a love letter

dear ,
(fill in your name above. i am writing to you.)

this is not a story. this is a letter.

i love james.

no doubt, i love matt more than james. and i love james, the man, too. it's the strong name of my grandfather, father, brother and nephew. and i love james, the woman. she is my firm friend, and a beautiful, compassionate, confident business woman and mother.

but my love affair in this case, is with a jean. its name.... james.

i think i can speak for you as well - when i say that my first pair of jeans as a child, my next pair as a teenager, and my next - even in college - were straight up 100% cotton jeans. at those times in my life, there wasn't really any other option. they either became mine by means of a hand-me-down or by going to Sears or Lazarus for a couple pair before the start of the school year.

when i think back to how i felt wearing any of those jeans, i recall feeling comfortable, open minded, and with no insecurities of what i looked like. why? because the reason for putting them on was not to impress. they were just jeans… they were just a part of me.

maybe it’s a bit different for you - or perhaps not - my desire to wear rigid cotton jeans never ended. in the early 90's, when stretch jeans became the rage for women, i stayed in my rigid jeans. it was still about feeling secure in my jeans... it was familiar, it was all i ever knew. why would i change? but it also became about what that pair of jeans would BECOME... i watched them change and evolve as i wore them... my personal piece of art, a storyline of my life, and a tactile piece that would forever remain a part of me.

when we started imogene + willie 5 years ago, we took a stand on what we believed in, and only made rigid cotton jeans. our persistence lasted about 2 years, even though i could have gone on like that forever. we did finally soften our stubborn stand, and started making stretch jeans for women. it was only fair, as a lot of women love stretch. but, after that transition, slowly but surely we retired our beloved women's rigid jean, the original imogene.

the moment we made that decision to say goodbye to imogene rigid, we knew we were making a compromise. why? because we gave up on what we believed.

in both acknowledging that compromise, and hearing some of your cries that imogene rigid was no more - - we have been making the slow and careful trek back to being ourselves, taking the time to thoughtfully develop a new, and hopefully for you, perfect women's 100% cotton selvage jean, named james.

i have worn every iteration of james that we have developed over the past 2 years, to make sure that we are on the right road back to who we are. and then, several months ago, we nailed the fit. i haven't taken him off since.

i love james. i love james, the jean, dearly.

- carrie