DEDICATED TO THE ONES WE LOVE
Founder, and Creative Director Anna Foster, extends her #ELVFAMILY for a refresh of the brands seasonless and timeless pieces taking inspiration from those closest to her.
Each person bringing their own unique style and personality, the essence of E.L.V. DENIM. ‘I am constantly inspired by my friends and family around me, and they are also sources of honest feedback, which is vital as the brand grows. Every single person here is someone I value, admire and am proud to call a friend.
Each piece featured is unique as the person who wears it.
Welcome to the #ELVFAMILY
Founder, and Creative Director Anna Foster, extends her #ELVFAMILY for a refresh of the brands seasonless and timeless pieces taking inspiration from those closest to her. Each person bringing their own unique style and personality, the essence of E.L.V. DENIM.
"I am constantly inspired by my friends and family around me, and they are also sources of honest feedback, which is vital as the brand grows. Every single person here is someone I value, admire and am proud to call a friend."
Each piece featured is unique as the person who wears it.
Amanda Grossman is my denim obsessed friend, supporter from the beginning and a talented celebrity makeup artist, with a divine perfume out soon which I am addicted too.
Tell us about you my lovely friend Amanda Grossman:
I have been a makeup artist for over 20 years...working in the crazy world of show business...specialising in red carpet & beauty as well as fashion/editorials and campaigns. Sustainable beauty is an important part of my work and my love for ethical, green, and clean makeup has become my passion.
We have known each other for a long time, but please tell us how we met:
I have known you for nearly two decades, as a work colleague/collaborator as well as a friend for all these years. We have created many wonderful fashion stories for an array of magazines as well as sharing celebrity clients. Oh, and you always brings out the naughty side in me - We always have far too much fun!
You were one of the first people to try on my jeans, tell us about what your favourite pieces are and why.
I remember you telling me of your idea in creating this sustainable denim brand, taking discarded denim, and creating bespoke beautiful modern jeans. I LOVE denim and I couldn’t be more passionate about sustainability so as soon as some jeans were created, I tried some on and instantly fell head over heels!!!
As soon as I step into my black/grey jeans I instantly feel taller and longer and the fit is perfection. The denim jackets of which I have two both in light and a darker denim, I truly love so much! They are real statement pieces and are both timeless which I know I will wear forever.....
What will you be wearing from E.L.V. DENIM this year?
I am really excited to be wearing the the jumpsuit this year...as soon as it’s ready for me! I am and always have been a huge jumpsuit fan, however you have created a master piece in this particular piece of fashion!!! I would love to own the pleated cape, as soon as I tried it on, I knew this will be a favourite for all denim lovers and look forward to seeing it hanging in my wardrobe... I couldn’t be prouder of you my friend, who is a pioneer in creating beautiful pieces of fashion whilst being so mindful of the magnificent planet that we live on - giving vintage denim a new home with zero impact on the environment.
Kai is an inspirational girl boss, owner of My Lady Garden, the hottest florist right now, all at the age of 25. She is awesome and works alongside us at The Factory in Dalston.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your self-made business?
I am 25! I moved to London when I was 18, and found my way into floristry by chance! I studied a diploma of Floral Design and interned everywhere I could, then freelanced everywhere I could in London until I moved to New York! I slowly built a customer base while freelancing there, and moved back to London for a job which fell through. I then started My Lady Garden! It's been a hustle, and when COVID hit we turned the events and wedding-based business into an online store. It's taken off from there! Super proud of where it's going, there are some wild projects in the works and I love how creative this craft is!
How do we know each other?
We were introduced to each other through The Factory, with both our studios being based here. We bonded over your love for Ranunculus and Aperol Spritz!
When we first met you didn't own a pair of jeans or any denim in that fact, tell us how your relationship with denim changed?
Your jeans have completely changed my relationship to denim! I had never found a pair that I liked on me, nor had I found the right shade...and now, I have three pairs! I actually think I wear an item of your denim 4-5 days of the week... I love each item so much!
My favourites are my denim jacket and my Light / Black Contrast Straight Leg Jeans! ABSOLUTELY LOVE EM.
Rosh and I met 5 years ago; she had just launched ALIGHIERI Jewellery. I have watched her passion, kindness and talent grow her business into one that inspires me. Plus…I adore her jewellery!
