Our love for denim will never fade. From workwear to Vogue – we tell you the story behind the classic blue jeans and show you how to style them this season.
Blue jeans, white shirt. Walked into the room you know you made my eyes burn, sang Lana Del Rey in her 2012 single Blue Jeans. No piece of clothing holds the same place in pop culture as the denim trouser, maybe the most iconic item of them all.
The tale starts in Genoa, Italy, where Genoese sailors used the strong fabric as protection from the weather. There are different theories about the word ‘jean’, but a popular one is that it derives from the French name for Genoa – “Gênes”.
Levi Strauss introduced jeans to the American market in the late 1800s, and 1934 the company launched “Lady Levi’s” – a denim line for women. The lady jeans were popular on the west coast, where women worked on farms and ranches.
One year later, the lady jeans were featured in Vogue and found their way to New York and the east coast.
If James Dean immortalised the jeans in Rebel Without a cause (1955), maybe Grace Kelly was the female equivalent in Rear Window (1954), where she wore rolled up denims and a red men’s shirt.
Almost 30 years later, we saw the start of the designer denim era, when then 15-year-old Brooke Shields modelled a pair of Calvin Klein jeans, followed by the infamous tagline ”Nothing comes between me and my Calvins” – a campaign that Calvin Klein recently revived under the hashtag #mycalvins.
In the 25 years or so that followed, we have seen everything from rhinestone-clad jeans to super distressed denim. This season, we come full circle. Our favourite jeans right now come in a classic wash; not too skinny, not too boyfriend-ish. Just perfect.
HOW TO STYLE THEM
”Right now I prefer classic styles with a higher waist and slightly flared legs”, says stylist Columbine Smille who went for a simple, sporty everyday look for this shoot.
”I paired the jeans with a navy blue jersey top and white classic sneakers for a preppy retro look.”
Photographer Tobias Lundkvist’s favourite items are the classics: a black t-shirt and Chuck Taylors. Stylist Columbine Smille’s favourite item is the perfect black silk dress. Our model is très cool Aussie Catherine McNeil. Hair by Mette Thorsgaard and makeup by Josefin Scherdin.