It’s no secret that Jane Herman Bishop and Florence Kane are in love. Swooning, head over heels, smitten. The object of their collective affection? Denim. The longtime friends (and fashion writers) have taken their adoration online with the website Jean Stories, which is a celebration of all things stonewashed, shredded, skinny and selvage. We sat down with Herman Bishop and Kane to talk about their plans for the site, the pairs they can’t live without and their all-time favorite denim moment (surprise: it involves mom jeans!).
What inspired you to create Jean Stories?
Jane Herman Bishop: It sounds silly, but jeans are in my genes! My dad is Ron Herman [founder of the eponymous boutiques], and I manned the denim bar at one of his stores in L.A. every summer during high school and college. That’s where my obsession started.
Florence Kane: Fashion can feel a little serious, and we wanted whatever we did to be fun and completely accessible. Jeans are a total fashion equalizer—everyone has a pair.
That’s so true! What can you tell us about the site?
JHB: The overarching idea is that everyone has owned a great pair of jeans, and there’s always a story behind each one. So we’re going to feature people whose style we love and admire—celebrities, designers, fashion folks—in their most treasured pairs. Talking to people about their jeans is a great way to get to know more about them.
FK: It’s also really important to us that every story is shoppable. If we show a photo of an actress or model or editor wearing a fabulous pair of jeans, we’re going to tell you not only where you can buy them but where you can get the rest of her outfit as well.
JHB: And of course we want to hear from our readers. People will be able to submit their own photos and tell their own jean stories. We always knew we wanted to include that element on the site, but it was amazing when we started meeting with investors and designers—there came a certain point in every business conversation when someone would interrupt us to tell a story about her favorite pair. We felt like denim therapists!
What is it about jeans? Why do we love them as much as we do?
JHB: I think it’s partly the fact that finding the perfect pair is a challenge, so when you do, you become even more attached to them. They also tend to be what you put on when you want to feel most like yourself, so I think that ends up causing an emotional connection. You wear them during your happiest, most relaxed moments.
FK: Right. You’re not putting them on to go to the opera with someone you don’t like, you know? You’re wearing them to go to an amazing outdoor concert with your best friends.
Who are some of your denim icons?
JHB: Nineties-era Kate Moss! In those Calvin Klein ads. The jeans she’s wearing don’t even fit her—they’re total mom jeans—but she looks perfect.
FK: Yes, Kate for sure. Also Lauren Hutton, in the early ’70s, when she would just wear a white T-shirt or button-up with jeans and be stunning.
Okay, last question: Can you share your jean story with us?
FK: I saved the first pair of designer jeans that I bought. They’re from Marc Jacobs’ first denim line, and I got them when I was at New York University. I remember going into the store on Mercer Street and being so excited to buy them. They were a little big, and the saleswoman suggested a smaller size, but I was like, “No, no, I like them like this.”
JHB: I still wear the jeans I had on when Bruce Springsteen came into my dad’s store during my shift when I was a teenager! He’s a legend, so it was a big deal. They’re men’s Levi’s with a really long rise and bell-bottoms. They have a huge hole in the knee and patches in places where they’ve split, but I’ll never give them up. And Bruce was wearing amazing jeans, of course. Perfectly worn-in.