Rosh, Rosh! Creator and embodying force of my favourite jewellery ALIGHIERI please tell us how we met:
Anna! I feel so lucky to have met you, and to have you as my friend. You borrowed some Aligheri for a shoot you were doing with Zawe Ashton for Lula magazine, back in the very early days of my journey. When I emailed you asking to have a coffee, you were so generous with your time and spirit, and thus it all began! I love that after that first coffee we made a collaborative shell necklace with your wonderful daughter Maisie - it was the perfect example of friendships being born out of objects.
Your energy and brand values of working with friends was a real inspiration for me, how have you kept loyal to these values, does it take quite a lot to bring another member into to the core creative team?
Thank you so much Anna, likewise! For me, the creation of Alighieri has always been about building relationships with humans, our customers, our manufacturers and our team. It's actually maybe the easiest part of running the business, when I meet someone who inspires me with their kindness and openness, I always try to find a way to work with them. It's such hard work that I believe you need amazing people and energy around you to keep things going.
Knowing you as I do, the boyfriends in black and white were perfect for you. How do you approach your wardrobe, do you start with your jewellery?
I absolutely love how well you know me, and I am in love with my black and white boyfriends. The fit, the slouch, they are so flattering and feel like the ultimate starting point for any great outfit. I like to keep my wardrobe very casual, a base layer for me to layer on stacks of jewellery. When I like a garment, I live in it- a slip dress, a pair of jeans, a blazer. My boyfriends are my go-to in the morning. I don't like to think too much when I get ready, I like to have a few items always on a rotation.
What are the favourite qualities of your E.L.V. DENIM Boyfriend Jeans?
They are created from denim that already existed, and have lived a life. They are made with love.
Cat and I have known each other for nearly two decades. First as her stylist, then as close friends. She is my daughter’s godmother as I believe her values will inspire her, and she will always be there for her, glass of champs in hand.
My darling friend, I wonder if we have the same recollection of how we met:
It was at the Matthew Williamson shop opening. I was only doing editorial and brand shoots at the time, had never really styled celebrities before, but I remember thinking how brilliantly hilarious you were on SM:TV, so I thought working with you would be such fun! Your agent did put me through my paces, but I must have passed with flying colours as look at us now!
What I remember the most is how warm and engaging you were, and you didn’t even know me when I approached you that night, do you think that, along with being the best in your field, it has been the key to your huge success?
I remember it being a really special first meeting, we instantaneously got along, and you were incandescent and impeccably dressed. Plus, I loved the fact that you approached me, it was a confident, brave move, as we were strangers until that moment, and we didn’t have any colleagues or friends in common. I think it’s that fearless attitude and sheer hard work and determination that is reflected in the incredible success of E.L.V. DENIM and of course your fabulous sense of style!
Friends and family are hugely important to me, which is why I ask them to be part of this journey with me. What part do they play in your life?
Friends and family are the most important aspect of my life, they inform every decision I make. Essentially, they’re the reason why we packed up everything: home, 2 kids and dog and moved back home to London from the other side of the planet last year …with 3 weeks' notice! Crazy? Yes…. But worth it!
What are your favourite pieces of E.L.V. DENIM and what do you love about my brand?
I just love the black jeans! Simple, timeless and practical. I can roll them up in a suitcase they never crease, work with everything and can take me anywhere - From morning TV appearances, then business meetings with network executives, to dinner at Indochine in Downtown Manhattan.
But I can’t forget THIS DRESS! It is sublime! I was the first person to wear it and I loved it. It’s so unique and feminine. The super flattering lady like silhouette juxtaposed with the toughness of the denim material is an inspired choice, you are brilliant Ms Foster. Now when do I get mine?
Love ‘Your biggest fan’ x “
Lily and I worked on a shoot only last year, and yet I feel I have known her forever. When I met Lily, I met Leila. Their relationship is so strong you can’t know one without the other. I was honoured when they agreed to be part of this.
Lily, please explain how we met and how I met your mother. Leila - I remember us bonding over cricket!
Lily: I met you last summer in between lockdowns. You commissioned me to do a shoot with you for Russh Magazine. It was the first time we met after weeks of meeting over Zoom. On the day of the shoot, we used my mum’s family home as the base for the crew. Mum and I loved you straight away. We spent most of the time gossiping away in the garden on what was one of the hottest days of the year.
You have such a special mother/daughter bond, what are the qualities you admire in each other?
