Made in Heaven was originally launched in England 1969, a brand which is now in it’s reincarnation, MiH Jeans (still remaining true to it’s British roots). From Farrah Fawcett to Jane Birkin in the 70’s to Claudia Schiffer and Sarah Jessica Parker today, the jeans are just as heavenly. That’s all due to the creative master behind it all, Chloe Lonsdale. Read on for our Exclusive Interview and learn more about the brand as well as Chloe’s favorite movies, a dream vacation, and the secret belongings in her handbag! And don’t forget to check out the MiH lookbook review.
DT: Lets start from the beginning. What inspired you to get this brand off the ground?
MiH: I grew up with my parents in the denim industry and I always knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps. My Mum had an amazing sense of style and was my muse and inspiration from day one.
DT: Are there other denim brands you consider your immediate competition? How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?
MiH: We compete with a variety of brands in the premium denim market from J Brand to Citizens of Humanity but we all have our different aesthetics and people come to us for our incredible fit and timeless jean jeans which set us apart.
DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?
MiH: Every design season always starts with a trip down the Portobello Road, which is right on the doorstep of where I live, and a selection of vintage garments that capture the mood of the season. I then attend the denim fabric fair in Paris because you can only really design a jean when you have picked the perfect denim for it.
DT: Describe the person who represents your ideal target customer—the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.
MiH: We design for a free-spirited and independent woman who has an effortless sense of style and a personality in the way she wears her jeans.
DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next for following or upcoming season?
MiH: For Autumn-Winter 2011 we have a lot of rich mid-blues with a soft velvety hand feel which are available across all our core fits. We have also launched our MiH Collection, a range of key outerwear pieces for every occasion: the perfect tuxedo to wear with jeans, a battered leather jacket for everyday cool, a beautiful shearling wrapper and a Tibetan gilet for a touch of 70s styling.
DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?
MiH: Designing jeans for Celine would be incredible. I absolutely love the aesthetic and it would show how the woman who buys into high fashion can combine it with denim for a more easy everyday look. No one dresses head to toe in one brand anymore and collaborating with a designer label is a great way of speaking to the customer about how she can bring a modern edge to her jeans.
DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?
MiH: The most popular fits seem to change all the time. Our Marrakesh has definitely come to the fore in the last few seasons because it has the perfect kick flare, but for someone who wants something less dramatic the Sugarland has the most perfect boot cut. Our Kara Navy Blue wash is unique in the denim market, always a bestseller and available every season, but for AW11 we also have the beautiful Hutton wash – a rich deep indigo. The Bird wash is my favourite in both the Sugarland and slim-leg Boston. It has a lovely jeansy feel and a great point of difference.
DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?
MiH: Seeing the return of the wider leg is lovely as it is so much more flattering on a curvy figure, something most woman know something about! My least favourite denim trend is neon bright colours, but maybe that is just reflective of my age!
DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high end labels rather than vice versa. How much does street style influence your designing?
MiH: Watching what people are wearing on the street is everything. When you are designing it is so important to keep your ideas relevant and always be looking to how people are wearing things from the simple way they turn up their hem, to maybe a jean or item of clothing they have had for 20 years and how it has aged. Colour combinations, layering… The list of little things you can pick up is endless. You never want to be one step behind.
DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?
MiH: Not as many as I you would think! I stay true to my old favourites, although each season I top them up with new washes. I live in my London jeans.
DT: Favorite celeb wearing your brand?
MiH: Claudia Schiffer wears them so well, or else Gwyneth Paltrow. A new convert to MiH!
DT: When it’s time to chill out and have a drink, what’s your poison?
MiH: Since it’s English summertime, it has to be Pimms or a glass of rose wine.
DT: Any dream-vacation destinations (this summer)?
MiH: I’m going to Umbria with my husband, two little boys and our extended family. Some relaxation would be nice but I imagine it will be quite busy!
DT: What are your favorite classic flicks for great fashion?
MiH: There are so many for different reasons. I love movies like Breathless for the beautiful, classic 70s French styling, and I recently watched I Am Love with Tilda Swinton and was really inspired by the colours and silhouettes.
DT: What are three things you always carry with you during the day?
MiH: Unfortunately my answer to this is quite boring! My Blackberry, keys and my passport, as I never know when I’ll be getting on a plane.
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Tags: British jeans, Celine, chloe lonsdale, Citizens of Humanity, Claudia Schiffer, denim fabric fair, Facebook, Fall 2011, farrah fawcett, Gwyneth Paltrow, J Brand, jane birkin, Made in Heaven, marrakesh danny, Marrakesh Kara., mih collection, MiH Jeans, portobello road, sarah jessica parker, tilda swinton, umbria
It’s time for a history lesson! We’ve been hearing a lot about the origins of denim fabric lately, with the recent discovery of 17th century paintings of Italian peasants wearing denim. The denim jeans that we know and love today however, began with the invention of rivets by a German immigrant named Levi Strauss, and were first seen as mining garb in the late 1800s. In the early 1900s cowboys began wearing denim jeans, and the rest, friends, is history.
Below, we’ll take a look at the evolution of denim jeans through ads over the last century. Be sure to check out the amazing 3-piece denim tuxedo on the Ken-like model from the 70s!
The above ad is from the 1940s. Mainly seen as workers uniforms in previous years, suburban America began transitioning into jeans with the wild popularity of Western movies.
The best propaganda is always the type coming from the taller, more handsome guy in the letterman’s jacket! In the 1950s, those cowboy loving little boys grew into young adults, and jeans become an icon of cool. The jeans were stiff (raw denim’s equivalent today) and needed to be worn in (think cuffed jeans from The Little Rascals and Sandlot, and Marlon Brando’s Rebel Without a Cause).
In the 1960’s, stretch is introduced with the addition of 2% lycra, and the super tight jean is born. Women begin to have to lay on their beds and use pliers to zip up their jeans.
An already crazy time for fashion; new distressing processes, embellishments, fits, and styles were experimented with in the 70s. Check out this guy’s 3 piece denim flared suit!
In the 1980’s, denim goes high fashion. Big name designers begin coming out with their own styles, like in this Versace ad featuring Nadia Auermann and Claudia Schiffer. And acid wash was popularized. We mustn’t forget about acid wash.
We had fun looking up old ads this week. Stay tuned for some bizarre denim commercials in the future!
Tags: Claudia Schiffer, denim history, denim suit, Lee, Levi's, Versace, Wrangler