Trends change four times a year, every year, while fads come and go faster than a model can change an outfit. However, one fashion heavyweight that refuses to be knocked out of the sartorial ring is denim and, in particular, the wardrobe staple, a pair of jeans. And no woman understands the importance of a good pair of fitted jeans more than Chloe Lonsdale, creative director of iconic British denim brand MiH (formerly Made In Heaven).
Daughter of the ‘Blue Jean King’ Tony Lonsdale and 1970s model Chekkie Lonsdale, it was inevitable that Chloe should become the Queen of Denim and take over the company, which has been a favourite of early style icons from Jane Birkin and Farrah Fawcett as well a go-to brand for modern A-listers including Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba. Here, Chloe talks about celebrity fans and how to find the perfect pair of jeans for your shape (very important)…
First things first, how many pairs of jeans do you actually own?
I never have more than nine or 10 in my cupboard at any one time, and when they get too old or worn out, I put them in storage and select new pairs from the collection.
From Jane Birkin to Gwyneth Paltrow, the brand has a large celebrity following. How do you achieve this?
Everyone wears jeans, so we have a very strong starting point of potential customers. We’ve worked really hard over the years to get distribution in some of the best stores in the world and so we have great visibility, especially in cities like LA where a lot of celebrities live and shop.
What’s your brand ethos?
To deliver beautifully cut jeans and elegant, effortless clothes to wear with them. We aim to elevate everyday dressing.
How did you maintain the brand’s values while taking it in a new modern direction when you took over in 2005?
I think always referencing my mum as the original muse, and her effortless, natural sense of style helps. The fact that our philosophy is anchored around making great jeans is also really important – that has never changed and continues to be our primary focus.
MiH is a trend-setting brand. How do you stay so forward thinking?
Ironically, we achieve our originality by referencing beautiful vintage samples and giving it our twist. The denim market can often get stuck in a rut of quite basic styles and I think where we push the boundaries is a really key part of our identity.
What are the rules to looking after denim?
There are no set rules but if you have spent a lot of money on a pair of jeans and want them to stay the same shade of blue it is best to wash them on the lowest temperature with the least detergent and dry them flat.
In terms of longevity, what colour of jeans is best?
Real indigo jeans that can age and wear with you and become completely unique over time.
What should you look for when buying jeans to ensure the perfect fit?
You should buy jeans as tight as you feel comfortable in and avoid looking at the size. Even non-stretch denim will give and there is nothing worse than an unintentionally baggy pair of jeans.
What’s the rule when cuffing jeans?
It’s all about the individual. It’s a lovely thing to do to suit you and what you’re wearing that day. I love just rolling the hem once or twice on a slim leg pair of jeans for a tiny cuff, but I equally adore wearing our Phoebe jean with its exaggerated 8-inch raw cuff. Roll it how you want!
What’s the biggest jeans faux pas?
Fake looking wash effects that are meant to be vintage. A jean would never age like that in real life.
Chloe’s Guide To Buying The Right Style For Your Size:
A flat coloured jean rather than a vintage wash is best. Vintage washes give a more three dimensional appearance to the shape of your legs whereas a clean wash will lengthen the silhouette. I would recommend a simple indigo rinse jean in a straight leg such as our London (here).
If you’re bottom heavy it’s always good to balance out your waist and thighs with a slightly higher rise and wider hem. I would suggest at least a boot cut if not a flared silhouette. Our Marrakesh (here) is perfect for this.
Curvy shapes look best in a mid-rise jean in a slim leg silhouette as this jean style looks great with looser and more voluminous tops, where you don’t have too much clinging around your waist. I would suggest our Oslo jean (here).
All of our jeans are engineered to give shape to the bottom based on the pocket positioning, but if you go for something with a little higher rise you can get more curve. If you have skinny legs embrace it with our Ellsworth (here). It has a 9inch rise and is the perfect ankle length skinny.
We do a 36inch inseam, which is great for the taller girl. It’s especially popular in the Skinny Marrakesh (here) as it is a really slim fit flare and makes legs look even longer.
Girls with shorter legs can benefit from cropped jeans, which are normally have a 28inch inseam. Our Paris (here) is still our best-selling style. It was also our most popular in the 1970s.
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