Without a doubt, there are people in this world who know exactly what they want out of life, love and in this case, clothes. Meet Carrie Eddmenson and Susie Crippen, two of my best friends, two women I love very much and two women who fit the above description to a T.
Before imogene + willie, Carrie wore J Brand jeans (coincidentally Susie was J Brand’s co-creator), and after her J Brand days, Susie wore imogene + willie jeans. They have always admired each other’s work, and their style and aesthetic are very in tune… it just made sense to create a fit together. So when they set out to design a new jean for i+w, I knew it would derive from what the two of them felt was “missing” from their own closets. Meet Clarke, a sexy new jean that you just might not take off. I sure as hell know Carrie and Susie haven’t!
How would you describe your relationship?
Susie: Carrie and I are soul sisters. When she talks about her life before we met 5 years ago I think, “wait, where was I?” It seems like there was never a time we didn’t know each other.
We have no walls between us. We can sit in silence for hours or talk a subject to death. We share everything.
I have such great respect for her vision, drive, courage and her ability to be truly kind to people, even when she is juggling 137 plates. To me that is the essence of who she is.
Carrie: Susie is my soul sister. My brother told me that Susie was that to me even before I met her. And on the day we did finally meet about 5 years ago, we stood in front of each other, each speechless for a long time, just looking at each other up and down, like we were looking in a mirror.
Our friendship is fully transparent. We are very honest and vulnerable with each other. We can have talking contests, going hours with no break in conversation. Or we can sit silent for as many hours, almost as if in meditation. We equally laugh our heads off to tears (usually laughing at Matt) and/or cry vulnerably about challenges, as well as joyful stuff. And on a material note, we most usually show up when we see each other wearing the exact same thing.
Susie is the epitome of my definition of a woman. She is, by raising, a strong east coast woman with southern lady accolades (living in southern California?!). She thinks that she is naturally cold and rigid, but her warmth fills a room like a fireplace. Her confidence is bigger than any of her fears. That specific attribute is one that I have really learned from her and work to instill in my life everyday. And… she is a giver. Not a taker.
What were your feelings about making something together?
Susie: I was actually nervous to work on a jean with Carrie. I am used to being the final word when I make something and I knew with her experience and taste level, that I respect and copy so much, I would have to be different, gracious, open and humble.
What was I worried about? It was perfect. To work with someone who only wants you to succeed, thinks you are talented and genuinely wants to know what your opinion is, was glorious. Come to think of it, she gave to me exactly what I wanted from her.
Carrie: It was seamless and natural. And at every decision-making juncture, we worked through the issue, until we both agreed on the solution fully… a testament to a healthy friendship or partnership.
How would you describe Clarke? Why do women need it?
Susie: Clarke is your new best friend. She is that new silhouette. Skinny, slouchy, sexy and cropped. This is the new skinny jean. This is the jean you need right this minute. Carrie and I were the only ones to wear-test it for the past 6 months. I have worn mine every single day since the day the final proto was sewn.
Carrie: Clarke is everything that we both have wanted out of a jean for some time. In my opinion, it is actually everything that women want out of a jean, but haven’t been able to admit, because it wasn’t previously an acceptable silhouette. We have been trained in past years to think that sexy and feminine = tight. That’s still valid. But we both feel the most feminine and confident and beautiful when we are wearing a hybrid: something similar to a men’s jean from the late 50s on top, but with a very slimmed down, tapered and cropped leg. We couldn’t find the perfect modern interpretation, so we made it. We have both wear-tested Clarke for 6 months. It is everything that we dreamed it to be. And we have a strong inclination it will be that to you, too.