Lily: I love Mummy’s honesty and forward approach. She has so much love and compassion for everyone. She’s so passionate about everything and knows how to talk to everyone and make them feel like you’re her best friend! She’s also really good at finding out everything about you!
Leila: Lily’s optimism, is inspiring, a gift. She is loyal, kind, supportive She’s got great sense of style. And she makes me laugh!
Tell me what your favourite E.L.V. DENIM piece is?
Lily: I love the Straight Leg Contrast Jean. They’re so fun. It’s great for a casual day out and then you can put on heels and put red lippy on and then dance the night away in them!
Leila: I adore the White jacket and the fabulous high waisted jeans, which makes me look taller always a bonus!
Emma came to me with a tv project, a jacket and a pair of capri jeans 2 years ago. The project paused, but I kept her pieces safe to upcycle into her unique pieces. She is a passionate environmentalist using her talents for good only. Oh and she also is a pretty awesome photographer.
Darling Emma please tell us about you.
My name is Emma Breschi. I'm half Italian, half Filipino and grew up in Thailand.
Originally a photographer (having studied at UAL) I never thought I'd have a career in front of the camera. Since graduating in 2016 I was discovered on the gram and signed to Models 1 for over 4 years.
I've been enjoying the ride ever since, constantly learning, growing and working alongside incredible individuals like yourself who are paving the way for a better future in Fashion.
We met when we were working together 2 years ago on an episode of your conscious clothing series GoodLook, how has your activism in this area grown in the last 2 years?
I tend to call myself more of an enthusiast than activist at times, but I feel my activism has grown simply by working with others who share that same enthusiasm. I enjoy learning and growing with people who are just starting out on their own journeys within sustainability, just as much as with experts and front runners. I try to focus on using my voice and platform to champion those who are doing such amazing work around conscious fashion and sustainability. I think my strengths lie in communicating with and listening to others. Activism works wonders when it’s taken on collaboratively. We are able to push forward by helping one another and working together.
I honestly love you in my jeans, which were the pair you loved the most?
I'm obsessed with the tie dye!!!!
I am so pleased I kept your pearl studded jacket safe for all those years – now you have your own unique jacket. Our message is that pieces that are made by hand, might be more expensive but to have that one-of-a-kind piece is something that is unique to you and can be loved forever. What would you say to the readers about this?
It's nice seeing something I've had for so long be revamped into something new (without it really being new). I think if you're privileged enough to invest in things that are better choices you should. I buy less, but better quality and wear it more. I literally wear the same clothes all the time and just get creative in the way I style them.
Are you happy to be an #ELVmuse?
Happy is an understatement! I'm absolutely honoured!
Sophie has been a supporter of E.L.V. DENIM from the moment we met, both personally and professionally in her capacity as the commercial director at Threads Styling. I am delighted to say she only wears my jeans!
You are the inspirational commercial director of Threads Styling; please tell us how we met.
We sat next to each other at a dinner about 3 years ago. I immediately noticed your amazing cords and complimented you on them... and off we went, our friendship was born. A whole evening of non stop chatting-about fashion, jewellery, family, E.L.V. DENIM, sustainability, on and on. You are so inspiring. How you juggle being a Fashion Director, running an incredible business, having a family and also being one of the nicest, funniest people in the industry. The next day I went straight to your house to buy my first pair!
What was behind the decision to sell E.L.V. DENIM through Threads?
What you have done in the denim industry is incredible- your production process, sustainable credentials, and the brand's values are incredible and a huge reason we launched the brand. I also loved the fact that each pair is truly unique! A one-of-a-kind jean, in a timeless design, made in a sustainable way, that our clients can wear forever.
What has the feedback been from clients?
Our clients love having something unique- so the one-of-a-kind aspect, or the made to order jeans really resonate with them. They also love discovering new brands through Threads- having access to something unique, and understanding the story and values behind the brand. We have created some really cool content with E.L.V. DENIM, from an IGTV with Anna showing us how the jeans are made, to incredible shoots with the jeans styled with this season's hottest product like Prada hobo bags, Amina Muaddi heels, and Chanel Grandad sandals
What do your personal shoppers think about the brand?
Our personal shoppers love E.L.V. DENIM too- to have a brand with such clear values, and such a great story behind every piece.
There was a huge excitement when we launched the E.L.V. DENIM x Swarovski collection last summer on Threads. It had such a great reaction from our clients too- I think we sold one of the denim jackets straight from the instagram post.
