Behind the Brand: Current/Elliott
Behind the Brand: Current/Elliott
Since it's launch in July of 2008, Current/Elliott continues to evolve denim's place within the fashion realm. Created out of love for vintage denim and its Americana roots, the collection pays tribute to denim's history as well as its timelessness. We went Behind the Brand to find out how they defined an iconic silhouette, how they're adapting to the Ath-leisure trend and what's next for the brand.
Read on for more and don't forget to register to shop this February 21-23, 2017.
Current/Elliott draws inspiration from vintage styles, but it's clearly more than just a recreation of past denim trends. How does the brand strike a balance between innovation and nostalgia?
KVH: It’s a fine line we’re balancing from day to day. We use vintage denim and its classic American roots as the foundation to inspire our entire collection each season. Concepts are mostly developed mixing California history with modern-time eras. We build looks and styles based on the essence of the past while using proportions, technology, and textures of today. Our Water Wise initiative is about creating authentic denim washes from the 60-70’s using new a modern and forward-thinking technology to greatly reduce water consumption during the wash process. Another example comes from an interesting French terry program starting from repaired classic woven goods, like a US Army Anorak. The styles are sewn from mixed fabrics with intensive wash for a repaired vintage vibe, yet the silhouette at the end has been modernized with slightly exaggerated proportions.
Tell us a little bit about the Loved & Found collection!
KVH: Loved & Found is a collection of limited edition or one-of-a-kind concept items that are too novel or complicated to manufacture on a large scale – cherry picking and altering certain dead stock pieces, or manipulating personalizing existing Current/Elliott styles. It’s an exclusive program available at our Venice retail store and website. It’s a really fun project that is close to our hearts.
Current/Elliott is widely credited as the innovators of the boyfriend jean as well as the bell bottom. What was the importance of these fits of Current/Elliot? How did it change your business? Why do you think women responded so strongly to this silhouette?
KVH: Current/Elliott was very ahead of its time, with an inclination towards all things tomboy – innovative designs that took what was typically his, and made them hers. The Boyfriend Jean in particular, has stood the test of time, especially with the cross-gender wardrobes we have today. They very much embody the essence and attitude of the brand, and the Men’s line naturally evolved from this concept – something that was only a matter of time with the brand’s existing DNA. We often incorporate similar or same materials, washes, colors, and stories for both lines. Many times in development the men’s team will design a style line a camo jacket and women’s will pick it up in their line – what we like to call "Borrowed From The Boys”, and vice versa.
What about the rise of Ath-leisure? How does Current/Elliott fit within this trend, if at all?
KVH: Current/Elliott pulls from iconic American heritage, this includes the 1950’s standard issue military and civilian athletic wear. So naturally, we have a bit of Ath-leisure built into the line. Our silhouettes are progressive and in line with what’s trending on runway. Slightly elongated top proportions, bottoms with tapered, boxier legs, and relaxed rises are shapes that move through this season’s collection, and which also exist in Ath-leisure.
Why PROJECT and THE TENTS? How does the show impact your business?
KVH: We have found PROJECT & THE TENTS to be the best showcase for a new, casual, contemporary brand. The show brings in buyers for both denim and sportswear and allows us to sit with the competition. THE TENTS brings in the best of the best and buyers that want to keep their stores modern with fresh, new inventory. It is great exposure for us.
Any hints to what's next for Current/Elliott?
KVH: Just keep an eye on the seasons to come. The women’s and men’s teams are fresh and come from a depth of experience, and we have an amazing new VP of Design, Michele Manz. The times are changing at C/E. You’ll quickly see the new evolution of the product pushing forward, but also, more so than ever, we’re staying true to the vision Current/Elliott was originally founded on. Stay tuned!