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The jean of choice for many modern fashion
icons‚ Siwy defines cult-favorite denim. In our
exclusive interview‚ designer Michelle Siwy talks
about why she keeps her collection tightly edited‚
how her clientele influences her creative process‚
and what it's like to see Kate Moss and Beyoncé
wearing styles she dreamed up. Read on >

When did you decide to launch a denim line? What did you want to bring to
denim that wasn´t already being offered?

Siwy was launched in the spring of 2005. I wanted to combine a superior-fitting
jean with an edge of style‚ without leaving out any details in between. There was
a need for a truly classic jean with an off-the-cuff elegance and a nod to vintage
denim style.

Your line defines cult-favorite denim. Do you intentionally keep the collection
tightly edited? What are the advantages of staying on the smaller side?

I keep the line tightly edited to ensure that every single piece in the collection is
a hit. By keeping the collection focused‚ I create a level of trust with my clients
so they feel confident following my direction and style. Each season I want them
to feel like they are looking into my closet‚ that they must have those Siwy items
to complete their look. I also get to listen directly to our clients‚ find out what it is
they really want right now.

The other advantage of keeping the collection small is that we can maintain super
strict quality control over our products as we grow. It ensures the very best fit and
wash combination that will last.

Women can't say enough about the fit of your jeans. How do you achieve this flattering look?

I use super-soft denim and combine it with a cut-and-sew process that lifts‚ shapes‚ and works with what women already have. I don't
want to change people‚ just embrace them and make them look and feel the best they can. There are subtle design details throughout
the jean from top to bottom that create the most flattering look and feel.

The inspiration collage on your site is a work of art unto itself. How does this collection of images translate into your designs?

The subtleties in denim are all based on some kind of a mood. It's the only fabric that can show a wide range of emotion artistically.
I'm a very nostalgic person‚ and this group of images evokes a mood that reminds me of my youth‚ innocence‚ and comforting times.
For this season‚ I designed very laid-back styles with special touches and elements that were youthful and whimsical with a touch of
humor.

What's it like when you see a photograph of one of the major fashion icons of our time wearing something you designed?

I immediately think of how influential these images are‚ how they will eventually make it into some historical‚ fashion reference
book and how major that will be. It will influence the new generation just as much as our generation is influenced by icons like
Anita Pallenberg‚ Jane Birkin‚ Brigitte Bardot‚ Edie Sedgwick‚ etc. My heart skips a beat in anticipation because I know that is when it
will really come full circle.

It's the most flattering feeling to think that an icon like Kate Moss chose to wear my jeans‚ jeans I conceptualized on the floor of my
tiny apartment on the Lower East Side of N.Y.C. on a scrap of paper‚ when I had nothing else but a vision.

The Hannah Ankle Skinny with Rips is an exclusive style you did in collaboration with shopbop. Can you talk a little about
that process?

I can always depend on shopbop to embrace and understand the translation of trends into something that is completely wearable.
In this case‚ we wanted to create a style that was moving with the distressed trend in a classic fit‚ such as the Hannah. We use a
super-soft washing process on stretch denim to lift and shape your body‚ even with open holes and rips. The rips are strategically
placed in different sizes down the legs‚ giving an extra-flattering‚ optical illusion of slimmer‚ longer legs.

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