What are your fav jeans and why?
I love the Boyfriend! I have them in light blue and black. I honestly wear them nearly every day- with sneakers with heels, and always get compliments on them. They are so flattering and so comfortable and they literally go with everything. Next on my list is the boyfriend in dark blue... and maybe white.
Suzy is my sister, younger in age but some may say wiser in many ways! I am really close to my siblings, so the fact that all our children are too it’s one of the good things in life. Seen here with her two boys George + Monty.
Let me introduce you: You are my little sister!
We probably have different takes on the fashion industry, what is your relationship with clothes?
I don’t have much of a relationship with clothes. I am a practical person so go for practical styles.
When I decided to launch the brand in 2018 what were your thoughts?
It was very exciting but thought you were crazy! You have worked so hard to develop the brand and you keep producing different items. I am very proud of what you have achieved.
You have a pair and a jacket and also my nephew also has one. What does owning these pieces mean to you?
Monty and I love our jackets. We are both proud to wear them. I love the comments from my friends, and I can tell them all about where it comes from and who designed it.
Susie and I were first introduced through Fashion Revolution and her continued support has meant so much to me.
So delighted to have you as part of the #ELVfamily campaign. We first met properly last year as part of Fashion Open Studio when we discussed sustainability and the future of denim. Before then, what was your awareness of the damage of denim manufacturing on the environment?
I was definitely aware of the amount of water usage in the cotton industry and in the dyeing/washing processes of denim as well as the impact on the environment with the chemical dyes that are used. I think the stat where 2,500 gallons of water is used on average on the production of a pair of jeans is a really powerful one and really makes the reality of denim production much more concrete and hard-hitting for the general consumer.
Our paths crossed again with my Hyundai collaboration and I was so overwhelmed with how much you loved the jumpsuit. I loved working on that collaboration, were you surprised on how successful the cross-industry collaboration was? And do you think we can embrace more of these?
The Hyundai collaboration was a really smart way of showing how materials discarded from a seemingly unconnected industry to fashion can be incorporated into garments in a realistic and wearable way, whilst also being stylistically interesting. I think there does need to be cross-field collaboration as the problems we are dealing in excess production and waste materials isn’t exclusive to the fashion industry. I also think it leads to practical industry wide practises - such as polyester made from ocean waste that is now widely used in the fashion industry. It takes a problem from one industry to solve one problem in another industry.
And now we are making a jumpsuit for you, what are your thoughts to the steady rise in designers creating unique garments that are made-to-order in an industry where mass-produced fashion is the norm. do we have to have an antithesis and is a Made-to-order garment that?
I feel like the pandemic has really bolstered the idea of people being more connected to their clothes and finding alternative ways of buying their clothes - whether it’s the rise of secondhand on Depop or contacting independent designers through IG DM’s and ordering made to measure garments. It’s not necessarily the antithesis and of course made-to-order/measure can’t cover all wardrobe cornerstones but I think the rise of people feeling like what they wear should be special or treasured means that people are willing to wait and experience a slower process of fashion. It’s definitely been a boon for independent designers and for people to be closer to the origins of their clothes - like harking back to how people would go to their local dressmaker or tailor to have their clothes made or mended.
Of the pieces you wore - which is your favourite?
I always have trouble finding jeans I like as most styles feel too utilitarian for me. The flared style is great as the shape is great and you can see how it’s been upcycled from multiple pairs of jeans.
Liz, her energy and great hair have been with me from the start, and she embodies everything about the brand. She is someone I love to be around, and if you are able to get your hands on her range of natural remedies you won’t be able to live without them.
Please tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! Liz Taw, Hairstylist/Men’s Groomer/kitchen beauty formulator and low waste living enthusiast. Originally from Sydney Australia, currently based in East London.
I first discovered the transformative power of great hair as a teenager, when a friend had her scraggly hair cut short and coloured a vibrant red. It totally transformed her! Most of us still had our mum’s cutting our hair with the kitchen scissors at that point, so it was a real revelation. I was mesmerised at how it framed her face, enhancing her features, skin tone and eye colour. She looked so beautiful and she carried herself differently. I needed to understand this witchcraft so I found the salon were the magic happened, applied for a weekend job and that was that! I was hooked on the feeling you get watching people light up in the mirror when they like what they see.
