Angelenos have always been fascinated by other cultures, so it's no surprise that one of the city's hottest jeans is designed by two Swedes. Erik Torstensson and Jens Grede of FRAME Denim have quite the history in the fashion business. Torstensson was the youngest student ever at the prestigious Swedish Berghs School of Communication, while Grede built a cult following at Stockholm New, an indie fashion magazine.
After meeting, the duo founded the company Saturday London in 2003 and built it into a powerhouse fashion advertising firm. Now the fashionable pair is making waves with their high-end denim line, often seen on model Miranda Kerr and actresses Amanda Seyfried and Sienna Miller in fashionable cities all around the world.
Luckily for us, FRAME is based and manufactured right here in Los Angeles. HuffPost LA chatted with Torstensson and Grede over email to get their pulse on the city, discover denim no-nos and, of course, find out why their jeans are so special. (As with everything they do, the pair chose to respond to our questions with one voice.)
HuffPost: You two set out to "create the perfect pair of jeans." What was lacking in other denim and how do you define the perfect pair of jeans?
FRAME Denim: We can’t really describe what we were looking for, other than to say that it should have integrity and a sense of emotion -– be real. We thought that was lacking. The denim business was getting very corporate.
You know the perfect pair of jeans when you put them on a month after you bought them and they still hold their shape like the day you tried them on at the store.
You just recently launched a collection with model Karlie Kloss for "supermodel proportioned" people. What exactly does this mean, and should us normal-sized people start to feel bad right about now?
FRAME only used to come in a 29" inch inseam, so we were neglecting to account for a large portion of the population who has longer inseams. Karlie reinforced this, saying that tall people are people too, and someone has to look after them. As a result, we created two styles of jeans, in two different washes, with a 40-inch inseam -- jeans can be altered to the preferred length.
What made you want to produce your line here in Los Angeles, especially since you both split your time between London and NYC?
LA is the denim capital of the world. It is to jeans what Broadway is to the stage. To not do it in LA would be to settle for something less. Who wants sparkling wine, when you can have Champagne?
You two are London-based Swedes who now have your business here in Los Angeles. If you had to pick one word to best describe London, Sweden and Los Angeles, what would they be?
London is in the centre of the world right now. Stockholm is like Avis, it “tries harder” and the only thing bad about LA is that it is too far from London.
What sets Los Angeles style apart from other major metropolises like New York City and London?
LA only has two dress codes, very casual or red carpet. It does both the best.
Most unexpected way to wear denim?
Commando of course. But we don't recommend it.
Is it okay to wear denim and denim, aka the Canadian tuxedo?
Depends who you are. For Rihanna yes, for Matt Lauer probably not. There are no guidelines to the "Maple-Tux". If you ever feel in doubt -- don't do it -- you are not going to pull it off feeling insecure.
Jeans have been a staple in all our wardrobes for as long as we can remember. What are some of your other staples -– shoes, shirts, accessories?
All of the above, without it we would feel naked. Mr. Porter -- which we helped create -- is our shopping destination for all our sartorial needs. Brands that end up in our basket differ between us. One of us is more fashion, while the other is more the classic, Brunello Cucinelli type.
How do you personally define "style"?
Everything goes as long as it is tasteful and in proportion. For us, that means navy, black and grey -- and a lot of it.
What's more offensive, jeans that are too tight or jeans that are too big?
Too big, without a doubt. At least when jeans are too tight, there is the benefit, for better and for worse, of a more visual experience.
FRAME has found its love match with model Miranda Kerr (she is a gigantic fan) and has also been featured in Harper's Bazaar, Women's Wear Daily, Net-A-Porter and many other publications. Quite the list! What has been your secret to success?
It is a hugely flattering that people want to wear our clothes. It is a great compliment to our team in LA, because if FRAME didn’t look great on, no one would wear it, regardless of how nice we are. We agree that making a really good product with minimal branding is the key to success. Being nice doesn’t hurt either.
What is the most beautiful place in LA to you?
We are obsessed with the light, that golden hue that lies thick over the city. In terms of place, the mountains of Malibu and the Santa Monica beach, especially that hour before sunset, never fails to put a smile on our faces.
Before FRAME, you two founded Saturday London and it became a leading fashion advertising agency with clients that included Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, Tory Burch and H&M. What did you learn the most from that experience? Did you intend to one day design your own clothing?
Absolutely! We always wanted to get into design, but it is not a situation of either or. We still love creating beautiful campaigns for our clients. FRAME is in addition to that; our passion project, and indeed a dream come true.
Favorites: Favorite LA meal? Favorite neighborhood in LA to shop? Favorite hiding place?
Matsuhisa never disappoints and Craig's in West Hollywood is a favorite indulgence of American fare. Fred Segal is a must for shopping. Hotel Bel-Air is our preferred hiding place. It is famously private, not that anyone would recognize us or care for that matter, but it is great for hiding from reality for a day or so.
What have you found to be the biggest misconception about Los Angeles?
That people are not any more superficial in LA than anywhere else. They are just more honest about it.