10 Minutes With: DL1961 Creative Director Sarah Ahmed
September 8, 2016
Denim brand DL1961 believes that every woman should own the perfect pair of denim for her body type. With a strong focus on technologically advanced fabrications, the brand’s mission is to revolutionize how you look, feel, and live in your denim. The fabrics lend pants a seamless fit, resulting in denim that hugs the body like a second skin. DL1961 collaborated with actress and self-confessed denim lover Jessica Alba on a line consisting of 18 denim styles inspired by the actress’ life and timeless style.
We had the pleasure of catching up with DL1961’s Creative Director Sarah Ahmed to discuss what makes the perfect pair of jeans and to learn more about the recent collaboration with Jessica Alba.
Neiman Marcus: DL1961 has continued to focus on creating universal, “smart denim” for all body types and occasions. Can you tell us how this became the brand’s focus?
Sarah Ahmed: We’ve always been focused on creating products that reduce the impact on the environment. Our brand caters to men, women, and children with different body types — we don’t just design for one figure. I think these pillars are what make our brand so great. Providing a little stretch in all the right places is a weak spot in the market, so we make sure to fill that.
NM: Who is the DL1961 woman? Where is she going in your denim?
SA: The DL1961 woman is stylish, refined, and on the go. She’s constantly traveling or on the move — juggling a million things at once while maintaining an effortless appearance. She also demands versatility from any garment added to her wardrobe.
NM: How did the collaboration with Jessica Alba come to life?
SA: We knew we wanted to partner with a public figure who represented the heart and soul of our company — a modern woman who cared as equally for fit, quality, and style as she did for how her garments are made. Jessica Alba fit that description to a tee. We found an instant synergy with one another and knew working together would be the perfect fit.
NM: How has working alongside Jessica Alba inspired the brand?
SA: Working with Jessica has confirmed for us, now more than ever, that there is a growing public demand for ethical fashion companies, especially in the premium denim world. I strongly believe we have a unique opportunity to set an example that other brands can follow.
NM: What makes DL1961 the ultimate denim destination for the individual looking for that perfect pair of jeans?
SA: Oh, that’s easy! It’s the reliability of our fit. We produce a special mix of fibers through innovative weaves, resulting in denim that quite literally molds to your body. The color doesn’t fade, and the pants don’t sag. These are important features our girl expects from a product she invests in. Every style we make has up to 98 percent shape retention, 360-degree movement, instant lifting, lengthening, and sculpting capabilities. If you want a pair of denim that accentuates your best assets and lasts, we’re the brand for you!
NM: Why is a flawless pair of denim essential to every woman’s wardrobe?
SA: It’s essential because the perfect piece can be worn with almost every option in her wardrobe. She can dress it up as easily as she can dress it down. The mark of a great pair of denim is that it’s completely versatile, worn with a multitude of tops, jackets, and shoes. It’s the perfect closet staple, without sacrificing drawer space.
NM: What is the best way to care for your denim to maintain its quality?
SA: Hand-washing denim only when needed is my best recommendation. The old freezer trick is another option for cleaning. Apart from this, our denim is antibacterial so you shouldn’t have to do much! Our superior fabrications make them last and last.
NM: What have been the latest trends in the denim world?
SA: Weathered and wind-worn denim are very big looks this fall. The rip and repair element or moto look with interesting washes is also trending. You’ll see special hem detailing and high rise everywhere, too.
NM: How did you get your start with designing denim?
SA: Indigo is in my blood! I grew up watching denim being made and seeing it evolve. When I graduated from Parsons, I wanted to do something that combined both my heritage and my newfound love for fashion and design. Hence, I joined the family business and have grown with it ever since.
NM: What is your favorite style from the JAxDL Capsule Collection?
SA: My favorite is the jumpsuit!
NM: What inspires you in the design process?
SA: Creating something that’s constantly raising the bar in design innovation is something I find inspiration in. New York City also inspires me — the way people live and move in this city perfectly reflects today’s modern man and woman.