I’ve worked in the industry for over 24 years now, in one form or other. I’m not saying it’s an easy career choice. The schedules can be gruelling and it’s also hugely competitive, so you can find yourself going from having too much work to not enough and everything in between. But there’s always another avenue to pursue, another door to peek behind, if you’re game. It can be a rollercoaster, but I love it.
You have been on this journey from the beginning, and one of my biggest supporters, please tell me about all the E.L.V. DENIM pieces that you have!
Can I just start by saying, it was a real moment slipping on my first pair of E.L.V DENIM. I don't want to sound too dramatic, but it really was quite something!They were a pair of light blue match boyfriends that you casually handed me from a pile of samples on your desk, and they fit like a dream! Even before I’d made it to the mirror to marvel at how flattering the shape was, I’d fallen in love with the fit and feel. The perfect rise, snug on my waist, roomy at my hips (so no dreaded pull lines), the comfort of well-worn denim, cleverly constructed to support and control in all the right places. Anna! You created the perfect pair of jeans that ticked all my eco-anxious boxes! We’d worked together many moons before and I knew I loved your aesthetic, and when you explained the concept behind the brand I immediately wanted in. But, I was not prepared for my emotional reaction to finding my denim soul match! (Ok, now I’m sounding a bit dramatic... but it’s true) I’ve since had the privilege of being on set for many E.L.V. DENIM campaigns, witnessing the smiles in the mirror and the confidence these clothes imbue on everyone who wears them. The shoots are more like a mutual appreciation club really, with a whole bunch of inspiring and wonderful humans. It’s a privilege to be in the room.
Back to the question.. So far my E.L.V. DENIM haul includes:
1) the aforementioned super light blue match boyfriends (1st love, and still one of the most beloved and well-worn items in my wardrobe)
2) a dark blue match kick flare (my “how good does my butt look in these?!” Jeans)
3) a mid blue match boyfriend (the slouchy ones- a couple of sizes up, worn lower on hips and every time I wear them someone comments on the cool pockets)
4) a dark/light blue contrast crop jacket (wardrobe staple! I feel like the slight off kilter elements adds a bit of extra swagger ) 5) and my latest crush, a pink bleach contrast boyfriend (I love these jeans so much! I went in for a fitting, left the studio in them and have barely taken them off since.. I actually have them on now) I’ve also definitely got my eye on some other pieces... the latest collection is next level amazing! You really are a genius Anna, and I can’t wait for what’s next.
Not only are you a phenomenal hairdresser to the stars (who by the way most of whom won’t let ANYONE else touch their hair!), but your holistic approach has taken you on a journey to make your own products. Please tell us about them.
Haha Yes! I’m incredibly fortunate to have some very long standing and fiercely loyal clients, who seem to enjoy my particular approach. A big part of the job as I see it, is essentially being a support act. I very much enjoy collaborating with people creatively and translating ideas into imagery. But besides the fun of that, working on such an intimate level with artists, you quickly learn to read the room and use all the tools in your arsenal to get the vibe right. Over the years, I’ve picked up some pretty useful tools and a keen intuition.
I first came across the wonders of essential oils, aromatherapy and massage at that same Sydney salon where I trained all those years ago. Each treatment started with a “sensory test” and an Ayurvedic inspired scalp massage. I thought it was pretty cool when I learned to tell how someone was feeling by the aroma they were drawn to. Those plant extracts also had the power to energise/ calm/ relax/ distract from the annoyance that their hairdresser was running late.. cool right! I was equally fascinated by how stimulating certain points on the body could open up energy channels and promote feelings of well being. That led to me taking lots of different courses and I’ve never really lost that sense of awe and wonder in nature and ancient healing modalities. It was a natural progression to start thinking about the importance of ethically sourcing ingredients, obsessively scanning labels for endocrine disrupters and other nasties and looking for ways to minimise environmental impact. And that’s what ultimately led to me incorporating some of my home blends into my kit.
I come from a very long line of kitchen beauty enthusiasts. I think it’s a Lebanese thing. I have early memories of the morning mint tea leaves being squeezed into rounds and used as cooling eye masks. Rose water on everything! It’s about as clean, green and low waste as it gets and the more I learn about what these ingredients actually do, the more I realise the genius of that inheritance.
My formulations have come a long way since then, but definitely still retain the same ethos. I love to make beauty that’s multitasking, nutritious, unadulterated food grade, fresh. That’s what excites me. That and the fact that I can just keep refilling the same container. Over the last year I really had the time to focus on reducing my waste to bare minimum, and by that, I mean taking responsibility for as much as I could. I decided to really be committed to it.
