Anna Deutsch is a skinnies girl. She takes ’em black and minimal to go with her self-described minimal-tomboy style. But that doesn’t mean she’s got blinders on for all other denim. It’s part of her job to stay on top of what’s out there – specifically what Barneys carries, since she works there as senior fashion writer for the retailer’s editorial site, The Window. I mean, it’s hard enough not to be curious about what’s on the floor in Barneys’ denim section even if you’re not employed by them! As a denim site, we’re always looking at Barneys because they carry such a range, from indie labels like 6397 and NSF to the bigger guys like Current/Elliott and J Brand, plus Rag & Bone, RE/DONE, Frame, Acne Studios…(too many to list here, just click and see!) You could seriously spend hours in the jean section at the Madison Avenue flagship… And when you need a faster fix, the smaller Barneys neighborhood stores have really good, tight edits of the above collections.
We met Anna at one of these “mini” Barneys on the Upper West Side in anticipation of the denim-focused Saturday Series event happening there this Saturday March 28th. Imagine having an expert help you find your new spring jeans… That’s what Barneys is offering (!), and so that’s exactly what we did with Anna here – went through every single rack, denim and non (from Proenza to Protagonist, Marant to Marni), grabbing spring things we knew she’d love (ie. skinny, black J Brands), and things we wanted to see her try (Proenza Schouler‘s denim shift dress). Add tops, jackets, shoes…and we had one manic dressing room session. The resulting looks were kind of Jean Stories x Anna x Barneys. By the end, we each kind of wanted to buy all of it. And here in the story, or Saturday at the store, you can!
We’re really excited (beyond that, actually) to get ourselves into spring’s best denim styles: dresses, undone hems, cut-offs of the non-booty sort… Anna was a great model for us (thanks, Anna!). Her just-back-from-Tulum tan certainly didn’t hurt. It was fun merging our tastes with her style. Read on and click on the pics to see how it all turned out…
Tell us about your usual denim style…
I certainly am a skinny jeans loyalist. What’s funny is that I can remember back in college when they came back into style (previously, it was all about bootcut), and it seemed so provocative. Now, they are the most basic silhouette! I like to balance proportions, pairing jeans with more relaxed top like am oversized sweater or button-down. If my whole look is relaxed, I feel like it swallows me up since I am fairly petite. (That’s why I rarely try boyfriend jeans.) I also love denim shorts. I lived in Sydney, Australia for five years and nothing fuels a cut-offs addiction like Bondi Beach. Since my style is more tomboy, I rarely do dresses – denim or otherwise.
Which denim in our shoot surprised you the most? What did you end up loving that you didn’t expect to?
The Proenza Schouler denim dress (above)! It managed to still channel my minimal, clean style, but felt girly and fresh at the same time. It helped that we paired it with those to-die-for Chloé flats.
Which pair from the shoot is the spring must-have – the pair that you would recommend to Barneys shoppers, your friends…everyone?
Definitely the Rag & Bone boyfriend jeans with the frayed hemline. I love that they aren’t an exaggerated boyfriend style; they feel relaxed, yet tailored at the same time. The undone hemline is such a strong denim trend this season too, and these fall at the perfect part of the ankle to showcase clean white sneakers, or any other key spring shoe.
Which look took you out of your comfort zone the most?
The NSF x Bliss and Mischief jeans were a totally unfamiliar silhouette for me, and the embroidery was out of my comfort zone, too. They have a really low rise and a cropped hem, so the combination made me worried about my legs looking short, especially since we paired the look with a shorter heel than I’m used to. In the end, I really liked the tonal, textural look we created and felt like it would be an unexpected office look for spring.
Of the pieces we paired with all this denim, what was your favorite?
I am all about super-cool flats for spring, so the Common Projects clean, white sneakers and the Chloé lace-up flats are both on my shopping list now. I also really like the Mason crop top, because it managed to be sophisticated and subtle.
What do you think is special about Barney’s denim buy? What sets it apart?
It’s really about the edit. You know if it’s on the floor at Barneys, it’s there for a reason. There’s such a well-curated mix of classic styles – Rag & Bone and Current/Elliott staples – plus your statement pairs and breakout lines, like NSF and RE/DONE.
Was there ever a jean at Barneys that you were dying to have, but it sold out so quickly you couldn’t snag it?
Luckily, I have access to the inside scoop on when things are delivered in-store and online. So, if I really want something, I can usually get it! It’s about exercising self-control, if anything.
Have you bought anything from our shoot? What?
Not yet, but ask me again next week!
Click on a pic for more info…
If you had to replace all your jeans with one thing? What would it be?
That’s tough! This question makes me return to my comfort zone: back skinnies! The J Brand pair that we shot are an easy every day staple.
Whom do you think has the best denim style? Why?
Kate Moss’ minimal, slightly undone look is always spot-on. But Jane Birkin takes the cake. She’s so understated and sexy at the same time. She puts simple outfit concepts together in an eye-catching way, mostly because of her confidence and charisma.
What’s your perfect weekend jean?
I love a slightly more undone look for the weekend, so maybe a pair of vintage Levi’s or RE/DONE jeans.
Your perfect work jean?
A skinny, slightly cropped for showing off some fun shoes.
What’s your favorite spring denim trend?
I am definitely liking the modern spin on a vintage aesthetic, so I am going to buy a pair of RE/DONE jeans. Also, jeans with frayed hemlines, like the Rag & Bone ones I wore in the shoot.
If you could only wear one pair of jeans for the rest of your life, what would they be?
See above… Black skinnies!
What’s your fondest denim memory?
I used to be very DIY with denim when I was younger. In sixth grade I used to steal my older brothers’ Levi’s and Silvertabs and cut the bottom (way ahead of the frayed hemline trend!) creating these baggy, pseudo-skater looks. I would wear them with thrift store tees and Converse, and felt like I was soooo edgy! Then, in seventh grade it was all about vintage jeans that my friends and I would sew inserts into to make them extra flared. It was like the bigger your flares, the cooler you were. I wish I had saved some of these denim experiments!
What’s the oldest pair of jeans or denim item in your closet?
I think it’s two pairs of Ksubi jeans I bought in Australia in 2006. They are straight-leg with zippers at the bottom, and remind me of such a specific phase in my life. I don’t wear them often anymore, but it’s comforting knowing that they are there.
What’s the newest pair?
I just bought Current Elliot’s Ripped and Repaired Stiletto jeans.
Without my jeans, I am ________.
Hopefully barefoot on the beach somewhere!
In my jeans, I am ________.
Ready for an adventure—maybe hopping on a plane to go somewhere unfamiliar.