7 cool denim brands to feed your jeans addiction
Time for denim 2.0
For years, it seemed as though the denim industry had plateaued, but as the skinny jean trend finally fell from favour, so too did the cool denim brands that had flooded the markets and closets of the fashion savvy ‘It’ girls. While labels like Citizens of Humanity, Paige and even Levi’s have become cemented in the market as easy and reliable go-to labels, a new wave of cool denim brands have cropped up, becoming the new heroes of the ubiquitous fashion item.
From classic to avant-garde, androgynous styles to super feminine, relaxed to fitted, denim has never been so diversified, with these brands bringing their own spin on the classic, and a refresher to any wardrobe.
Welcome to the era of Denim 2.0, where jeans are no longer just a daily necessity and they aren’t merely the quintessential 5 pocketed blue jeans from your mum’s closet, but rather the new statement piece for your collection and a worthwhile investment.
7 cool denim brands to know:
Touted as “a cross between disco chic and cowgirl cool”, few brands pique interest as much as Eve Denim. Adelaide Bourbon (the perfect name for one Paris-born and New York-raised) founded the brand as a tribute to her heritage, coalescing American workwear sensibility with a French vintage aesthetic. Raw denim is everywhere, with a slew of silhouettes ranging from ranch-style overalls to Studio 54-era flares. There is no distressing in any of the designs, as though Bourbon wanted the denim to speak for itself. The beauty is in the simplicity, and the duality etched throughout—classic yet modern, French yet American, and city yet country.
Courtesy: Eve denim
When R13 hit the fashion scene in 2009, it was shrouded in anonymity due to a creative director unbeknownst to the media. Fast forward to the runway debut in 2016 and Chris Leba—a former VP at Ralph Lauren—finally laid claim to his brand. Top retailers like Barneys, Totokaelo, and Shopbop had already snapped up the label so embedded in 80s and 90s punk culture. Rebellious grunge vibes are ubiquitous throughout R13’s identity, with deconstructed, avant-garde jeans, flannel, and just about anything nostalgic of the Kurt Cobain era remains a cornerstone to his collections. With Victoria Beckham and Jada Pinkett-Smith as proponents of the brand, there remains no uncertainty about whether Leba’s alternative aesthetic resonates.
Kelly Urban and Misty Zollars acquired their denim industry veteran status honing their expertise at labels like Current/Elliott and True Religion before establishing their own brand, AMO (the Latin word for love). The mission was simple—make denim that gets better with wear, felt real, and was truly comfortable. Since its 2014 establishment in Los Angeles, AMO’s jeans have embodied the tenets on which it was built, crafting a brand that reflects timelessness and modernity.
There are few places in the world that evoke the notion of cool as much as Coachella, so it made sense that e-commerce juggernaut-turned-design house, Revolve, would decide to launch the latest addition to their roster in 2016 at the California music festival. Inspired by vintage denim, Grlfrnd nestles itself perfectly between past and present as, “like vintage, but better.” Remedying the structural issues from the taut jeans of past, with demands of the feminine waistlines of present, Grlfrnd masterfully weds the two. As with most other things to be born by Revolve, it’s become a booming success overnight and championed by some of Instagram’s biggest influencers—Aimee Song (AKA Song of Style), Camila Coelho, and Negin Mirsalehi, just to name a few.
Perhaps the OG of the new wave denim movement, RE/DONE has become a staple of every fashion editor, stylist, or industry adjacent person out there. As if that wasn’t already a substantial feat, the label was born online, established as an e-commerce brand, and proliferated by its founders, Sean Barron and Jamie Mazur. Functioning as both a luxury label and a movement to sustain the relevance of heritage brands, RE/DONE repurposes your favourite vintage Levi’s into a modern alternative, while maintaining every element that made them so revered to begin with. From dark, straight, distressed jeans, to light “Crawfords”, emblematic of it’s namesake, there’s something for everyone.
As denim industry veterans with a mutual affinity for classic sportswear and premium denim, Jerome Dahan, founder of Citizens of Humanity, and Noam Hanoch, the former creative director of the same brand, saw an opportunity to develop a capsule luxe denim collection integrating California cool with Parisian chic. Launched in 2017, Jean Atelier focuses on expertly crafted jeans, skirts, jackets, blouses and trousers meant for everyday use, tinged with a component of collectability, sophistication, and global influence through the use of the rarefied materials sourced to produce them. Remarkably, albeit unexpectedly, at less than a year old, the label has become a favorite amongst models and influencers alike, from Gigi Hadid to Kourtney Kardashian.
Japanese have long been known for their luxe denim and superior dyeing techniques, so it comes as little surprise that of all the labels to hit the denim market, Moussy would be amongst the best. While the brand was founded in 2000 and has over 120 retail locations in Japan, China and Hong Kong, their first stand-alone store was opened in New York City in 2016. The Moussy philosophy approaches womenswear through traditionally men’s styles, while incorporating minimalist Japanese elements. The result? Effortlessly chic women’s denim and ready-to-wear that exude that It attitude. Distressed jeans, cropped lengths, and baggy silhouettes perfect the elusive look we’ve been searching for, but have never been able to find.