We have just recently introduced you to Los Angeles based denim brand, Modern American. Curious about what they are all about, we spoke with Josh Beech, Art Director and head of photography for MOD/AM. Read on about what he has to tell us about the brand, upcoming denim trends, and more:
Josh Beech, originally from south east London, has spent over a decade in front of the camera as a top ranking model who quickly catapulted to success being scouted onstage whilst performing with his former punk rock band a decade ago.
Josh has performed on stages and walked on runways across the globe and shot for most of fashion’s elite, including Vogue Homme, GQ, Burberry, Levis, I-D, Tommy Hilfiger… to name a few. His natural transition into working behind the camera began while on set as a model and asking to assist and learn from the photographers he was shooting with.
Rarely without a camera for most of his formative years, his photography is now bolstered by extensive studies as well as a firsthand knowledge and experience that few photographers and art directors have. Beech’s charismatic persona and professionalism make subjects feel secure, comfortable and confident instantaneously. His years spent in front of the lens crafted his eye for flattering angles and interesting compositions.
His lifelong love of all things rock and roll translates into his keen attention to detail and an appreciation for raw grit and soul. Josh has always been a strong visionary, with experience directing his own music videos and live shows to lookbooks and campaigns for brands. His natural transition into Art Direction was inevitable and sought after by brands and editorial publications alike from all around the world. After years of being freelance and dipping his toes in the water working with brands such as All Saints, Fred Segal, The Great Frog and RTA, to name a few, Beech found his new home with the Fidelity Denim family with a focus on Modern American, a brand he can relate to and aligns with his artistic style completely.
Q: What are your trend predictions for next year?
A: My trend predictions for next year will be very influenced by the pandemic, lockdown, and DIY. I see distressed denim becoming a trend again from people trying to do it themselves at home, falling in love with the style and wanting to buy a high quality pair that lasts. In the past 2 months, we’ve seen a resurgence of acid wash, bleach, and tie dye garment, again, from people trying their luck and getting creative while at home locked down. Similarly to denim styles, I feel people are starting to shop for that because they can’t get it to look exactly how they want it to look at home. I call the next year in fashion ‘pandemic grunge chic’.
Q: Considering the current status of the economic situation, what measures will you take to keep the company going?
A: Being the artistic director, I feel I have a huge responsibility to be delivering as much content as safely as possible for the brand. I feel due to the pandemic, a lot of people don’t feel safe shopping in stores so we are working to make sure our website is a fun shopping experience and our social media is a real reflection of the lifestyle of the brand.
Q: What is Modern American ‘s view on sustainable denim?
A: All of our denim at Modern American is sustainable, made with waterless washes, in the most Eco-friendly way possible. We’re on a mission to save the planet, as we all should be, and we believe our customers, who are primarily gen y and z are on that same mission with us.
Q: We already own skinny, super skinnies and boyfriend jeans. What will be the next big style?
A: I think you’re going to see more of the styles you’re used to seeing. Gen Y & Z are way more comfortable in their own skin and expressing their individual style rather than following one particular trend. I think you’ll see a lot of distressing and customization in the next year. I do also think flares will make their way back to mainstream as well.
Q: Do you believe and agree that generally women are getting a bit tired of too much stretch and are ready for more “authentic” denim, maybe even selvedge?
A: That’s a good question. My wife is a big denim lover and she primarily shopped for denim in vintage stores before I became art director of Modern American. A big reason for that was because she liked the look and feel of vintage denim. I think there needs to be a happy medium. This is something we are actively working on and are super excited about in our new collection. Watch this space…
Q: Will printed denims make a comeback anytime soon, or colored jeans, for that matter?
A: Oh hell yeah.
Q: What are your predictions for the men’s denim?
A: My predictions for men’s denim are again moving more towards that selvedge, vintage style. Losing some of the stretch we may have seen in previous season but keeping just enough to make them your go-to everyday jeans. We saw a resurgence in wider fit for men in the past couple of seasons but I believe men are going to move back towards the slimmer, skinny fit as it just looks better on the body. But not too skinny. I’m English so I like good tailoring and a perfect fit vs baggy and ill-fitting any day of the week.
Q: What is your personal favorite denim style and why?
A: In the current collection, my favorite denim style is the Fig. We have a ton of new washes for that particular style coming in the new collection, which I’m super stoked on.
Q: Which person living or dead would you most like to see in a pair of your jeans?
A: Jim Morrison
Q: Where do you see the brand in 5 years?
A: On every pair of legs in America.
Q: What special “denim advice” you would like to give to our readers?
A: Don’t wash your jeans very often. It will alter the shape and change the wash, especially with the more indigo-heavy/raw denim jeans. You can put them in the freezer for 30 minutes to kill any bacteria. Sounds disgusting but it works, trust me!!!!!