I sense there is a new chapter to open up for LizTaw! What do the next few years hold for you?
Well, I’ve been very much been inspired by my talented friends and brands like yours who manage to produce the chicest products not despite of, but because of their ethical stance.
I’ve really enjoyed sharing recipes and empowering people to have a go at making their own products. So maybe a more formal and comprehensive resource to share recipes. I’m aware that not everyone has the time or inclination to make products themselves, but I really don’t want to produce another container that may or may not be recycled, repurposed or refilled, and will probably end up in landfill. I’m working on a solution and I’m pretty excited about how that’s developing.
Anna, you’ll be the first to know when I do crack it. Watch this space.
Toyo is a true creator. A stylist and a maker, she collaborated with us on our masks using Shibori techniques. Then naturally we met Sid, a model and a photographer. Their relationship is one that makes you smile.
Toyo, we were introduced by Julia Kennedy (a photographer we work with). Tell us about you….
I am a London based fashion stylist and creative maker. I have a background in fashion design and have been working in the fashion industry for 15 plus years. During the pandemic I restarted my passion in sewing and creating. I started making and selling face masks then I started Shibori dyeing fabric for them. It has now turned into a small sustainable business based on my Shibori dyeing using natural dyes. I use all-natural fibres, some that I source from 2nd hand, deadstock or remnants. The silk I use is 100% certified organic and biodegradable.
and also, our collaboration...
I absolutely was over the moon to collaborate with E.L.V. DENIM, I love the brand and your ethos of no waste. We definitely had fun with it and were able to collaborate on 4 styles of masks featuring the E.L.V. DENIM trademark style of matching two different types of their jean scraps together and I Shibori-dyed one side of the face mask. I am so grateful I met you, and am excited to see the brand grow more!
You came into the office with your boyfriend Sid. How did you two meet?
Sid and I met in NYC while I was living there. Ironically enough we met at a fashion magazine party as he was over from England working as a model. He asked for a cheeky kiss, he then moved to NYC we spent three years there then moved to London where we have been for almost 4 years.
Lauren and I met 4 years ago. Her brilliant wit and energy make everyone want to be in her gang. She had one of the very first pairs of E.L.V. DENIM jeans and she has been a muse ever since.
We met at a very fancy event, The Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and we pretty much became firm friends right away. I think your humour and energy is what drew me to you, also your very quick wit! Have you always had this positive warm energy?
Oh we had fun! Thank you. I think I have, and it’s definitely got me into some trouble over the years but in a way it’s been a useful tool. I suppose I’m quite English in that I enjoy a dose of self-deprecation. I’ve always been drawn to humour to communicate and to feel relaxed or to relax others in situations.
Please tell us your journey to becoming a principal at The Royal Ballet?
It was a long one full of love, graft, sacrifice, joy and ultimately something that felt like my destiny. From a village hall in Torquay at 3yrs old to performing ballets that I once dreamt of has certainly been a journey with no wand waving... actually I have held a wand a couple of times!! I left home to join the Royal Ballet School in Richmond Park aged 11. That signified things ‘getting serious. I wasn’t an obvious talent when I arrived but I inner belief that helped me through all the challenges and a quiet steely determination that I needed in order to improve. I joined the Royal Ballet company in Covent Garden when I was 17. In many ways becoming a principal felt like a whole new beginning. With an art form like ballet the scope of discovery and improvement is endless. As a principal I was given the gift of a lifetime of beautiful roles and opportunities to create new ballets with incredible choreographers which I’ll always be grateful for.
You were one of the first people to have a pair of E.L.V. DENIM jeans. In fact, I have the twin of your pair! What do you love about my jeans?
The first pair I had, made me feel so cool! The pair I had in particular offered a relaxed silhouette which was a great contrast to my pink tights and skinny jeans. I love the idea that they wouldn’t exist without you sourcing the vintage denim and giving them a new lease of life. It’s a beautiful story and they are beautiful jeans. Bravo Anna .
I made a little jacket for the beautiful Peggy! She probably stole the show, how have you adjusted to motherhood and getting back into shape to perform?
