Denim has always been an undisputed fashion staple, but it seems over the past few years designers have gotten more creative making the fabric even more modern, versatile and desirable to the American consumer than we could have dreamed ( you can finally satisfy your need for a fresh kimono and denim in one purchase). Denim has covered the the runway, been splashed across the newsstands (Marie Claire, Nylon, etc.) and swallowed the streets. With the beginning of autumn on our heels fall denim hysteria is fully underway and if you haven’t heard of Natasha Wagner yet, well, it was only a matter of time.
Fit models are used by designers to check the cut and shape of clothing on a live model and make adjustments before being introduced to the market. Your favorite pair of jeans hug you in all the right places and stretch with your movements thanks to fit models. Natasha is a denim fit model who has been unofficially dubbed the “Best Butt In America” by the denim industry. She has been featured in Vogue and Refinery29. She has been a denim fit model for over a decade for all the biggest names in denim (like Seven For All Mankind). We recently had a great opportunity to get to know the model better firsthand. America, meet Natasha Wagner. Read our interview below.
Natasha in Mother Denim Photo by Tommaso Mei
When did you start fit modeling? How did you begin to specialize in denim in your career?
My fit modeling career began 14 years ago while I was studying in college. I feel very fortunate I fell into this line of work because it has become my true passion. When I first started fit modeling, I was young, shy, and knew nothing about fashion. I began specializing in fitting denim because denim companies really liked my body proportions and height. I was slender yet curvy with long legs. Denim was also what I enjoyed fitting the most. I became an expert at measurements and detail proportions. Fittings can be long and boring if you’re just standing there while someone is pinning and making changes, so I decided to take a more active role. I loved learning about the denim making process and was able to become involved and provide useful feedback, beyond just standing like a mannequin. I also have an uncanny ability to remember numbers (something I inherited from my father, along with his long legs) and can remember most of the measurements of all the garments we fit, which helps when establishing target specs. Not to worry though, I am very professional and never share trade secrets with other companies.
What was the first major denim brand you modeled for?
My first major denim account was the brand GUESS. My career in premium denim really skyrocketed a couple years later when I started fitting for Seven For All Mankind. It was perfect timing because I had just graduated from college and was able to take on more work, even though I was already taking mostly night classes to accommodate my fit schedule during the day. It was also the beginning of the premium denim boom and I was able play a role in its success; it was all about the fit.
Do you have any experience modeling or fitting raw denim?
Yes, I do have experience fitting raw denim (aka untreated, unwashed denim). Some companies use raw denim to create a fit block first. They then use that block as a base to cut the other jeans. Those jeans are then sent to the laundry to have the different washes they developed for the season, allowing them to have samples jeans ready to fit. Most of my companies do not produce just a raw jean, as cool as they are; they just aren’t comfortable to wear, especially for women. However, if you do have the time and patience to break in your own raw jeans, you can get the best denim character and effects that you created all yourself.
Photo courtesy Seven For All Mankind
What is your favorite denim trend right now? What trend do you think will become big next season/over the next few years?
My favorite denim trend right now is the 70’s inspired jeans and details: high-waisted, braided waistbands with front patch pockets in a flare leg or skirt. I think for the upcoming seasons the palazzo pants, culottes and flares are going to make the biggest statement in fashion denim.
What is your favorite cut?
I’m the girl who said I would never wear skinny jeans. Now, I will probably be the last one to stop wearing skinny jeans.
I’m sure you are familiar with all the big brands today, but we have a flare for nostalgia here at Denim Therapy. What brands were you wearing in high school?
In high school during the late 90’s, I was wearing low rise, bootcut jeans made by Gap, L.E.I, Mavi, or Z. Cavaricci that barely covered my Converse Jack Purcell sneakers.
We have a lot of customers shyly referring to some holes as being in the “inner thigh” or “groin area” but we just say crotch! So we have to ask: butt or bum? Is there a formal or correct industry term?
I’m a little shy about using the word “butt” myself, but I find it necessary when describing my work. On a daily basis when fitting, I hear these comments: “This makes her butt look big.” “This makes her butt look flat.” “Her butt looks weird”.” “Her butt looks amazing!” I think those comments answers your question on the industry term. I personally like the French word for behind, derrière, over the words butt or bum.
Photo courtesy Seven For All Mankind
Let’s not forget the brain behind the bum! What books are you reading right now?
