Emily Current and Meritt Elliott style a stable of starlets — including Emma Roberts, Mandy Moore and Sophia Bush — and have lent their names to the trendsetting Current/Elliott denim brand owned by Serge Azria. The duo was instrumental in bringing the “boyfriend” fit to recent prominence and have racked up more than a decade’s worth of experience working in the fishbowl of Hollywood style, while also working on editorial and advertising shoots.
Every brand has a set of filters through which consumers see them — and which should shape all aspects of a brand’s strategies and initiatives, emphasized the duo in a conversation with WWD men’s fashion editor Alex Badia.
“What are the three words that speak for the brand? Whether it’s casual, American cool or sophisticated lady chic, everything from a brand’s font, tags, a hand on a fabric to a color needs to go through those brand filters,” said Current. Thus, while J Brand has become closely identified with the dark, skinny leggings look, a brand like Double RL is associated with a different look and probably shouldn’t seek to tap into that particular trend.
“Not everyone should do everything,” asserted Elliott. “But if there’s a trend that you want to participate in, put it through your own filter. So pink plaid through a casual American heritage filter will look very different from a chic city-lady filter. Each brand should look different.”
With clean, bright colors and patterns currently popular in denim, it’s inevitable for more vintage looks to make a comeback. “As a stylist, I’m just craving a good rip-and-repair and a good beat-up black jean right now,” said Elliott. “There is so much innovation in fabric and wash that feels so authentic.”
In today’s world of fame-obsessed magazines, blogs and burgeoning social media sites, working with celebrities is a vital component of brand-building — but it comes with plenty of pitfalls. “When a celebrity wears a certain pair of jeans to the dog park with their kid, that is a powerful thing. No amount of advertising can pay for that. It’s very organic and can be an incredible vehicle to promote a brand,” said Elliott.
However, it’s important that celebrities be put through the same set of filters as all the other aspects of a brand. “Stylists can be the gatekeepers to much of that process. It’s important that it’s the right jean in the right size for the right girl at the right time for that jean,” explained Current.
In this era of personal style, which has been magnified by the looking glass of social media that allows everyone to broadcast their fashion choices to the world — which may or may not be paying any attention — variety is the order of the day. “No silhouette is a flash in the pan,” said Elliott. Both stylists agreed, for example, that both the baggy boyfriend style and the skinny legging look are here to stay.
“Skinny jeans will live as long as boots are around. Print and pattern and color look better on a skinny jean,” said Current. The boyfriend fit, meanwhile, is very democratic and goes well with other styles of shoes and tops.
“As the market swings one way, the tastemakers will want what’s not available,” pointed out Current.