Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is as much admired for her street style as her catwalk moves, and Paige designer Paige Adams-Geller counts herself among the model’s fans. So much so that the two have teamed up on a 20-piece collection called Rosie HW x Paige. Ranging from $148 to $1,195 retail, the collection will be available on paige.com from Thursday, but not before a preview party tonight at Paige’s store in Brentwood, Calif. The two women took a moment to discuss how they met, why they admire each other, and what they created together.
WWD: How did the two of you meet?
Paige Adams-Geller: I was in London shopping and I had seen her like three times in the same day, so I finally introduced myself. I said, “I know you wear my jeans and I really wanted to say hello.” It wasn’t that long after we had a chance to reconnect in L.A. and I asked if she wanted to be the face of the brand.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: I was shopping in Liberty and when she introduced herself we sort of giggled because we were in similar leather jackets and had the same pair of Paige jeans.
WWD: What was your reaction when she asked you to model for Paige?
R.H.W.: For me it’s always really important there is a real connection there, an affiliation and affection for a brand. I’ve been wearing it for so many years, so that just makes it really authentic when you do these interviews or work with the design team and on a campaign. You feel excited about being part of a team.
WWD: How did the idea of collaborating come up?
R.H.W.: I had really hoped from early on [Paige] would be open to doing it, and I think she felt a little bit the same.
P.A.G.: We both scooted around the topic at the same time. I had her on my story boards before we met. Rosie has been someone I’ve always had a strong affinity for, for her sense of style, sensibility and how she represents herself. Once she became our face, our energies and attention to detail were so similar, she co-creative directed the shoot. So it felt like a natural extension for us to take it a step further
WWD: What do you look for in a pair of jeans?
R.H.W.: I think what I look for is what every woman is looking for: comfortable, stylish and flattering. When you find the brands that do that for you, you tend to be loyal to them.
WWD: What did you learn from the design process?
R.H.W.: Really understanding the architecture of a pair of jeans, from the seams to the yokes and lengths and how texture and grain can make a difference in how you feel in them, was really eye-opening for me.
WWD: What did you learn from collaborating with someone?
P.A.G.: Rosie really inspired me. I’ve asked quite a few times to do collaborations and I really wanted to be careful to find a natural fit, someone I had a tremendous amount of respect for, and someone I would be able to learn from and who thinks differently, but not so far out from what the Paige customer loves. What I appreciate about her is that she’s always effortless yet polished and feminine but edgy.
WWD: How did you edit the collection down from 50 pieces to 20?
P.A.G.: We had so much fun designing it was painful. We wanted to make sure we were giving the best edit in each category – our dream duster in velvet, a short tuxedo jacket, the perfect leather pant. It was the “model on duty” look.
WWD: What were your favorite pieces?
R.H.W.: The Rona one-shoulder blouse with neck tie detail was inspired by a vintage shirt I brought in. It’s sexy in a subtle way and has a rock ’n’ roll edge. And
I’m obsessed with the velvet duster coat. I couldn’t find it last season when I noticed it was a big trend, so this was my opportunity to design the coat that could take you from day to night. And I love the split-front jeans. They’re slightly rigid denim with a bit of stretch so they have that Nineties look but are much more comfortable.
WWD: How does living in Los Angeles inform your sense of style?
R.H.W.: I’m an English girl living out here seven years now. A part of my day I really enjoy is getting dressed. L.A. was hard to get my head around in the beginning because you don’t see people in the street. They don’t make the effort the same way they do in New York or London because they can get away with being more casual. That was something I always struggled with – how to feel glamorous and not turn up overdressed. Since moving here, denim has been a much bigger part of my day-to-day. You will rarely see me without heels, but I do wear a great pair of jeans and a T-shirt regularly.
WWD: Will you two do this again?
P.A.G.: We’ll see; I would love to.