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Denim Insider: A Levi’s Stylist Breaks All The Rules

janine chilton bio - Levis

Janine Chilton-Faust, VP of women??™s design for the Levi's® brand.

In all my sputtering about on the current “It” jeans, I recently had the opportunity to revisit an American original in the denim industry; and, what’s more, had the privilege to interview a top Stylist from Levi’s®.  What really blew me away, was, the good PR folks actually got me the top Stylist, Janine Chilton-Faust, VP of women’s design for the Levi’s® brand.  I wanted to pick her brain on what were good jeans for women of various sizes and shapes to wear, and what were some good tips on what to wear for various occasions.  As you know, jeans are taking over!

Now, I expected some denim-snobby answers, but not Ms. Chilton-Faust.  A San Francisco Bay Area resident, she exudes practicality, confidence and a bit of rebellion.   She says we can wear white jeans after Labor Day, and it’s okay to wear jeans to a wedding, as long as you style it right.  It shouldn’t be too hard to look great, especially with an assortment of Levi’s au courant jeans to steal the social scene.  To be honest, I had no idea how completely reinvented and how far Levi’s has come since I wore my first 501’s back in college.

In your opinion, what makes a terrific-fitting pair of jeans? Are bootcuts really for everybody?
The first test is how you feel!  You can own a fit and make it yours if you feel good.  If you rely on what others think, then make sure the jean fits your body type, doesn’t sag in the rear, gap at the waist and most importantly, the pockets are placed in the best position to optimize the rear view.

It??™s true that bootcuts can be worn by anyone and all body types… but it is the wearer??™s choice in what makes her feel good.

Tip: “If you want a leaner leg look, make sure the thigh to the knee is a slim fit!”

Levi's Legging front

A Levi's legging jean.

It seems the legging jeans (aka Jeggings) are the current “It” jeans to wear.  How do you suggest we ladies wear them for the winter season?
Boots or ballet flats look great with jeggings.  On top, proportion works well with the legging ??“ so anything long, wide or layered all complement the total look.

For those who may feel the Jeggings are too close for comfort, what are good alternatives?
Skinny jeans are the perfect alternative.  Levi’s® 531 Skinny or Levi’s® Juniors 524 Skinny are jeans that still provide a long lean skinny look without being too tight.

What is the “It” jean for men this winter? How should men wear them?
Levi’s® 501 jean!  And each man can make them his own.  It is a universal fit that can be worn crisp and clean for a smart look with a cuff, or washed and damaged for a casual look.

Is it appropriate for men and women over 35 to wear slashed/ripped jeans?
Absolutely!  Just make sure you pair it with a little more sophisticated top and footwear.

How would you cure the “muffin-top” syndrome?
Don’t be afraid to try on different sizes.  Sometimes you may need to size up one size. Otherwise, choose your tops wisely so they don’t hug your muffin.

What technique/tip do you have to make sure our straight leg/skinny jeans stay inside our tall boots?
Pull your sock up over the jeans.  If it is a straight leg with a little more room at the bottom you can fold over at the bottom to hug the leg, then pull your socks over.

A Levi's Boyfriend jean.

A Levi's Boyfriend jean.

What is a denim fashion faux pas?  We at Denim Therapy aren’t terribly crazy about the Canadian Tuxedo and matchy-match jacket and jeans.  Do you care to dispel some fashion myths?
The beauty of denim is it can really work anywhere and anytime.  It??™s about how you wear it that makes it appropriate or not.  I don’t like rules – and if there are rules, then we should break them.


Kathy Ng Hassan


Posted Dec 17 2009 in Uncategorized

Denim Deals: Vintage1 Premium Denim

Vintage 1 Struction SERENAVintage 1 Full Throttle SerenaVintage 1 Crash SERENAVintage 1 Blue Serena

Looking to diversify your closet?  Scoop up some new jeans by Vintage1 at Ideeli on Thursday, December 17 at 11 AM EST.  Save up to 45% off.  Prices start at $109.  These jeans — especially the motorcycle jeans — have been seen on celebs like Cameron Diaz, Nicky Hilton, Kate Hudson, Rihanna and Renee Zellweger, and they’ve got different body types, so check it.

“Get your motor running with classic, vintage inspired denim from Vintage1. Designed by denim veteran Philippe Naouri, who has 20-plus years of premium denim expertise, Vintage1 is all about the motorcycle lifestyle with details like authentic motorcycle pant stitching and ultra-tailored structuring. Beloved by Rihanna, Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson, Vintage1’s ever-evolving line of edgy, everyday clothing is made with the finest fabrics and features sophisticated washes and amazing fits.”


