The Americana fabric gets a new lease of life.
The Americana fabric gets a new lease of life.
Text: Danielle Combs
It’s rare to meet a woman like, Adelaide Bourbon who possesses immense fortitude, all while harnessing her strengths as both an empowered liberated woman and a designer whose creative spirit can transcend and flourish with every design she creates. While Bourbon was Paris-born and New York-raised she decided to house her line, Eve Denim in Los Angeles, with aspirations to revive the classic Americana denim staple using rigid denim that would evolve and manifest into different forms each time a piece was worn.
For Eve Denim, the concept of fast fashion is non-existent, as it should be due to the political climate. By embracing a line made by a woman for a woman speaks volumes about the beauty of a collection that can be lovingly worn and kept for years and years.
To discover more about Adelaide Bourbon and her line Eve Denim read V’s latest interview with her below.
What inspired you to start your own denim line?
After tirelessly looking for authentic denim (with little to no stretch) in womenswear, and coming up empty handed. There are currently lines that re-work existing denim into more flattering cuts, but not any which designs vintage fits from scratch, with a feminine aesthetic.
Why did you decide to name your line Eve?
Eve is my sister’s name, but it was also to symbolize the original woman and what the intent of this line is—a return to the original and authentic from a woman’s point of view.
I started a series on our Instagram account that highlights all the muses Eve Denim turns to season after season for inspiration, such as Margaux Hemingway, Jane Birkin and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, Françoise hardy, called “The Originals”. We are all about trailblazers… the original thought, movement, look, which was once a risk and now become the blueprint copied a thousand times over because it is the classic standard. That is how we approach the design of each piece.
Your line focuses on producing timeless pieces by using rigid denim. What drew you to rigid denim as opposed to other types of denim?
Rigid denim is tough enough to stand the test of time, taking on many different lives as it evolves and changes with you. Besides embodying our message aesthetically, it also ethically is the perfect vehicle to another one side of our brand’s ethos—very dear to our hearts especially in this political climate—which is to not contribute to the business of fast, disposable fashion. We aim to create garments that you keep for years as you fall in love with them over and over again during their many reincarnations. Our jeans are made with USA spun cotton and proudly manufactured in Los Angeles, insuring an extremely high quality product made fairly and honestly.
You grew up in France and the U.S. How has your background influenced the way you design and helped you in creating a successful fashion business?
I credit my French side for my deep love for all things classic and chic as well as history—resulting in my intense love affair with vintage. I credit my American side with my entrepreneurial spirit and appreciation of a different classic Americana. It’s funny, denim is originally from France, the actual word derived from its geographical origin—“de nimes”. I didn’t realize that until I started the line. I think the balance of these poetic and practical facets are key to establishing a successful fashion business.
How would you describe your aesthetic as a designer and how has that influenced the overall design process of Eve?
It is very instinctual and impulsive. I see a snippet of a movie, a vintage piece, a flash of color, and it turns into something much bigger, it starts with a feeling, and from there, I can spin an entire story.
What type of materials are you currently working with?
Besides denim, I work with a lot of seventies fabrics: corduroy and moleskin in colors are two I am currently obsessed with. I have also added tops this season, both knits and wovens. I am so excited about our western shirt which is offered in both denim and cotton poplin (one for the us and the other tres french).
Do you have any personal favorite items from Eve?
My favorite piece is always and forever the Charlotte, our signature piece. High waisted and wide leg, super flattering cut, with exposed buttons.
It was named after Charlotte Rampling — another one of our perennial muses.
Has your own sense of personal style influenced the way you design?
My personal style does more than influence, it dictates the design of this line. It is a blend of French nostalgia and Americana classics.
As a designer, how do you find new sources of inspiration that enhance your creativity?
Inspiration comes to me in various forms, but I would say the most enriching is travel and making new friends. That is what sparks new ideas, new conversations and people’s different point of views and lifestyles. I think it is important to constantly expose yourself to different types of thought. That is the secret to keeping your point of view fresh, and in turn inspires others.
If Eve had a style motto what would it be? And what’s the ultimate way to style and wear pieces from the collection?
Our style motto is always: less is more. The ultimate way to style an Eve piece is paired with a white t-shirt, or mariniere, and bold statement jewelry.
How do French women wear denim versus a more American approach?
This is of course a very broad, sweeping generalization, but I would say American women have a comfort level with dressing denim down, androgynously, or pairing a jean with a sneaker. French women inevitably always dress something up. I see it when my friends travel to Paris. There is something about being in that city that automatically makes you break out your sharp dresser. My mother would tell me when packing for summers in France growing up, “you can’t dress the way you do here over there.” It was always engrained in me and now I just see that there is an unspoken dress code that everyone adheres to when there.
How do you see Eve Denim evolving and what is the next step for you as a designer?
I am really happy with where Eve is today, and I want to keep growing the categories that are already established. I keep having men ask me when the menswear is launching, lamenting that they don’t have a line that does this for them, but it is very important to me, and for the brand’s identity that is stays focused on women. I think it is a huge part of the story that I am excited to keep writing.