It’s unsurprising that in a time when assuming one’s gender has become so uncool, that Bethnals, a unisex, one-jean-fit-all brand has become so damn popular, taking the London fashion scene by storm. For this week’s LDNER, we catch up with Bethnals founder, Melissa Clement to talk designing, denim and describing London style…
Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?
Since giving birth to my twins last year, I have moved to the leafy and quiet Hampton in south west London. Its been quite a culture shock from central London but I am loving the peace of it all. From our home we can walk along the Thames, straight to Hampton Court Palace and the beautiful gardens, see the deer in Bushy Park and we have some lovely independent old-man pubs that are perfect for a Sunday roast…
How would you describe London style?
Londoners do not take themselves or their fashion too seriously which I love about us! We are far from polished, and chasing down the latest it bag. London style is very casual, individual and thrown together in an eclectic mix up. You can’t beat a jeans and tee shirt vibe.
What inspired you to start your own denim brand?
I wanted to create something I was proud of. To develop clothes I wanted to wear that would last through the ever changing landscape of fast fashion and the endless cycle of trends.
At Bethnals we are not re-designing the wheel (a term we have used in the industry too many times!), a pair of 5 pocket jeans are such a staple to everyone’s wardrobe and the competition within the Denim industry is vast. But with each different quality, construction, cast of indigo and fabric content you can stitch a very different pair of jeans. That is our aim, to offer something different and unique within the iconic 5 pocket style and to create a simple collection each season that can enhance your London Uniform.
Which fit of jeans are you wearing at the moment?
Straight leg, vintage Levi jeans cut off above the ankle or my comfiest, clean indigo Bethnals selvedge dad jeans. I have more than 50 pairs of jeans in my closet, but when I get obsessed with a pair I pretty much live in them for months. I love that with raw or clean washes like the Bethnals collection. You can see your day to day movement and life imprint on your jeans, the knee’s fade and cotton is broken in so with each wear they become softer.
What have you got planned for London Fashion Week?
Bethnals will be showing our SS17 Collection at the Designer Showrooms which we are really excited about.
Describe your perfect day in London.
Oh where do I start… I would probably head over to Shoreditch… I would hold off breakfast so I can go to the Beigel shop on Brick Lane early, before the queues. The morning would be spent trawling through the vintage stores in search of big E’s or hidden denim gems. After a large, cup of tea pit stop, I would walk over to Redchurch Street and the surrounding lanes, shopping the growing boutiques. I especially love Pam Pam London for Sneaker shopping & House of Hackney for beautiful printed interiors. Usually at this point I am lugging far too many heavy pairs of jeans, so I would head to the Cowshed spa for a much needed massage, finishing the day on the rooftop bar at The Boundary with a gin & tonic.