The first time we met Joy Bryant, the model-turned-actress and star of NBC’s ‘Parenthood,’ was over lunch at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles last March. Jean Stories was planning a party in Los Angeles with Vogue, and Joy was getting ready to launch Basic Terrain, a capsule of denim pants inspired by traditional Thai fisherman-wear. Her pattern-maker was her husband, stuntman-turned-self-taught-seamster Dave Pope, and the pants, which Joy was wearing that day with a plaid shirt and sandals, were just the beginning of what she and Dave planned to turn into a complete range of awesome activewear. This, her enthusiasm for life in Glendale, CA, and the question of whether or not she should wear her pant, called the Eden, to the Vogue/Jean Stories dinner, were discussed at length on the Chateau’s patio. Yes, you should wear your pant to the party, we decided (insisted!) before saying good-bye. We’ll see you there.
Cut To: Joy’s home the morning after the dinner, where she and Dave are serving us apple fritter bread and something they call “crack coffee,” an intense brew sweetened with condensed milk. Delicious. Did she wear her Edens to the party the night before? Yes. And she is wearing them now, too, with a striped sweater and bare feet. We shoot her just like that. “Peas and carrots, peas and carrots – try it,” she says while our photographer Taylor snaps away. “When you say that your face looks pretty in pictures, like you’re talking and smiling at the same time.” (Remember, Joy was a pro model once.) She does it again. “Peas and carrots, peas and carrots.” There isn’t a bad picture in the bunch.
What else can we tell you about that morning at Joy and Dave’s? Their pitbull Bubba was a ham for the camera, Dave’s man-cave/sewing room was perfectly equipped, and Joy cartwheeled circles around all of us. Everything was, as Joy describes herself, “easy like Sunday morning.” And the Edens made it all – breakfast, picture-taking, acrobatics on the grass – feel even easier.
Describe your Eden pant for us in one word.
What do you need Eden and all of Basic Terrain’s pants to be, always?
If your Edens could talk, what would they say about you?
That I like to move and eat, unrestricted.
What’s the most memorable place they’ve been?
The Vogue + Jeans Stories dinner in L.A. [Unsolicited! Thank you for coming, Joy!]
What’s the weirdest place they’ve been?
Gold’s Gym in Hollywood.
What do you love most about the Edens you wore for our shoot?
They’re perfect for doing cartwheels.
What do they say about the way that you live on a daily basis?
That I’m easy like Sunday morning.
Click on an image to see the slideshow
Is there something that you do only in your Edens?
I nap hard.
On what occasions will only Edens do?
When traveling and on vacation – on planes, at the beach, on strolls, on a night on the town…
Fill in the blank: Without my Edens, I am…
Stuck in a skinny jean existence.
In my Edens, I am…
Dreaming of a Thai massage.
We want to talk about real jeans with you, too – did you ever have a pair that got away?
I did. I had a custom pair of white Henry Duartes that laced up the front. So, 20 pounds ago!
Was there a pair you had that you should have broken up with sooner?
Yes – All three of the jeggings that are still in my closet.
Do you own a pair that only you could love?
I have a pair of Levi’s that I distressed so badly trying to make them extra “cool” and “fashion.” They make me laugh and are a good reminder of what not to do to your jeans. Ever.
FOLLOW ME, FOLLOW ME, FOLLOW ME. Joy and Bubba, at home in Glendale, CA.
What are your Top 3 jeans of all time? When did you get them and what you do you love most about each?
NO. 1: When I first started coming to L.A. 13, 14 years ago, my friend Lysa Cooper took me to the Henry Duarte store for the first time. I was instantly hooked on the custom-made jeans they did there. Instead of a zipper or button-fly, they laced with braided leather. They molded to your body, hugging in all the right places. They were and still are, for me, the world’s most perfect jean. NO. 2: I bought my first pair of Earl Jeans in the mid- or late 90s when I was modeling. Those were my favorites until the Duartes came along. Slim fit, medium rise, and a perfect faded blue wash. I wore those jeans all the time. One of the knees eventually frayed, making them even cooler. Oh, wherefore art thou, Earl?! No. 3: Current/Elliot. The Boyfriend Jean. No words necessary.
Can you remember your very first pair of jeans?
I don’t remember my first pair of jeans, but I do remember my first favorites. They were from the 80s, a pair of brown Lee jeans, and a pair of faded blues that I bleached by hand with a medicine dropper.
Is there a pair your still own from a previous life, like, before you switched form modeling to acting, met Dave, and adopted Bubba…
I actually have a bin packed with jeans from at least 10 years ago. I really should get rid of that bin…
Click on an image to see the slideshow
How many pairs of jeans do you need to feel satisfied and like you have enough?
I need four pairs: grey, black, faded blue, and dark indigo.
If you had to replace all of your jeans with something else – what would it be?
The Eden Pant!
Basic Terrain is available online, and at Ron Robinson in Los Angeles.
Note: The short indigo style that Joy wears in this story is no longer available.