I couldn’t believe it when I saw her bespoke jacket. What a lucky girl, we adore it! Peggy was so happy at the shoot and everyone was so sweet with her. She was a natural... what have we started?! I think I’ve adjusted quite well so far and have worked hard to structure my days so I can really focus on work but have frequent time with my girl. I’m rehabilitating/coaching at the moment and every few weeks my program increases in intensity and volume which is getting me closer to feeling in shape to perform again. It’s really hard but I’ll keep going. I have Peggy to think about now so training needs to be more efficient and effective than ever. It's still fairly early days so I’m still adjusting and finding my feet, especially ‘en pointe’! It’s frustrating having an idea of how I’d like to look and feel and the reality being far from that currently. It’s also mentally hard to keep the self belief when I’m not very good at what I usually feel capable and free in! I wish I could wave that magic wand and be back performing at full speed but in the meantime, I’m learning so much in the process and I have Peggy as my forever mascot now!
Michelle is a strategic consultant who I have known and respected for many years. She owns one of each style and looks amazing in all of them. Thank you for your contineous support.
We have known each other for a VERY LONG time! Please tell everyone how we met and your journey from then until now.
We met during my time at Roland Mouret- at this stage, I can’t really remember a time where we didn’t know each other! Between various circles of friends… your styling work and sample sale seasons that felt like a social circuit – we were always in touch. But I think it’s fair to say that since both of us have become mothers and you’ve launched your other baby, E.L.V. DENIM, we’ve bonded over those journeys.
I see you as an incredible font of knowledge and a natural in the world of commerciality in the business of fashion. Did you always have this ability?
Well, that’s incredibly kind of you - I think it’s fair to say I’ve always enjoyed the reality of working in fashion. I’m a consumer and collector at heart, so I value and appreciate creative talent in all forms. Though I’m equally left and right brained so feel most fulfilled operating at the intersection of creativity and commerce.
How do you think we should be helping young designers who want to break into the world of fashion and start a business?
The UK does a great job at cultivating talent – the challenge is embedded in your question. Starting a business is challenging if, as a designer, you don’t understand the fundamental business model or the responsibilities that come with operating a company. Almost all successful designer-led businesses have a solid business partner.
The biggest gift to young designers is that of education and mentorship. A great example is the work Trino Verkade is doing at Sarabande. Trino is an example of someone who is a tremendous inspiration and ally to creative talent, who also has the practical knowledge to help businesses launch and scale.
Tell me about the 3 pairs of E.L.V. DENIM that you own? And do you have a favourite?
I am very lucky to have 3 pairs of jeans (with more pieces on my wish list!) The first was a straight leg dark /mid blue contrast which I love wearing simply with a white shirt. The more recent pieces are the boyfriend in match black and the flare in dark blue match. My favourite would have to be the boyfriend, I’m pretty sure I wore it out of the store the day I purchased it and then proceeded to wear it the entire month of August in France… I’ve got my eye on the boyfriend in white, if they don’t sell out first, as well as a classic oversized jean jacket. Happy shopping!
I met Melissa quite early in the E.L.V. DENIM journey. Not only is she frankly a genius at pattern cutting, but such a wonderful person and that counts for everything in my world.
Please tell everyone about you.
I am a freelance creative pattern cutter working with lots of different designers, labels and brands over the years. I love my job and love working with likeminded, kind, positive people!
We have been working together for a few years now, tell us if there are any differences between my approach to design and other more traditional forms.
When I first met Anna, her positivity and passion for her brand and life in general was wonderfully infectious.She is easy to work with knowing exactly what she likes. We talk through what she’s thinking and then I put into work her ideas. It’s much more a chat over tea in my front room or garden rather than in a studio with lots of boards of sketches. We are both flexible and fit things around our work and kids schedules. Which is another wonderful bonus.
At E.L.V. DENIM we keep all our production local, so I am so lucky to have found you in Walthamstow. Our fittings always last an extra hour as we have a cup of tea and a natter. I feel that our mutual respect and friendship always means that we can support each other what do you think to this?
Absolutely, it so good to work with you who I class as a friend and colleague, it’s important to me to work with people who i get on well with, respect and like to be around. Your positivity and support in work and in life is immeasurable.
You and Sharon are my dream team – tell us how you met.
We met many years ago when I was working at Luella and Sharon was at Giles in the Rochelle school studios, we were across the hall from each other and a mutual friend introduced us. We work well together and have lived around the corner from each other for years now so we travel a lot of miles each week on foot with various projects we’re working on. She’s a joy to work with and makes me laugh a lot, so between us we certainly have found a dream team!