I just finished the book Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation, about running creative companies and breaking barriers. I discovered this book on Mark Zuckerberg’s Year of Books list, which I also recommend. I am starting the book NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman, which is about autism and Asperger’s syndrome. I picked it up after hearing the author on NPR while I was driving home from work. I’m interested in learning more about the brain and the growing autism epidemic.
What are your goals for the future? Where would you like to see your career 5 years from now?
This is a question I ask myself everyday to make sure that I am achieving my goals and allowing them to shift accordingly. I would love to write a novel, loosely inspired by my life as a fit model as well as other personal experiences. I think I have an inspiring and interesting story to tell about a previously insecure girl who never thought she would become the most in-demand denim fit model in a multi-billion dollar industry. Don’t worry colleagues, friends and family; the book will be mostly fiction. Five years from now, I hope I am doing what I do now or something more creative and fashion related.
Natasha in Levi’s Photo by Tommaso Mei
Want to see more of Natasha? Follow her on Instagram!
—Emily B. McIntosh
Tags: 2015, best butt, Cavaricci, DENIM, denim trends, fit model, Gap, Guess, interview, L.E.I., Mavi, Natasha Wagner, Seven For all Mankind, skinny jeans, womens denim
We knew Mr.Harrell’s jeans long before we met the man inside of them. His love of preserving vintage denim brought many pairs of his into our hands. It was through this mutual passion that at long last we were able to meet Donwan. We recently had the opportunity to visit his studio in midtown and talk shop.
Harell’s strong taste for nostalgia makes him our kind of designer. He has amassed an impressive denim collection over the years, as well as stacks of Japanese denim magazines, action figures and American ephemera. He has a particular penchant for vintage Lee’s. While talking in his office we learned that JCPenney had its own selvedge brand called Ranch Craft that copycatted Lee’s. Thinking back to a time when department stores carried their own selvedge lines kind of blew our minds.
When we arrived at his office his crew was getting ready for trunk shows in Vegas. We got a glimpse of the new PRPS line at Liberty Fairs and we got an even better peek of the new PRPS Noir line at his studio. The washes Harrell designs are inspired by real pairs of old jeans. PRPS stands for purpose. Harrell strives to mimic the personality of aged jeans, mimicking the tiniest flecks of oil to stress marks all derived from the original purpose of workwear, from real movements of auto mechanics on their knees or painters on scaffolding.
The designer in his element.
PRPS headquarters in midtown.
Tags: african cotton, DENIM, Donwan Harell, Japanese denim, menswear, PRPS, PRPS Noir, raw denim, zimbabwe cotton
The Denim Therapy team’s Market Week tour continued at Liberty Fairs held at Pier 94. The space was enormous with over one hundred booths to cover. We scoured the long aisles and prioritized. Our top priority? Denim. Our featured picks from the show are all Japanese and American brands including Feltraiger, Kato and Fullcount.
Feltraiger is a Brooklyn-based brand focused on making products you can pass down from generation to generation. Their customer base ranges from hardcore motorcyclists to anyone inspired by American subcultures of the 20th century. Feltraiger’s new Core collection features their bestselling basics. We’re fans of the Destitute Vest in indigo available for Fall 2015.
Th co-founder’s motorcycle parked in front of the new collection.
Destitute vest in indigo.
Kato jeans are made of Japanese denim, designed in Kyoto, and manufactured in Los Angeles. Kato was started by Hiroshi Kato in 1996 and has become one of our favorites. We favor the immaculate construction and details such as the diagonal belt loop and selvedge coin pocket. Highlights from the Spring 2016 line are the 13 oz. Raw Slim jean and a 7 oz Shawl Collar Blazer. Their leather patch has also been updated for the first time since the brand’s inception.
Perfect distressing detail on the hem of the shawl-style blazer lapel.
Fullcount denim is made in Okayama mills in Japan and was one of the first brands to start using Zimbabwe cotton back in 1992. Fullcount is here to stay, check out a peak of their Spring 2016 offerings below.
Rust-looking wash on Fullcount jeans.
Boro-like stitching detail on a chambray shirt.
All photos credited to the author.
—Emily B. McIntosh
Tags: American Denim, DENIM, Feltraiger, Fullcount, Japan, Japanese denim, Kato, made in japan, market week, mens denim, menswear, raw denim
Last week at Project we had the chance to stop by the Jean Shop booth. Read on and check out the photos to see what we gleaned from our quick encounter during our preview of their Spring 2016 collection.
