I AND ME
Created with the purpose of longevity and simple aesthetics for both men and women, I AND ME focuses on fabric quality and functionality rather than keeping up with trends.
We spoke to brand founder Jessica Gebhart on her experience in the industry, her earliest recollection of denim and inspiration for their second collection ‘ONE THING WELL’.
What’s your earliest recollection of denim?
I remember when I was about six shopping on a Saturday with my Dad and buying my first pair of denim hot pants from Tammy Girl. I lived in them and fell in love with denim from there on…
Did you customise your jeans when you were younger? If so, how?
I definitely did some customising. I remember chopping hems off to add fraying to jeans and also getting my Mum to sew in some panels to make my favourite skinnys’ into a flare!
Your collection ‘One Thing Well’ draws inspiration from museums and buildings from your autumnal trip to Japan – where did you visit and what were the moments that stood out for you?
The whole of Japan is a spectacle but in particular I found inspiration in Tadao Ando’s architecture, which is best witnessed on the Bennesee Art Site on the Island of Naoshima. The materials, textures, light and palette all blew me away and inspired the second I AND ME collection ‘One Thing Well’
If you were a type of denim what would you be?
I would be I AND ME denim. We use premium Japanese selvedge denim in the most beautiful indigo casts. It’s the only denim you will want to wear.
What decade is your favourite for denim and why?
I am a sucker for early 1900’s antique denim. I have a very small collection of antique French and USA workwear. They are pieces that should be hung in a museum in my opinion but I wear them, they are too good not to show off. The way the indigo has matured and aged is unbelievable. You can’t replicate that in new product that’s why denim is best not to be washed but to wear over and over again. Denim pieces tell a story through the fades… that’s what gets me very excited!
You’ve had more than a decade’s experience in fashion from interning at Dazed and Miss Sixty to becoming a buyer in Topshop’s denim department – what have been the most important things you have learned on your journey to creating your own brand?
Patience is important, this doesn’t happen over night. You have to work very hard and for free a lot of the time to get where you want to be. Listen and take advice but don’t ever compare yourself to what others are doing. Everyone’s journeys are different and that’s the best part. Stand out of from the crowd and set your own pace. Don’t be afraid to do the opposite from the norm… That’s what makes for a good story.
What is your favourite place in London and why?
Victoria Park. I have been lucky enough to live next door to this epic green space for nine years. It is a sanctuary to me. You can enjoy the space when you are in the best of moods on a sunny day but it will also lift your spirit when you need some time on your own when it’s raining. London is full of amazing parks and green spaces but Vicky Park is my favourite.
Levi’s or Wrangler?
Levi’s is my favourite but vintage Wrangler is also great.
Blue denim or black denim?
Indigo all the way for me.
Are there any designers you take inspiration from in denim?
I mostly find inspiration in vintage and antique denim but it’s also having a moment right now for sure. I think there are some amazing new brands around… At the moment I am feeling Hardeman. They are doing some great new shapes. Very cool.
Photography: Stefan Foster
Olivia from Established Models