When a firm agrees with multiple celebrities, our alarms sound persistent. So, when we saw that characters like Hailey Bieber, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Bella Hadid opted in unison for the same brand of denim, we knew instantly: we are looking at the new viral brand of the moment. We are talking about EB Denim, a Californian firm founded by Elena Bonvicini, 23, in which the main protagonist is upcycling, that is, the creative recycling of garments and fabrics whose final product is the design of a new garment.
When Elena was in college, she stayed with her grandparents in the Midwest every vacation. Her grandmother loved to buy vintage items and she took Elena to thrift stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota. While her grandmother was looking for kitchen knickknacks, Elena’s attention was drawn to vintage Levi’s jeans. So she bought a few pairs and cut them up, turning them into shorts. She began to sell them at her school and her enthusiastic idea to her classmates; thus EB Denim was born. Inspired by the chaotic yet sexy and elegant essence of Los Angeles, the jeans brand has become a true obsession for Hollywood insiders. We talked to Elena Bonvicini, founder of the firm, about her beginnings, upcycling, and the success of EB Denim.
When and for what purpose was EB Denim born?
EB Denim was born out of my love of thrift shopping. He made vintage shorts for my friends at school and little by little the firm became more well known. I then rebuilt the vintage style and with the help of social media and public figures, the brand grew into what it is today!
What is the firm’s philosophy?
Upcycling is in the DNA of the brand, so there will always be an emphasis on responsibility. But first and foremost, the philosophy is to create exciting denim, whether it’s the wash, reconstruction, or embellishments. I want the wearer to feel safe and comfortable, yet cool and sexy.
What is your main inspiration?
I draw a lot of inspiration from my roots, my mom is from Minnesota and my dad was born and raised in Italy. The mix of those two cultures and my current life in Los Angeles is really what the brand stands for masculine, distressed denim combined with the essence of a classy and sexy party girl. When I visit family in the Midwest, my grandmother and I always hit the various small-town thrift stores. I am inspired by the silhouettes, the vintage washes, and the colors that I find there.
How is the relationship between Instagram and the millennial and Z generations?
I can confidently say that if Instagram didn’t exist, EB Denim wouldn’t exist either. When I started the brand, I was too shy to call someone on the phone, I used Instagram as a tool to connect with the world behind a screen until I felt strong and confident enough to face my fears.
What does it mean for the brand that celebrities like Hailey Bieber or Bella Hadid bet on it?
Celebrity validation is such an honor, I am so grateful every time I see someone wearing EB Denim. But to be honest, we want them to wear it, like most other brands, so we give them a lot of pieces for free in the hope they’ll wear them. It is beyond my wildest dreams to have my clothes worn by my muses and reflects the hard work of my team to get to this position, but what is more important is seeing customers wear the brand in real life. The more regular it becomes, the more it reflects on the success of the brand and designs.
If EB Denim were a movie, what would it be? And a song?
If EB Denim were a movie, it would be Lost in Translation; our muse appreciates her individuality, and she leads her life with adventures, love, and simple pleasures. The main character of this movie is discovering her identity in a place where she doesn’t feel like she belongs. She finds love and joy in the simple beauties of life. And if she were a song, Tiny Dancer by Elton John, the phrase “ Blue jean baby, LA lady” sums us up perfectly.