AND/OR Interview



LA-based writer and vintage queen Dawn O’Porter meets up with the denim duo Caroline Calvin and Joie Rucker to discover their vision for AND/OR

Can you tell us how Calvin Rucker started?
We both worked at Levi’s in 1995, and nearly 20 years later decided to create a brand together that focused on high-end denim.

So, apart from being designed and made here, what is uniquely ‘LA’ about your AND/OR designs?
The denim is created in partnership with LA-based manufacturers who have vast expertise in vintage and modern jeanswear. We wanted to express Los Angeles in each jean, so every style is named after an iconic place.

How would you describe the feel of your denim?
Soft, moldable and stable. The denim is flexible but designed to prevent sagging and loosening over time, meaning you don’t have to wash your jeans every day to maintain their shape.

What is the best way to look after your denim?
Don’t use any special spot cleaners, no bleach or brightening detergent. Wash them inside out, wash them infrequently and don’t scorch them in the tumble dryer.

What makes your denim different from others?
We focus on every element of the jean – from construction to the thread to the pocket details. We work on our hardware and trims. We want a trim that has weight and feel when you button it. The AND/OR woman will know that her jeans really were made in LA. Also, we can make as few as 100 pieces. So it’s beautiful and collectable and will never be made again. It makes AND/OR really special.

How do I find the perfect pair of jeans for me?
Look for quality buttons and rivets with a solid feel. They should feel dense, not hollow. When trying on the jean, give yourself time. Do you need to pull the back up to fit more comfortably? Does the jean shift down as you walk? You might need a pair with a slightly higher rise. When the jean is buttoned, check if the top of the zipper is showing (the pull on the zipper). This is a common defect but rarely noticed until it’s too late.

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