Denim is a fabric that has soul: True Religion Denim Panel Discussion

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.”



  1. Alanna
    September 14, 2011 / 11:48 am

    “Denim has soul” this is the absolute truth. Also denim has an self-awareness about it as a fabric. It doesn’t lie to you (you know exactly how your tummy feels +/- 5 lbs in your favorite pair) but it can mask sins and make you feel amazing.

    I know when I lost about 55lbs 3 years ago, I was so excited I could finally wear a pair of premium denim – I was a member of both Honest Forum and Denim Forum at that time and I would love to chat about PD (premium denim) with other forum go’ers, take pics of our new pairs and, in general, swoon over the latest styles and best fits for my body type.

    Now, post – ’08 economy crash, I cannot purchase the number of pairs I used to, nor would I want to do that anymore. It seems gluttonous to me, now. I love to try on pairs and road test new styles, but I always go back to the same pairs that make my bum and thighs feel and look great!

    I would, however, love to try a custom fit pair of Levi’s. There is something about those iconic rigid 501 pockets that lift the behind and shape like no other (well that and possibly the 70’s-era curved-pocket Wranglers, but I cant seem to find those!).


  2. October 9, 2011 / 6:24 am

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  3. July 11, 2013 / 5:42 pm

    I love jeans…but fit is totally everything. For me because I have a bubble butt and a small waist line finding jeans that fit both places is often impossible. As a general rule, thin more stretchy jeans fit the best because they kind of mold to the shape of my body as I wear them. My favorite jeans lately are a pair I purchased from Zara. Without any alterations they fit all my curves perfectly. I’m 4’11 so length is also another thing to consider but the length on these is just on as well.


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