If you’re reading this, chances are that you know here at Carved in Blue we like to delve into the inner workings of the denim industry, covering everything from consumer consciousness and environmental responsibility to current trends and industry trailblazers. Here, we caught up with three influential bloggers in the denim space to get a bird’s-eye view of tastemakers within the industry.

A Style Diary, created in 2012 by Bankè, is a UK based fashion blog founded as an outlet to inspire and influence individual wardrobe and everyday outfit choices. Bankè’s background in fashion, particularly styling, gives her a unique perspective on things that look good and items that fit to flatter. Skinny high-waisted jeans are her signature go-to style, and while she does experiment with trends, Bankè knows a good thing when she sees it.

stylediary

Carved in Blue: What is your take on denim both in your personal life and in business?

Bankè: Keep the ripped, distressed, patchwork or anything else busy for personal life, and opt for cleaner cuts for work or business. It depends on what you do and the industry, but the business world perceives people as more “ready for work” if they don’t look like they are on casual errands or grabbing brunch with friends.

Carved in Blue: What was your first pair of jeans?

Bankè: I don’t remember my actual first pair, but I remember I had a pair of flared jeans with butterfly embroidery that I loved and wore for many years in the late 90’s.

Carved in Blue: Which brand now is your favorite?

Bankè: I own a pair of Paige denim, a couple of Levis and MiH. Right now, Marques Almeida is rocking the denim world.

Carved in Blue: What is missing from the denim market now?

Bankè: I’m actually finding it hard to find vintage or retro style jeans. High street brands do a wide range of styles, and lots of fashion boutiques have popped up in the recent years. It’s easy to find alternative styles and cuts in the market now, but difficult when it comes to vintage and retro.

Carved in Blue: Who do you look for denim inspiration?

Bankè: Marques Almeida.

Carved in Blue: Where do you shop for your denim?

Bankè: I shop a lot on the high street, I think most of my denim trousers are from Topshop and bits and bobs of other brands.

Carved in Blue: What does “carved in blue” mean to you?

Bankè: Carved in blue to me, means finding a pair of nice fitting denim that fits your form like a pair of gloves.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Denim designer Jill Lawrence founded her blog, The Denim Eye, to share her knowledge and passion with a wider audience of denim lovers. The Denim Eye brings an in-depth look at trends and techniques in the denim industry, and her site is also a shoppable treasure trove where you can find vintage and archived pieces.

jilllawerence

 

Carved in Blue: What is your background and what makes you an expert in denim?

Jill: I have been in the denim industry for nearly 40 years. My background before I entered the denim arena was in textiles as a designer. As part of my original textiles degree I also studied fine art which helped train my “eye”. This was invaluable as everything to do with denim design and development is about “seeing” as well as making the right decisions.

My first role in the denim industry was as a designer and then consultant to Burlington Industries, guiding them in trends and development in denim fabric construction and jean finishings. As there were no textile schools teaching denim back then, one learned “on the job”. Everyone in our industry still does. This is what I am still doing. Which is essential given that the industry is ever moving and ever changing with technology leading the way. Over the intervening years, I have been a hands on development consultant to many of the best Denim Mills in the World. As well as sharing with them what is required for them to reach the high pinnacles of denim fashion, I help them in their development of the right yarns, shades, constructions and finishes to help them reach their goal. I can safely say that I am an expert in the field of denim, in everything from fiber to yarns and dyeing to weaving. Where it involves the creation of denim fabric and its laundry finishing, I can be found with my sleeves rolled seeking the most creative and aesthetic solutions.

Carved in Blue: What is your motto/style angle?

Jill: Denim is a lifestyle and lifetime journey. My style angle is always evolving – sometimes it’s high style and sometimes purely basic, as the circumstances influence me.

Carved in Blue: What is your take on denim both in your personal life and in business?

Jill : Denim is an amazing and timeless fabric. It evolves with you and changes over time, becoming an old friend. I have about 40 pairs of jeans in my wardrobe at any given time. I never throw any away, just mothball them for some future desire. I have some amazing icons of past jean fashion, and some very cool current stuff. In business, my purpose is to continually develop the best and the most commercially successful denim for my clients. Sometimes I must develop something that is too new to be immediately commercial, but such items are market leaders and help put the brand or the mill at the forefront of a trend. My blog is all about trying to share my knowledge and passion with a younger audience who loves denim as much as I do, but professionally are not able to learn in the same way that I did. I explain how things work, what the forthcoming trends are, highlight industry icons and my favorite stores, sometimes peeking behind the scenes at how things are made.

Carved in Blue: What was your first pair of jeans?

Jill: My first pair of jeans were Levi shrink to fit. I sat in the bath until the water was cold and then tried to extricate myself from them. They had shrunk so much that I couldn’t get my feet out of the narrow hem. When they were dry, I had to lie on the floor to do up the zipper.

Carved in Blue: Which brand now is your favorite?

Jill: I do not have a favorite brand. I flip flop between brands depending on what they’re doing. I have however recently bought lots of AG, Vetements and MiH jeans. They each have a personal strength. What I do look for however, is good denim fabric regardless of style, shape and fit.