Conversations with denim heads combined with our intuition tells us that overalls and coveralls are going to make a strong comeback next year. Below is a prototype of a potential piece.
The personal touch of patches and repairs is timeless and certainly not going out of style any time soon. We saw extreme distressing, apparent darning, and patches galore during Market Week.
We strongly approve of the women’s denim vest in Jean Shop’s Spring 2016 collection.
We are always excited to see selvedge denim crossing into the women’s market. The Jean Shop Spring 2016 women’s selvedge shorts are kind of fulfilling our fantasies. We can only imagine the coolest of babes rocking orange selvedge shorts in the summer heat.
Jean Shop’s famous orange stitching and pockets.
A great styling suggestion after our own hearts from Jean Shop: denim on denim on denim. Triple the denim triple the fun.
—Emily B. McIntosh
Tags: American Denim, DENIM, Jean Shop, menswear, Spring 2016
Here at Denim Therapy, we are all about DIY. That’s why, even though we offer a jeans-to-shorts service, we want to show you how to make your own jean shorts. Watch as Renee shows us the step-by-step process, from selecting the perfect denim to how to measure the length. But remember, if you’re not crafty, all you have to do is measure the jeans to your preferred length, fill out the online form, and send them to us at Denim Therapy. We’ll turn your jeans into the perfect summer shorts. It’s a win-win!
—Sarah Greene, Renee Sykes, Michelle Christina
Tags: DENIM, denim therapy repair, DIY, how to make cut-off shorts, how to make your own denim shorts, how to repair jeans, how to turn pants into shorts
Does this look familiar? It’s called a crotch blowout, and it happens to the best of us — especially in New York, where people walk an average of five miles a day without even realizing it. Crotch blowouts are sneaky little things that start as inconspicuously thin areas and turn into holes that render your favorite jeans unwearable. That’s where we come in! Denim Therapy is the crotch hole specialist and we can repair yours with a little DT wizardry, making it look like it never happened! Check out our before and afters and see for yourself. Oh, oh! It’s magic!
Tags: crotch blowout, DENIM, denim dr, Denim Repair, Denim Therapy, fix denim repair doctor, jean reapir, new york denim service, patch hole in denim, ripped jeans
If art & design school taught is one useful thing, it’s that hues of orange and red look great with blue. And while you can translate that using jeans and a top, the ladies of DT are huge fans of throwing the pop color on our lips! We’ve whipped up combinations of our favorite lipsticks and our favorite jeans to show you how makeup and denim can work together in perfect harmony. Show us your own denim x lipstick combinations on our facebook wall!
Lipstick # 1: Urban Decay lipstick in Confession ($22)
Wear it with: See by Chloe Pleated Denim Trousers ($179) – buy it at My Theresa.
Lipstick #2: Revlon Super Lustrous in Cherries in the Snow ($6.39 on sale)
Wear it with: Motel Durable Dream Skirt ($110) – buy it at Modcloth.
Lipstick #3: Nars in Heatwave ($24)
Wear it with: J Brand 811 mid-rise twill cropped skinny jeans ($122.50 on sale) – buy it at Net-A-Porter.
Lipstick #4: MAC Russian Red ($14.50)
Wear it with: Free People Vintage Miss Lee Denim Jacket ($98) – buy it at Free People.
Lipstick #5: Tarte 24/7 lip sheer in Summer Fling ($16)
Wear it with: Genetic Denim The Jane High-Rise Slim Bell Jeans in Fang ($253.69) – buy it at Genetic Denim.
—Michelle Christina Larsen & Renee Sykes
Tags: blue jeans, DENIM, lipstick, orange lipstick, pink lipstick, red lipstick, what to wear
If you think your closet might need a little European boost this Spring, look no further than the gorgeous Italian designs of Nine in the Morning. Giving us some of their most perfectly fitted, sexy denim yet, it’s easy to see that owners and brothers Umberto and Alessandro Vendramin came from a long line of luxury textilers. This season’s lookbook features looser-fitting, paint-splattered jeans for both men and women, as well as dark-wash, super tight women’s jeans that appear to be stretchy enough to do yoga in. Seriously, could these jeans fit any better? We think not.