Kathy Ng Hassan

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Posted Dec 16 2009 in Uncategorized

Denim News: Four Stroke Bursts Onto Retail Scene

Last Friday, 4 Stroke jeans announced their new partnerships with Fred Segal Fun in Santa Monica and Operations in New York City.  Just recently, 4 Stroke struck up a retail partnership with the upscale department store, Neiman Marcus, who now carries the men’s jeans in 14 of their top stores.  4 Stroke apparently has plans to take the retail world by storm.  Some may say that 4 Stroke jeans has been slowly surfacing from its underground and somewhat Indie beginnings.  For many who are jaded by the same ubiquitous premium jeans — to remain nameless — seen hugged on the curves of every knee-boot wearing fashionista from Los Angeles to New York, 4 Stroke may be that breath of fresh air to make it an overnight sensation in your very own closet.

“Signature styles in men??™s and women??™s are now available at each boutique. The incredible stretch selvage Warsaw jeans and slim Vanguard jeans (in organic denim or 100% cotton) are offered at both locations for men. However, Operations adds the unique Clairmont jean, a 5-pocket workwear trouser in the ???Bracket??? wash to its inventory. The Clairmont is made of 100% pima cotton with tailored pocket details and original rivets from Aalfs Manufacturing ??“ 4 Stroke??™s 117-year old parent company.”

Look for their on-trend styles, such as the skinny jean, The Rose; a crop jean and a legging jean.

“Operations enhances their eco-friendly offering with the Roxxxy jean in Stereo wash ??“ a straight leg jean in washed-down organic cotton.  Each ingenious style proves that 4 Stroke is an avant-garde label which teams up with progressive retailers.”

SOURCE: 4 Stroke Public Relations/Marketing


Kathy Ng Hassan


Posted Dec 15 2009 in Uncategorized

Denim Deals: Designer Jeans at Saks

saks denim sale

Places to shop denim keeps popping up, and sometimes, in unexpected places.  Not that Saks Fifth Avenue is such a surprising place, but it is certainly a great place to pick out some unexpectedly fine jeans by unexpected or even forgotten designers, sale now in progress.   Yes, you’ll find the usuals: 7 for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity,  Current/Elliott, Earnest Sewn, Rock & Republic, True Religion, et al.  But what about Burberry Brit, Helmut Lang, Marc by Marc Jacobs, or even Red Valentino?  I say, if you’re going to own a piece of high fashion, then let your first be a comfy piece of denim jeans that you can wear to death (and show off)!

Via Luxe Club One:

Luxe Club One Denim Sale - True Religion, Rag & Bone, Rock & Republic, Just Cavalli, Hudson, J Brand







Kathy Ng Hassan


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Posted Dec 13 2009 in Uncategorized

My Beautiful Laundress

the-laundress-denim-washFinding a perfect pair of denim jeans is like finding that perfect soul mate. It takes a lot of invested time, money and whole lot of trying on.  So, once you’ve found “the one” that fits you like a glove, Denim Therapy has found the perfect denim wash to make that love last. The Laundress Denim Wash.

The Laundress has developed The Laundress Denim Wash in a classic scent.  Non-toxic, biodegradable and allergen free, this exclusive product blends detergent and fabric softener to clean and soften, giving denim that perfect worn in feeling.  And, of course, when the love starts to unravel, Denim Therapy is here to help patch things up.  All it takes is a little therapy.

Shop The Laundress

–Nikki Cho Russo


Posted Dec 11 2009 in Uncategorized

Coming to NYC: J Brand Gallery At Henry Lehr & Co.



Join J Brand for another J Brand Gallery event — East Coast edition, at the Henry Lehr & Co store in NYC on Saturday, December 19.  Shop, schmooze and savor the experience: beautiful fashionistas such as yourself, snagging high-end denim goods.  Bonus: with any full price purchase, you receive a gorgeous limited edition J Brand scarf (while supplies last).  Sweet.

Opens Saturday, December 19
1PM – 5PM

Henry Lehr & Co.
9 Prince Street
New York, NY
212 274 9921

Kathy Ng Hassan


Posted Dec 11 2009 in Uncategorized

Denim Deals L.A.: Citizens of Humanity


Oh yeah, I’m looking forward to this sale. because I apparently don’t have enough Citizens of Humanity jeans in my denim closet.  It’s as if someone was reading my mind.  Anywho… Smashbox Cosmetics, Morphine Generation and Erik Hart will be there as well, so one could do a lot of holiday shopping.  A reminder: if you do go, parking isn’t bad at the Convention Center, but you may want someone to drop you off (or take the bus) because parking is not cheap there.



