With the ’70s style taking a hold of fashion this season, the denim revival has come front and center. Then again, it would be disingenuous to say that the fabric beloved by groovy gals and guys is making a comeback, as it has become so engrained in the language of fashion, having achieved the ever-elusive title of classic. However, the whole resurgence of the sleek, laidback style synonymous with films like Love Story and Carnal Knowledge has breathed new life into what is the most durable and versatile material in the industry.
Hudson Jeans, the premium denim line founded by CEO Peter Kim, is certainly well aware of this nostalgic sense that has taken over the zeitgeist, perhaps more than most brands. The aura of rebellion, freedom and glamour attached to its name are also descriptors that typify ’70s style. In this instance, one could even say that Hudson Jeans was ahead of the curve.
Since launching in 2002, it has managed to find its own voice in a very saturated marketplace by emphasizing a lifestyle, rather than just a range of seasonal products. As seen in its new Spring 2015 campaign, the brand eschews the traditional studio shots of shirtless models, opting for a cinematic feel instead. A woman (who is Madeline Harmon, a renowned vintage denim collector) riding on a motorcycle with arms wide open, and another of her cruising down the street with a buoyant expression are much more relatable to consumers, and provides an impression that is synched to the brand’s philosophies—which are “Devoted To Denim” and “Devoted To Story,” as well as their pledge to be “Forever Forward.”
Check out what Kim has to say about his brand, his campaign and his love of denim.
What do you love most about jeans?
Jeans have always been a symbol of the rebellious spirit to me. It has been the badge of blue-collar individuals—the craftsman, the tortured artist, the cowboy, the rocker, the workingman or woman. I just love that we took that legacy and helped make it something of a staple for everyone. Finally, denim is premium; it is high end; it has gotten its due, without losing its roots.
Why do you believe jeans have remained in style for so long?
Jeans are the foundation that you build the rest of your outfit off of. They ground your simplicity and balance your complexity. If you have the best new fashionable jacket, your great jeans give it a platform to shine. If you are down to your last clean white t-shirt, your denim completes the simple look. Jeans are the rock that the fashion tides move around.
Can you explain what “Forever Forward” means?
“Forever Forward” (which comes from a Walt Whitman poem), for us, is the idea that asking great questions, nurturing creativity, living with passion and following your rebellious spirit is what pushes the world forward. We believe that nothing is more powerful than creative rebels devoted to a cause, and that is the idea that drives us at Hudson every day. We wanted to share that with our audience and community, because we think that resonates for a lot of people. It’s such a great and positive message to advocate for in the world, and to align all of our initiatives and projects behind.
What inspired Hudson Jeans’ current ad campaign?
We have wanted to be more than just a denim company in the public eye for as long as I can remember: To stand for something, to be a more than just a look but a mentality. For spring, we decided to lean heavy into what is truest for us, and put our mentality at the forefront of our message. Instead of just jamming product placement down our audiences’ throat, or blasting overly photoshopped images across magazines and the Internet, we wanted to create imagery that felt like us—raw, inspiring, and that would hopefully inspire and encourage the rebellious spirit in others.
What are the essential cuts, washes and styles for spring?
Hudson’s essential styles for the spring season are white denim, high waist sailor flares, aged denim washes in relaxed fits, icy blue indigo shades and ’70s influences that were drawn from iconic areas of Los Angeles.
Denim is a pretty competitive market. What sets Hudson Jeans apart?
Denim is our canvas, our vessel for delivering a much larger identity and message. It is our way of connecting with a larger community, and providing people with something that makes them look and feel amazing—while knowing that the company they are wearing isn’t some soulless machine, but rather another group of people like themselves. We are group who happen to find our sense of purpose through denim, using that passion to create something that people love, and then using that momentum to be responsible and active participants in trying to make the world a better place. It is a constant process for us, but I think we are one of the few in our space that talks and walks that way. We have a strong energy and culture all our own, and anyone who has come over to the Hudson side of denim can feel it.
Barry Samaha Contributor