Tags: DENIM, Denim Menswear, italian, jeans, LookBook, mens denim, Nine in the Morning, skinny jeans, spring 2012
There aren’t a lot of people who can say they see and touch as many pairs of jeans as the girls in the Denim Therapy office in midtown Manhattan, so for them to be able to put on a pair and declare a fit, feel, or brand their “favorite” is a pretty big deal. That’s why, when Renee and Sarah showed up to work, both sporting their current top choice for trousers, they knew they had to tell us about them. Right now, Renee is in love with her high-wasted, dark-wash Doctrine duds, while Sarah finds any excuse to wear her bright green, mid-rise, cigarette BGDs (and that includes Halloween trivia night, where her green legs completed her T-Rex costume). Read on to find out why these jeans made the cut!
What was your first thought when you tried them on?
Renee: Woah, that’s a high rise!
Sarah: I wish they weren’t so long, but everything else is so perfect!
Where/when would you wear these?
Renee: These are definitely day to night jeans. The wash is solid and dark, they’re trendy, and versatile. I can wear them with a tucked in button down, a flowy shirt, or a cropped sweater.
Sarah: All of the time. I’ve had them for two weeks and the knees are already starting to fade. The color somehow seems to go with everything.
How’s the fit?
Renee: The high waist is super flattering! Which isn’t always the case (I admittedly can’t always fill out the butt in my jeans). But Doctrine added some extra tailoring above the pockets and at the waist to create a smooth shape. The fabric is also thick and has a good amount of stretch.
Sarah: The waist is possibly the best fitting waist I’ve ever had in any pant, ever. The butt’s pretty great too.
—Sarah Greene & Renee Sykes
Tags: BDG, bright colored jeans, colored denim, DENIM, Denim Therapy, Doctrine, fall fashion, high-waisted, high-waisted jeans, skinny jeans
We love to travel, and we love denim. So it only makes sense that we’d brush up on ways to say “jeans” the world over, so that we may inquire with locals in various countries as per where to score some international denim. Going somewhere soon? Take a look at this list below for a rundown of languages and the translation of the J word.
In Greek jeans are known as τζίν.
Editor’s note: One of our Greek friends suggests “τζινς or τζινζ” instead.
In Bulgarian jeans are known as дънки (Bulgarian transliteration of donkey, but perhaps from English “dungarees”).
In Chinese niuzaiku (SC: 牛仔裤, TC: 牛仔褲), literally, “cowboy pants” (trousers), indicating their association with the American West, cowboy culture, and outdoors work.
In Danish cowboybukser meaning “cowboy pants”.
In Dutch, jeans are often known as ‘spijkerbroek’ meaning “nail trousers”, referring to the copper studs on riveted jeans.
In Finnish, jeans are usually known as “farkut”, short for “farmarihousut” (“farmer’s trousers” in English.)
In Hungarian name for jeans is “farmer” (short for “farmernadrág”, meaning “farmer’s trousers”).
In Korean, jeans are known as “cheong baji” (청바지), meaning “blue trousers”.
In Norwegian “dongeribukse” or “olabukse”. “Dongeri” is adapted from English “dungaree,” and “bukse” is Norwegian for “pants”. The prefix Ola is used to describe the average Norwegian person. According to the Norwegian Language Council, the term “olabukse” was coined by Tor Wessel Kildal, when introducing jeans to Norwegian consumers, targeting young males (10-12 years).
In Puerto Rican Spanish as mahones.
In Serbian jeans are known as “фармерке” or “farmerke” (Serbian transliteration of farmer’s trousers).
In Spanish they are mostly known as jeans, but are also called vaqueros (“cowboys”) or tejanos (“Texans”).
In Arabic they are pronounced as English but in Arabic letters جينز
In Turkish as “kot”
In Polish as “dżins” pronounced like in English
In Slovak language as džínsy
In Russian as “джинсы”
In Slovene (or Slovenian) “jeans” are called normally: kavbojke (which comes from kavboj (Engl.: cowboy), so the “trousers worn by cowboys”), or also džins. ** Reader submission from Sara
Information from Jeans.
As a side note, where phonetic translations are missing, we will be filling in shortly! If you know a missing phonetic translation, let us know!
—Michelle Christina Larsen
Tags: DENIM, how to say jeans in russian, how to say jeans in spanish, how to say jeans in turkish, language, SHOPPING, translation, travel