J Brand is co-founded by denim manufacturer Jeff Rudes and stylist Susie Crippen. The two set out to create classic and sophisticated jeans with the emphasis on fit, while holding to one mandate: creating timeless products. Paying careful attention to details and clean, dark finishes, together they have created a combination of sexiness, style and comfort in women’s jeans. “It’s all about a woman looking beautiful in her jeans, not the jeans drawing attention to her,” says Susie.
Jeff pioneered the French jeans boom in America in the late 70s with his first jeans brand, Paris 2000. In the 80s, he moved to California from New York and started Area Code, a trendy junior line of lycra knits. Getting back into denim in the 90s, he partnered with industry icons Ron Herman and Adriano Goldschmied to create A. Gold E., a successful denim sportswear brand. He then stepped into the private label arena in 1999 and helped Abercrombie & Fitch transform their denim assortment, while becoming their largest supplier of premium jeans. It was time for him to get back to his passion for branding, and J Brand was now his vision.
Susie, a former stylist, dressed Hollywood’s actresses and was called upon for countless editorial features by top fashion magazines such as Vanity Fair, InStyle, Esquire and GQ. She also created international advertising campaigns for Levi’s and Puma. Susie was hired primarily for her classic taste and for her expertise in denim. A passionate jeans enthusiast herself, Susie knew the leading jeans companies latest trends and had one-on-one feedback from countless women who wear them. After 8-years in the business, Susie co-created J Brand, utilizing her knowledge and vision of what women want. The ultimate result was the simplicity of J Brand: clean pockets, classic dark washes and fantastic fits.
J Brand launched as an exclusive at Ron Herman’s Melrose jeans bar in the spring of 2005. The brand had immediate success, and J Brand’s introduction of their skinny straight leg made them the first American-made premium jeans to drive this trend. In October of 2006, J Brand introduced a men’s line.
J Brand continues to show leadership in the retail market with the introduction of their new wide-leg styles. “In an exceedingly competitive market, one of our greatest challenges was to go beyond what we were known for — the skinny jean — and deliver the next trend,” said Jeff Rudes. The new styles have been a tremendous hit with celebrities like Kate Moss, Cameron Diaz and Kate Hudson, as well as with top fashion editors at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. The collection will always stay clean and classic, and also at the forefront of trends, maintaining leadership in the premium jeans market.