J Brand was co-founded by denim manufacturer Jeff Rudes and former stylist Susie Crippen. The two set out to create classic and sophisticated jeans with the emphasis on fit — and one mandate: create 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, helped Abercrombie & Fitch transform their denim collection and become their largest supplier of premium jeans. It was time for him to get back to his passion for branding, and J Brand became his vision.
Susie, a former stylist, dressed Hollywood’s actresses and was called upon to style 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’s acclaim came primarily because of her classic taste and 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 wore them. After eight years in the business, Susie co-created J Brand, blending her knowledge and her 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.
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 Katie Holmes, 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.
In May 2007, J Brand launched a maternity line Mama J by J Brand. These jeans have unique design features never before seen by the maternity industry. In July 2007, J Brand entered the Girls’ market with J Girl by J Brand, offering sizes 7-14, available at Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.
In fall 2008, J Brand introduced a Men’s line under the label, J Brand Denim Co. The line will reflect modern basics with a vintage sensibility, inspired by classic Americana. J Brand Denim Co. is carried in top retail stores including Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Scoop NYC, American Rag Cie and Ron Herman.
Check out J Brand's couturecast interview