by Izzy Ruiz for the Cannon Media Group
Picture this: lighting set, hair and makeup coifed and stunning with a model waiting patiently for her next look. You pull out a pair of sexy red jeans… and begin to panic. They’re so… SMALL. You know you gave the PR contact the right size, but there’s no way she’s fitting into these jeans and she’s a size 0! You look at the model. You look at the jeans. Model. Jeans. Model. Jeans. TAG. JEANS. MODEL! Being the professional she is, said model gently takes your hand and says, “Let’s see what happens.” And in a Cinderella moment, the jeans just slide onto her. A little knee bend and stretch and she stands there with a perfectly painted pair of jeans. She squeals how comfortable they are and as we giggle, the photog drags our muse away and lets her work those jeans for the lens.
That was my first introduction to LA-based denim brand Robin’s Jean. Founded in 2005, Robin’s Jean is the oeuvre of French designer Robin Chretien. With years of extensive experience in LA's denim industry, Robin had the acumen to produce a brand that captured his fascination and love of Americana, its roots in Native American culture, classic films and vintage cars. And as embodied in the Robin’s Jean logo of a pair of golden wings, this golden child has soared in less than 10 years, stocking his amazing fitting jeans, tops, leather and accessories all over the globe from NYC to St. Tropez. With his newest Fall/Winter collection about to drop, we offered Robin the opportunity to share some of his more personal sentiments on fashion, inspiration and Miley Cyrus.
theFashionSpot: What makes the USA and Rock 'n' Roll music such a big influence on denim design?
Robin Chretien: The USA is where it began with Levi’s, which is such an iconic brand filled with American heritage. Although it started as a workwear brand, by the time the 60s came and the youth movement was protesting and going to Woodstock, you see denim take a shift toward self-expression. It was a part of the revolution with bell-bottoms, denim shirts. It was also an easy and inexpensive way for people to dress and less proper than the 50s. In music, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Janice Joplin, The Who and Sly and the Family Stone were all changing the sound of music and visually, they all had such unique, amazing style with tight jeans, vests, butterfly collars, low-cut tops, halters and mini skirts. These influences are constantly being referenced in denim and in fashion in general because they were so huge and had such an impact on how people dressed at that time as well as today. Rock 'n' Roll music was and remains one of the most powerful way to transport the American Culture all around the world. Rock 'n' Roll Music is to me a great reflection of the USA.
tFS: Will baggy jeans ever come back in style?
RC: I think that some of our customers on the men’s side still prefer to wear baggy jeans. Not everyone is wearing skinny jeans and the great thing is that we have something to offer for everyone. Personal style is always in style.
tFS: Favorite new Robin’s Jean style?
RC: Robin’s Jean has many washes and styles in the collection and we offer new styles throughout the season all year round. Fabrics are thinner and stretchier. We are able not only to gain in comfort but also in look. For women, the new favorite style is the Jane. It has a slightly higher waist and a skinny leg which is flattering because it elongates the legs and gives an elegant but cool look. For men, it’s the Motard style. The Motard is a slim biker style jean with knee pleats for maximum movement and comfort, also it looks very cool!
tFS: Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift?
RC: Both Miley and Taylor are great, but Miley supported Robin’s Jean and wore a lot of our clothing on her previous album covers and in her person life, so Miley Cyrus!
tFS: Flats or Heels?
tFS: Thongs, bikinis, commando?
RC: It depends on the weather.
tFS: Tramp stamps or ink free?
RC: Tramp stamps. I personally have 2.
tFS. Style wars – Paris vs. LA vs. NYC?
RC: All three places are very international cities where people travel to and from all of the time, especially in the fashion industry. I am from France, I live in LA and I work in NYC a lot of the time, so this is tough. NYC has great street style and shopping.
tFS: What's makes Robin's Jean WeAr magazine's "Most Creative Fashion Headquarters"?
RC: WeAr magazine selected Robin’s Jean as the most creative headquarters because of the unique environment. It’s an old airport hanger in Los Angeles which is off the beaten path away from everything which I [then] had converted into our showroom, our factory and offices all in one place. It’s the land of Robin’s Jean and our team works all together here.
tFS: Pros and cons of working in denim?
RC: The pros are that it’s always changing and the cons are that it’s always changing.
tFS. What's next for Robin's Jean?
RC: It’s an exciting time. We have just opened two new stores – one in Laguna Beach, CA and the other, our first international store, in Ibiza. There will be more to come so stay tuned….
tFS: Robin’s Jean in 3 words.
RC: Real. American. Jeans.
For his Fall 2013 collection, Robin strings some of the coolest, grittiest of classic American cinema. For women, he plays on tongue-in-cheek sexiness, channeling Rizzo and the Pink Ladies from Grease where the girls were confident, tough and just a little naughty, redefining what it means to be feminine. For the guys, he takes us cross-country on a journey of self-discovery like Peter Fonda in Easy Rider while always maintaining a quiet swagger like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. His inclusion of acid wash and camouflage is a throwback to the 60s and 70s when kids were trying to make sense of the oncoming revolution, a losing war and their place in society. It’s Robin’s sensibility of that era that makes this newest collection relevant to the now—but also timeless in this ever-evolving world.
To get your hands on a piece of Robin’s Jeans, visit RobinsJean.com to find a store or retailer near you. In the meantime here’s a sneak peak of what you’ll find in store.
Robin's Jean Fall/Winter 2013 Lookbook