"It is for the woman who wears the beautiful shoes, the beautiful bag, the beautiful jewelry. The jeans are the frame of the look...to sort of pull the whole thing together," says Joshua LeVine, chief executive of Los Angeles-based Frame Denim, speaking of his collection that hit stores last November. Fans include Amanda Seyfried, Miranda Kerr, Sienna Miller, January Jones, Reese Witherspoon and Gisele Bundchen.
LeVine's partners are Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson of global fashion marketing, branding and advertising powerhouse The Saturday Group, a London-based umbrella of 12 companies. Grede and Torstensson created Industrie magazine, Man About Town magazine and its offshoot, men's e-tailer mrporter.com, for Net-a-Porter. One of their first projects was a global campaign for H&M, and they have designed digital platforms for Balenciaga and Tory Burch and even signed Natalie Portman as the face of Dior.
"Two years ago, Jens said, 'I'm building all these brands on behalf of clients...Why don't we have our own brand?'" says LeVine, who previously worked for Lucky Brand Jeans. "And we landed on denim... And the whole idea was to bring a European sensibility and aesthetic [to it], but base it in Los Angeles."
A local team produces the jeans, from design to washing and sewing, using stretch fabrics imported from Turkey.
The company launched with only a skinny jean fit, and has since added a tailored, boyfriend fit and a skinny flare. All have the same higher rise. Delicate details — fine thread, miniature rivets and polished gold hardware — add feminine appeal.
"When we showed it to the first retailers, everyone was doing print and novelty, and nobody was doing basic blues," says LeVine. "And we said, 'Let's turn to core.' Beautiful blues, beautiful fabrics, beautiful washes, simple colors that everybody wears...Timeless styles that aren't going anywhere any time soon."
Now into their third season, the line is inching into fashion with new washes, overdyed colors, skinny cargo and moto styles, and fabrics such as ultra-soft sateen, velvet and corduroy.
For those with legs-up-to-there, the company teamed up with supermodel Karlie Kloss for a capsule collection, Forever Karlie, designed for women 5'11" or taller, that debuted in June. The two jeans — a flare and a skinny — each come in a light and dark wash with a 40-inch inseam and a higher waist to accommodate longer torsos.
Frame Denim, $179-$269 at Nordstrom stores, Ron Herman in West Hollywood, (323 )651-4129; and Barneys New York in Beverly Hills, (310) 276-4400; frame-denim.com
Malhia Kent x 7FAM
We've seen denim on the couture runways, and now denim brand 7 For All Mankind is bringing couture fabrics to a capsule collection of jeans.
What started as a 7 For All Mankind inspiration trip to Paris turned into a visit to the famous Malhia Kent textile mill, which produces fabrics for the likes of Chanel, Proenza Schouler and Alexander McQueen. The designers were so taken with the fabrics they saw, they tapped Malhia Kent to become the brand's latest high-end collaborator, following in the footsteps of Jonathan Adler, Zac Posen, Azzedine Alaia and others.
Available in September, the limited edition Malhia Kent x 7FAM jeans were created by piecing panels of luxurious metallic tweeds and jacquards together with the denim brand's new Slim Illusion Second Skin fabric, which has 100 % elasticity, to mold and hold all the right places. The result is an exquisite, high-low piece with the comfort of a jegging.
Specific styles include "The Skinny" in silver geometric tweed, the Egyptian gold tweed pant and blue metallic stripe tweed pant with matching moto jacket.
Malhia Kent x 7FAM collection, $395 to $650, is available starting Sept. 1 at 7 For All Mankind stores nationwide, including the Century City and Santa Monica Place locations, and at 7ForAllMankind.com.