A great pair of jeans is about so much more than denim. Adelaide Bourbon, the founder behind the label, explains.
For the longest time, denim has been that one piece of pragmatic clothing almost every person has in their closet. Within the past two years however, the attitude towards blue jeans has shifted completely. Denim is now a fabrication to play with, to deconstruct, to fray and to reinvent. That’s not to say that sometimes the classics aren’t still the best way to go, or at least offer plenty of sartorial and design inspiration. Case in point, Eve Denim, an LA-based label created by Equipment-alum Adelaide Bourbon.
Bourbon launched her label after working as a creative consultant to Joie co-founder Serge Azria and helping him to launch Equipment, the silk shirt focused label that has become synonymous with Parisian chic and easy-going daywear. For Azria and Bourbon, inspiration, research, and references were key, and Bourbon spent hours poring over old photographs and film stills in order to nail the perfect silk shirt. A few years into the Equipment hype however, Bourbon was up for a new challenge. An ardent denim fan living in Los Angeles (she was born in Paris and raised in New York), she discovered that in a decade dedicated to stretch denim and skinny jeans, not much existed for girls who preferred a vintage approach—and fabrication—to their jeans.
Above left & right: EVE DENIM
“I continually revisit iconic paparazzi photography of New york icons like John lennon, Jackie o, and Carolyn Bessette-kennedy…They defined periods of the city I grew up in with the most tremendous style that were completely their own. and they were so effortlessly chic and cool."
Bourbon’s inspiration stems from those ‘70s icons who continue to influence the fashion world—Charlotte Rampling, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, Jane Birkin and Jackie O—and vintage jeans that fit well, but that are made from 100% raw denim (no stretch, embellishments, or anything less than authentic cotton). “I always design with the mentality of making a forever’ piece,” says Bourbon. “These jeans are meant to evolve with you along your journey through life and I feel so strongly about rising up against fast fashion and not offering trendy, disposable garments. I also strive to design pieces that look like you’ve owned them for years but are your latest purchase and obsession. I know I have an Eve piece when I strike this duality of forever and forward.”
And with eons of denim labels out there, offering pairs that imbue a special something is a fact that Bourbon is all too familiar with. Her jeans (like herself), offer an immediate and undeniable sense of cool. There’s a heavy dose of Americana mixed with French new wave nostalgia, yet her pieces are incredibly comfortable and easy to wear. Her current obsession is matching sets, combinations that are somewhat similar to Raf Simons’ latest offerings at Calvin Klein: a take on the classic, All-American denim worn by Brooke Shields. “Isabelle Adjani in denim-on-denim is my all-time favorite look,” she confesses. “I’ve been working a lot on the idea of the 'matching set’. I started out with just raw denim sets my first season, and I have expanded to offer sets in different washes and different fabrications. An all-white matching set of our Kaila Jacket and Charlotte Culotte was a big hit for Spring.”
With cool girl fans like French accessories designer Amélie Pichard, British It-girl Alexa Chung, and model Lily Aldridge, Bourbon’s line has become a mutual appreciation club for those who prefer their denim with a touch of character.
For Bourbon, there’s a pair to suit every personality. Her personal favorite is the ‘Charlotte,’ named after her favorite muse. “Our signature style, The Charlotte Culotte, was named after Charlotte Rampling,” she says. “She is a women who has aged naturally, defying the current beauty trend of nipping, tucking and injecting that young women today feel pressured to start as early as their 20’s. She embodies Eve’s credo of being an original: a strong, secure, woman with her own ideals, independent of trends and popular beliefs. In a T Magazine interview of last year, Rampling stated: ‘As you get older, it’s then that you process things. And if you don’t, I think the trouble begins.’
"It is with this frame of mind I approached launching Eve, creating pieces that are meant to be loved for years to come and not thrown away. By doing away with largely synthetic content and working with an honest cotton canvas, you can achieve a much more nuanced rainbow of blues. I think women are chameleons and we evolve everyday, much more than men, in our looks as well as in our attitudes. Eve Denim honors that evolution.”
Like many of the other denim labels currently making waves (Vetements, Marques Almeida, and Off White), Eve Denim possesses an irrefutable and immediate signature. Spot a girl walking down the street in a pair of jeans that turn your head, and chances are they’re Eve.