My brother introduced Tanya to us in 2003 and she instantly became part of our family. My brother is often away, a lot in fact! But she is the most amazing mother and effortlessly does it.
Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Tanya, Anna’s sister-in-law. I’m from Australia and moved to England after meeting Anna’s brother, James. We have 3 girls, Lucinda, Josephine and Henrietta.
Unlike the majority of people in this campaign you aren’t in the fashion industry… what do you know about fast fashion and the effects on the environment.
I know that fast fashion means a faster end to our planet. Cheap to make, cheap to buy, lasts 5 minutes on our bodies and an eternity in the landfill!
What is your relationship to fashion?
I like to be comfortable and wear clothes that make me feel good about myself, which is exactly why I love my E.L.V. DENIM jeans!
When did you get your first pair of E.L.V. DENIM?
In 2019. I have a straight leg and a boyfriend pair. I love them both and wear them most days.
Marc is probably the most natural model I have come across and the most reluctant! He is such a wonderful man, husband and father and I am so happy he agreed to be part of this.
You were a rather reluctant ‘model’ for this campaign, but you were effortlessly brilliant! I am so honoured that you decided to do this shoot for me, what was it that made you say yes?
When you asked me to model for your brand I was a tad panicked and felt a little overwhelmed by the thought of it. I said no immediately! However, after thinking it through and some heavy persuasion from Amanda (see above!) I decided to take it as a compliment and go for it. I actually rather enjoyed it! Working in property is a job I love but my passion for fashion some might say is extreme!
Please tell us how we met?
I met you nearly 20 years ago when my wife began working with you. We have had a few gatherings together over the years and I have always been very fond of both you & your husband Toby.
Your devotion to your family is so admirable, and I know how much you love your family and they you. What does loyalty mean to you?
My family, my three girls, are what life is all about. Loyalty is an emotion trait and something I look for in all walks of my life…it is what makes the best friendships, working relationships and as a partner/husband and a father, it is simply what I stand by and pride myself with.
Are you enjoying your new jeans?
Great men’s jeans are hard to find, and I have become addicted to my E.L.V. DENIM ones. Not only do they perfectly fit, the colour and the comfort of them are perfection. I have enjoyed the many compliments I have received when wearing them. Love the ethos of this brand, proud to be a tiny part of it!
Ravinder and I met on a set and instantly became good friends, based on honesty, truth and the simplest of values… being kind. She is someone I look up to and I love her ethical journey with her restaurant Jikoni.
Tell everyone about yourself.
I am a journalist, author, cook & founder of the restaurant Jikoni in Marylebone.
Please tell everyone how we met 3 years ago.
I had been asked to appear on an advert for Max Factor which seemed like a lovely reprieve from whipping egg whites every day and you happened to be the stylist. Not only you were beautiful, you were so smart, empathetic, kind and enchanting. I felt like I had known you a really long time even though we’d only just met & I knew somehow we’d end up being great friends! Plus , you loved to eat and I love to feed, so we were always going to get along.
We formed such a beautiful friendship from this, and you have supported me so much with E.L.V. DENIM I had to have you in my campaign. Tell us why you picked the jumpsuit?
Jumpsuits are a wardrobe staple in their own right, as much as a little black dress or a white t-shirt. But finding superior ones can be challenging - and this one is perfect. It’s wildly wearable, comfortable and it’s also an attitude - when I wear it, I feel capable - like I can do anything. And of course, the sustainability ethics of E.L.V DENIM makes me all the more proud to wear it.
I am so excited that you are announcing that Jikoni is carbon neutral, and also VERY proud you invited me to be part of the talk to celebrate this. I know this is a very important project for you and Nadeem, please tell us how you have achieved this.
We’ve been taking steps to being restorative to the world around us since we opened because by definition the word “restaurant” comes from the French word to restore. In September 2019 all our energy came from solar & wind energy & carbon neutral green gas. Now we are working with Climate Neutral in an ongoing pioneering partnership to reduce our carbon footprint. We have measured our carbon consumption in 2020 and will be offsetting it through Climate Neutral’s high quality, vetted, pool of carbon credits. Year on year, they will guide us to reduce our remaining carbon footprint. We’re also going to be working with a biodynamic farm an hour away from the restaurant to source as much produce as possible. It’s a small but necessary step and we hope that many other businesses will follow suit because it is entirely possible.