Boyish. Would the name have anything to do with a man designing women's jeans, or is there an entirely different story behind the name?
Not quite. The name Boyish is sort of an homage to women who wear men’s vintage jeans. The first women's jeans were rigid and raw all cotton indigo denim, very similar to men's jeans and they pretty much stayed that way all the way up to the 1990's before stretch jeans entered into the composition. Over the last 10 or so years, the coolest jeans I've seen were vintage men's jeans worn by women who made them look sexy. It was a sort of sexy yet boyish style that I fell in love with.
You have been working with denim for several years. What inspired you to create your own brand?
I wanted to challenge myself to create a circular and sustainable denim line that was less about profit and more about year-on-year end growth of doing better for humanity and mother earth.
What previous position would you consider to be the most influential in teaching you how to design denim? What was the most valuable lesson learned?
When I created the GRLFRND Denim brand for Revolve. I would purchase deadstock fabrics from the American mills that were all closing down. I found amazing fabrics that were unlike any fabrics that the mills were making at the time. It was all old rigid unsanforized indigo fabrics that had such beautiful character. This is where my love for authentic denim really developed. I then left to focus on sustainable denim by building Reformation's Ref Jeans line.
“At Boyish, we define sustainability as the roots of our supply chain.”
What sets Boyish apart from the rest?
I design all our yarn and then our fabric with select sustainable mills around the world. Fabric is 60-80% of a garments impact on the earth so I tend to focus a lot on reducing that impact. We utilize recycled cotton which is at the top of the Higgs Index (published by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition) as the most sustainable fiber to use. We do this by sending all our cutting scraps back to our mills to recycle back into select fabrics. This helps us create a very circular and zero waste manufacturing cycle.
How do you define sustainability? What impact has it made in fashion today?
Sustainability is a very general word thrown around the industry a lot these days. At Boyish, we define sustainability as the roots of our supply chain. The first step of understanding sustainability is to identify your supply chain and measure your current carbon emissions and water usage in the manufacturing processes. Then you have a figure to start working at lowering. I hope that this becomes a standard that is regulated in the industry more so that consumers can feel assured of their purchases and their future.
“We want our girl to feel better in our jeans because not only will she look good, but she will also feel good knowing that Boyish is out there doing better for mother earth.”
Why is sustainability such a crucial value to your brand? What impact did that have as you were creating the brand?
It means a lot to us to create products that do not damage our earth or other humans. This shouldn't be an option; it should be an instinct. We focus on more than just making our jeans sustainable, but also what we can do to give back to others and mother earth. This is why we created our Cool to Care program where we do volunteer work every month from planting trees, to beach clean ups, to volunteering at women's shelters.
How do you want consumers to feel when wearing your designs?
We want our girl to feel better in our jeans because not only will she look good, but she will also feel good knowing that Boyish is out there doing better for mother earth.
How would you define your customer? Who are you designing for?
Our girl is conscious of her purchases. She carries her reusable water bottle, totes for the grocery store, along with other eco-conscious alternatives for her daily choices. She wants to look good and do good. She works hard and is a strong believer in the brands she chooses.
Where do you draw inspiration from to create each collection?
My team and I do a lot of vintage shopping. We love going to swap meets like the Rose Bowl and Long Beach Flea Market. We also go to curated vintage shops like Scout on Melrose and many other local LA vintage boutiques. The 60's to 90's are definitely our favorite era's.
“If you love what you do, then you'll never feel like you're working - it's more like you're living.”
If you were not designing denim, what would you be doing professionally?
Probably a documentary producer/director.
What are you passionate about other than design? Why?
I surf, snowboard, skate, hike, and a lot of outdoor activities in general. I love being outside and enjoying nature.
There’s so much pressure for designers to come out with their greatest collection season after season. What advice would you give to young designers just starting out and hoping to make it in the industry?
Do what you're good at. I never thought I wanted to be a denim designer, but I fell into after wanting to make my own clothes for myself and realized I had a knack for making jeans. I suppose that's good advice for business in general, but you also have to be passionate about what you do. If you love what you do, then you'll never feel like you're working - it's more like you're living.