Los Angeles Convention Center
Concourse Hall
Address: 1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Structured Parking at the West Hall.
(Entrance from Cherry St.)
Community Dressing Rooms Available

Payment: Cash, Visa, Mastercard, American Express & Discover

RSVP for Friday, 12/18
RSVP for Saturday, 12/19
RSVP for Sunday, 12/20

Kathy Ng Hassan


Posted Dec 10 2009 in Uncategorized

Rag & Bone 4-Day Sample Sale

Source: Refinery29

With so many sales and so little time??”especially now with holiday demands looming at every corner like mistletoe??”we like to keep our shopping list short and sweet. And really, it doesn’t get any sweeter than Rag & Bone’s fall/winter sample sale, kicking off December 10.

For four days only, well-heeled guys and girls can get their hands on some seriously stylish steals, including sharp tailored denim at $80 and under, silky dresses under $200, and dreamy leather jackets for $450 or less! Good for you and good for your significant other, this is one-stop holiday shopping to take you through the holidays and beyond.

But be sure to get there early as great finds like winter shorts and delicious oversized sweaters will be flying out at record speed!

Rag & Bone fall/winter sample sale, 100 (men’s) and 104 (women’s) Christopher Street (between Bleecker & Bedford streets); 212-727-2990 (women’s); 212-727-2999 (men’s). Hours: December 10 & 11 from noon to 8 p.m., December 12 from noon to 7 p.m., December 13 from noon to 5 p.m. .

–Nikki Cho Russo


Posted Dec 10 2009 in Uncategorized

WWD News: Denim Fair Vendors See Uptick in Orders, But Rising Cotton Prices Too by Katya Foreman

Denim Fair Vendors See Uptick in Orders, But Rising Cotton Prices Too

by Katya Foreman


PARIS ??” The denim world??™s blues are starting to lift.

Exhibitors and attendees at last week??™s Denim by Premi??re Vision show cited an uptick in business for the second half of 2009. However, the soaring cost of cotton is making price a growing issue for many.

The fair ended its two-day run at the Paris Docks on Thursday. The show??™s organizers plan to move the exhibition to the city??™s La Halle Freyssinet for the next session, scheduled to run June 2 and 3.

???Business picked up midyear, which meant we were able to bring along our merchant??¦[but] the budget is definitely down from last year and I don??™t foresee it getting better for next year,??? said Stephan Szkotnicki, senior director of men??™s denim, and men??™s and women??™s jewelry at A|X Armani Exchange.

Szkotnicki lauded the turnout of manufacturers and said he was meeting with firms based in the Euro-Med zone, where Armani Exchange plans to move some of its production.

???We??™re considering switching small increments to give us leverage for what??™s happening in Asia, as it??™s not always the cheapest,??? he said.

Bruno Van den Weghe, sales director of Italdenim SpA, said, ???Compared to the same time last year, we??™re in good shape. But the pressure is still on to decrease prices, and we??™re already as low as we can go. There??™s still big consumption of denim, but overall retail prices have dropped.???

The firm introduced a new yarn-dye canvas range that lends itself to the burgeoning chino trend.

Rashid Iqbal Nasir, director of Naveena Group, a Pakistan-based denim fabric and apparel manufacturer that works with the likes of Gap, Levi??™s and Jordache, agreed that prices were a sore point. Nasir pointed to a 25 to 30 percent jump in cotton prices.

The cost of a pound of cotton spiked 68 percent to 63.35 cents in November compared with 37.70 cents a year earlier, according to WWD??™s monthly Fiber Price Sheet.

???We are pushing to increase prices and brands will either have to lose out on margins or pass it to the consumers,??? Nasir said.

Denim production has grown significantly in the country with around 12 new plants opening there over the past five years, according to Nasir.

Click here to read the full article

Posted Dec 09 2009 in Uncategorized

Denim Desires: Sweet Sales at Chick Downtown


UNKNOWN FACTORY Skinny jean with zipper.

UNKNOWN FACTORY Skinny jean with zipper pocket detail.

CITIZENS OF HUMANITY Fleece Florence Vest.

CITIZENS OF HUMANITY Fleece Florence Vest.


Just when you thought the Black Friday deals were all gone, Chick Downtown is still hosting their deals through Sunday, December 6.  Save 40% off on everything, and that, my dear, is music to my ears.  You’ll be happy to find they have the Current/Elliott Boyfriend Jean ($206.00) and J Brand Miner 22″ Lowrise Lovestory ($105.90) on sale, and you can apply the Black Friday 40% off code on top of that!  The premium jeans are mostly picked over, but lots of other high fashion delights (Adam, Diane von Furstenberg, Loeffler Randall, Milly, Sunner, and others) can be found as well.    

Enter code BF40 at check out.


Kathy Ng Hassan

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Posted Dec 05 2009 in Uncategorized
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