Wood Wood is a comprehensive lifestyle brand, but with ’90s art, graffiti and street culture inspiring them, they apply their aesthetic to denim for a totally unique perspective. They mix high-fashion with urban streetwear, sophistication with sport. Look for tailored denim with cool-girl silhouettes and details. Shop Wood Wood >
Need a few new rules to go with the new denim labels to love? Sissy Sainte-Marie is at your service.
Photos (from the top) courtesy: Arcade Original, Stand Up Comedy, Assembly, Colleen Eversman, @nakedandfamous, B-Sides, Rider for Life, and Arcade Original.