On Sunday evening Jennine and I headed over to the Highline Room at The Standard Hotel for a panel discussion about denim, hosted by True Religion. Jennine was asked to be a part of the panel, along with six other industry notables, and I took in as much as I could from the audience.
The panel was moderated by Simon Collins, Dean of the Fashion School at Parsons, and he kicked things off by asking each panelist describe their favorite pair of jeans. Model Anne Vyalitsyna, the face of TR’s Fall 2011 campaign noted that her favorite pair of jeans was a pair of Lee jeans she bought in junior high – the first she ever owned. Her anecdote set a tone of intimacy when it comes to people’s feelings about denim, which permeated the rest of the discussion.
Sam Ben-Avraham, owner of the denim shop Atrium, explained that his favorite pair of jeans are the Levi’s 501, which sparked a much longer conversation about the return of Levis, and their commitment to quality denim and great fits. The group also touched on sustainability in the denim industry, Japanese cotton, the longevity of premium denim, and the effect collaborations between designers and companies like Target and Walmart have on consumers.
Overall, what I took from this panel was a renewed feeling of attachment and sentimentality towards denim, and especially my jeans. They really are the cornerstone of just about any person’s wardrobe, and have been for generations. I sometimes forget that I’m not alone in my meticulous requirements in a pair of jeans, and that everyone struggles to find the right fit. And likewise, everyone feels an unparalleled elation when they do a turn in front of the mirror and feel completely confident in a simple pair of pants.
It seemed that Sam Ben-Avraham had the most soulful relationship with denim, which came through when Simon asked the panelists a final question, “What is denim to you?”
“Denim is a fabric that has soul. It gets better with time, and it’s a reflection of you. Everything in your closet comes and goes, but the same jeans stay for 10 years.”