FRAME Brings Cult Couture Jeans To New L.A. Storefront
And we caught up with Erik Torstensson & Jens Grede of FRAME at their new L.A. location on Melrose.
What's your favorite thing about having a cult denim label?
Firstly, it’s incredibly flattering and humbling to have FRAME described as a “cult” label, neither of us - nor our team who work so tirelessly on the creation of our pieces – would ever have expected for FRAME to take off so successfully the way it has thus far. If we think about the best thing, we would say the satisfaction of creating products which we feel proud of and in turn the satisfaction this give our customers.
There's a lot of redwood in the beautiful new store. Have you ever hiked in the Redwoods in California? If so, which one and what were you thinking when you were among these majestic trees?
We have spent a lot of time in central and northern California and as a result we wanted our store to feel as connected with the surroundings as possible. Using Redwood was a natural and obvious choice, it is intrinsic to the landscape of California, it’s strong, it has presence, and these are qualities we hope our customers feel when wearing our pieces.
What's a favorite denim moment in history (could be a fashion image or icon in denim)?
The first time we saw someone wearing FRAME!
You've both worked together for a very long time. Do you ever disagree?
Once every 5 years or so… however we are intuitive to each other’s likes and dislikes, our skill sets complement each other and we share the same basic aesthetic for the brand and much else besides and the drive to succeed.
The denim industry is extremely competitive. How do you set Frame apart and create something different?
The story behind FRAME sets it apart. From the very beginning we have designed for the women in our lives, we are very lucky to be surrounded by incredibly strong and inspiring women, women who don’t accept anything less than the best, women who don’t compromise on anything, including their style. The first chapter of the story was with denim, and has now expanded to a full RTW range of blouses, classic shirts, tailoring, knitwear and now the growth of our menswear line which follows the same basic principles.
Favorite place to relax in LA?
If we do manage to get the time it’s by the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel or just hanging out in Venice with friends.
Go to power lunch spot in London?
For a formal lunch, Scotts on Mount Street in Mayfair is a must and not just for the food – seafood is it’s specialty – but also for the people and the ambiance. For more causal lunches then Roka on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia.
What's your favorite denim silhouette at the moment? For guys and for girls?
Straight leg for guys, we live in our L’Homme and naturally have them in every wash.
For girls, the Cropped mini boot is perfect for the summer season ahead, it’s is a super sexy and flattering cut.
What do you hate about denim?
Only when it is not respected – when it is done cheaply and under poor conditions. Denim is so valuable, it is one of the most versatile and democratic fabrics around. You can wear it anywhere, anytime, dress it up or dress it down and it can fit every mood. We manufacture all of our denim in Los Angeles, it is the home of denim.
You were instrumental in the creation of Mr. Porter and other e-comm and retail sites; did those experiences inform starting a fashion line in any way?
Every experience we have had along our journey so far has to some degree influenced our decision, and will continue to influence our decisions. Being able to reflect on ones past and for it to help inform ones future is a valuable part of the process of development.
You both have followed your passions and followed the evolution of those passions, turning every hobby into a successful business it seems. What's next on the horizon for you both? And what do you do on your down time (it doesn't seem like it's possible you have any, but just in case you do!)
We are passionate about investing in younger brands, we know how important it is to have not only a good product and funding but a solid infrastructure. Building a brand is so much more than just having good product and investment of money, it is also about investment of time and expertise in business, strategy – the whole package.
Lastly, FRAME is a London meets LA brand. Have you ever heard of Califuk? (If not, that's okay. It was the concept name of our last fall fashion issue in which we imagined London and LA merging as one super city.) ;)
No, but we are definitely proud “residents” of the merged “super city” and one day we hope to get the keys to the city!
Written by Mui-Hai Chu