Learn about denim designer J Brand, including the history of the label, jeans offered in its current collections, and celebrity fans.
“Women shop for a new pair of jeans as much as men watch sports. All sports have a season, and all jeans have a season. There is almost a ritual in the treasure hunt for the perfect jeans for women. She tends to shop brands she trusts and retailers where the sales associates are knowledgeable about the product.”Jeff Rudes, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer, J Brand Jeans, in The Business of Fashion.
“It’s all about a woman looking beautiful in her jeans, not the jeans drawing attention to her.” — Susie Crippin, Co-Founder and Celebrity Stylist, J Brand website
J Brand was co-founded in 2004 by denim manufacturer Jeff Rudes and former celebrity stylist Susie Crippin, with a mission to create sophisticated jeans with an emphasis on fit and classic, timeless washes that women would feel beautiful wearing. Today, the California-based company is featured in specialty stores and luxury retailers in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Co-Founders Jeff Rudes and Susie Crippin — Obsessed With Fit
A denim pioneer who’s been active in jeans design and manufacturing for more than 30 years, Jeff Rudes, established his credentials in the industry through his Paris 2000 jeans line in the 1970s, his partnership with industry icons Ron Herman and Adriano Goldschmied in the 1990s, and his role in transforming the Abercrombie & Fitch denim collection starting in 1999. In 2004, Jeff decided to take his expertise into his own business, with a vision to create a jean that fit so perfectly it would follow the contours of the body.
To infuse his new brand with style, Jeff partnered with former celebrity stylist Susie Crippin, who has dressed some of Hollywood’s hottest trendsetters, including Nicole Richie and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Susie’s passion for jeans and experience dressing women’s bodies has contributed to J Brand’s success in developing simple, clean jeans with fantastic fits and classic, dark washes that are easy to style in women’s wardrobes.
History of the Brand
Launch of a Brand
J Brand launched their first denim line in the spring of 2005 as an exclusive line at Ron Herman’s Melrose Jeans Bar in Los Angeles, California. They had immediate success, and shortly afterward, J Brand became one of the first American denim designers to produce a skinny-fit jean, promoting the snug, body-conscious silhouette that has since become a staple fashion style.
The brand followed their skinny jeans success in 2005-2006 by expanding their denim line into wide leg, bootcut, and flare jean styles, continuing in their focus on perfect fit and classic denim colors.
J Brand launched a maternity line, Mama J, in 2007. This innovative line represented a leap forward in maternity jeans, thanks to its unique design features that put a strong focus on style rather than just covering the baby bump.
Later in 2007, J Brand expanded into junior denim styles with the introduction of J Girl, a children’s jeans line for girls in sizes 7 – 14.
J brand launched a men’s denim line in fall 2008, under the label J Brand Denim Co. The men’s collection focuses on modern basic styles designed to create a rugged and masculine aura in a well-edited range of classic and vintage washes.
Also, in 2008, J Brand launched an eco-friendly denim line called Green Label, featuring 100% organic cotton. The denim fabric for this line is manufactured with sustainable textile production to reduce the environmental impact. The washes are achieved using vegetable dyes instead of the typical chemical bath.
J Brand addressed the needs of curvier consumers with their Blue Label collection, launched in 2008. The line offers an alternative to the original, slender J Brand fit, with a roomier cut through the legs and a waistband designed to contour to a more womanly shape.
Collaborations with Fashion Designers
Over the years, J Brand has collaborated with a number of luxury fashion designers, including Proenza Schouler and Christopher Kane.
The brand continues its leadership and support of young design talent via innovative partnerships, such as its 5×5 Collaboration in 2013, featuring five exclusive collector edition jeans by up-and-coming U.K. fashion designers Peter Pilotto, Richard Nicoll, Christopher Kane, Meadham Kirchoff, and Erdem.
In spring 2012, J Brand launched its own Ready-to-Wear collection under its own label. This line of simple, classic separates, which does not include denim, includes versatile options for office wear and evening wear.
J Brand continues to innovate in denim manufacturing and denim, introducing trendsetting new styles each season.
J Brand’s skinny jeans and wide-leg styles have achieved popularity among some of Hollywood’s trendiest stars, as well as with top fashion editors at Vogue and other leading publications. Celebrity fans include Kate Moss, Cameron Diaz, and Katie Holmes.