Carved in Blue: What is missing from the denim market now?

Jill: Girls raw dark stretch selvedge.

Carved in Blue: Who do you look for denim inspiration?

Jill: Japan. Kaihara currently have the right design and development ethos for me, but not for everyone. Japanese designers are the right niche for the aficionados and for me too.

Carved in Blue: Where do you shop for your denim?

Jill: LA, London, Tokyo and sometimes NYC.

Carved in Blue: How do you feel about sustainability fibers in denim, like TENCEL® ?  or what alternative fibers, besides cotton, do you see now in denim?

Jill: Sustainable fibers in denim are a must for many reasons:

  1. To offset the dominance of the cotton fiber in the fabric and thereby reducing the harmful effects per metre of denim on the environment.
  2. Lenzing Modal® l imparts a degree of softness to the fabric which cotton alone cannot.
  3. To impart a level of drape, fluidity and lustre.
  4. TENCEL® gives a clean flat surface which combined with the heavy drape makes it a unique indigo fabric.
  5. To help lift the denim fabric onto a higher fashion plane.
  6. To help strengthen the fabric and in blends with Lycra® improve the growth of the fabric.
  7. Sustainability will not only be achieved by using the right blends of sustainable fibers but also by implementing processes which reduce water, energy and chemical usage e.g., ozone finishing.

Future alternative fibers I foresee in denim:

  1. Nylons (polyamides) will continue and grow. Primarily in micro fiber versions in the denim sport arena.
  2. Branded synthetics such as COOLMAX®COOLMAX® All Season, Thermolite® – all from Invista, will continue to be popular.
  3. Triblends will definitely be a big feature whatever the composition as they perform so well.
  4. Spun polyesters will continue.
  5. Linens will grow in popularity for the resultant crisp nervousness of hand and ability to achieve a real vintage appearance.
  6. Myabi is currently significant but I am not convinced of its efficacy.
  7. Most of the above will be experimented with by the big retail brands and Levi but the rest of the mainstream may well just stick to the cotton/ spandex/poly blends in duo or tri blends.

Carved in Blue: What does “carved in blue” mean to you?

Jill: “Carved” has a hand made, creative connotation and therefore a measure of quality. Carved takes time to achieve therefore the creation has a considered approach. The “blue” to me is obviously Indigo. Probably more solid than liquid. It is overall a creative look at what is happening in indigo denim today.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

The Jeans Blog, a space dedicated to everything there is to know about denim, is the collaborative work of a team of denim experts who have a combined knowledge of more than 30 years of experience in the industry. Here we caught up with editor Lorna Burford who talks all things denim.

lornaburford

Carved in Blue: What is your team’s background and what makes you all experts in denim?

Lorna: I’ve personally had a passion for denim since I was young and have been working with it for over 10 years now. My expertise lies in fit and identifying denim brands based on their details due to a lot of experience over the years. I only employ writers for the blog if they have similar experience and a passion for denim, which gives them a wide knowledge. I’ve personally worked closely with most of the premium denim brands and even designed jeans with them that have gone on sale.

Carved in Blue: What is your motto/style angle?

Lorna: It’s all about fit for me. If the jeans fit you well, especially on the butt with perfectly placed back pockets, that’s fantastic. Fit is everything when it comes to denim! I tend to like my denim classic though, so opting for gorgeous, vintage inspired washes.

Carved in Blue: What is your take on denim both in your personal life and in business?

Lorna: They cross over quite similarly actually. Business outfits would require a skinny jean, a blazer or jacket, and some heels or ankle boots. If it’s a littler warmer, then a nice printed shirt. In my casual wardrobe though, I often wear similar things, but prefer more casual jackets or fancy knitwear instead. My bags and shoes are often the same though!

Carved in Blue: What was your first pair of jeans?

Lorna: I’ve been wearing jeans since I was a baby, so I actually don’t know what my first pair was. The ones I do remember though were my first pair of designer jeans and they were Rock & Republic Fuchsia Crowns from Victoria Beckham. I loved those!

Carved in Blue: Which brand now is your favorite?

Lorna: I would have to say it’s a mix between Citizens of Humanity and Paige Denim. Citizens slightly more though, as their fits, denim, and washes are incredible at the moment.

Carved in Blue: What is missing from the denim market now?

Lorna: I would say that even in a sea full of denim, with trends coming and going, new brands popping up here and there, the things missing are beautiful washes with vintage inspiration. Similar to AG and Citizens of Humanity, but with sculpting on the butt to enhance a woman’s figure.

Carved in Blue: Who do you look for denim inspiration?

Lorna: I work closely with celebrity photos, they are often the leading trendsetters, but I actually look to the brands for the latest inspiration and some of my favorite style bloggers.

Carved in Blue: Where do you shop for your denim?

Lorna: I shop online for my jeans mostly as Shopbop and Revolve have the best denim boutiques online that I have ever seen! They stock some amazing jeans, so those two stores are my go to for premium denim!