This week’s Designer Q & A is with Jerome Lew, Creative Consultant to Work Custom Jeans.
Why do you think after 200 years jeans are still one of the most popular items of clothing?
Since the time that Levi Strauss started it all, jeans have evolved from being an entirely functional work wear item to the one garment that is now coveted globally that defines American style and culture. Politics aside, people resonate with denim because it has been long associated with coveted attributes: from being a pioneer to rebellious rock and roller. It runs the gambit and consequently denim today has characteristics that have taken on cultural cues and nuances: there’s clean denim for the understated on one hand, then on the extreme side are more obvious, contrived styling cues you find on brands like True Religion, and of course, the plethora of brands that fall in between.
Last time I counted there were over 200 brands of premium denim jeans, what makes your jeans stand out from the rest?
We are all about provocative elegance. We push the envelope a bit for sure, but within the boundaries of iconic and classic styling. Our differences really lie in the details: our choice of fabrics, finishes and hardware. We put a lot of love into our jeans. Our fabrics are all hand selected directly on site at mills in Japan and Italy. Our hardware substrates are made of real gold and platinum. Quality and substance over fluff.
Who do you imagine is a typical customer?
She’s definitely following trends, but always wants to have core denim pieces to tie her fashion accessories together. She’s also a girl that doesn’t subscribe to predictable or historical fashion trends and paradigms. She’s just as apt to sport her Christian Louboutins with our jeans as she is to roll them up with a pair of flip flops. She doesn’t want to be defined or limited to how she can mix things up. She likes to keep things exciting. You’ll find her in LaPerla and Agent Provocateur when she peels are jeans off. She’s very Helmut Newton.