I caught up with Paige during her visit to London last month to grill her on her incredible career and pick up a few denim tips…
LPA: What prompted you to launch Paige Denim in 2004? Having worked in the high-end denim industry for over a decade, did you feel that something was missing?
PAG: I wanted to bring a female perspective to what was generally a men’s industry at the time. Denim was designed as something to wear at weekends. I wanted jeans which were more in-line with the fashion items I was buying and started Paige primarily as a fashion brand.
LPA: Within a year of launching Paige Denim, your jeans were stocked everywhere from Bergdorf Goodman to Harvey Nichols and seen on the likes of Eva Longoria and Mandy Moore. Despite the disastrous effects of the recession on so many other businesses, Paige Denim has continued to grow enormously since then. What do you think has been the key to your company’s success?
PAG: We never got complacent; we were always striving to be better. We are devoted to the details and committed to the craft and quality of Paige product. That meant that we didn’t drop our price when times got tough, we stuck to our guns and continued to produce trendsetting accessible luxury with considered, unexpected details.
LPA: Talk me through your typical daily routine…
PAG: I wake up at 6am, look after my adorable dogs London, Taffy and Ashley and make a coffee. I then do an hour work-out either at my gym at home or I go for a run. I make my way to the office after that where my days can be taken up with fittings, meetings with the design team, catching up with our fabric suppliers or meeting the PR and Marketing team. It’s pretty non-stop so I usually eat on the go.
I leave the office at around 6.30pm. Sometimes I have more meetings after work but generally I like ro be home by 8pm. A couple of hours downtime (usually catching up on email!) and playing with the dogs and I’m in bed by 10pm.
LPA: As someone renowned for helping women wear denim well, you must feel under pressure to always look good yourself. What’s your failsafe outfit formula?
PAG: Skinny jeans (my favourite Paige style is the Verdugo Super Skinny which we do in tons if fashion washes and prints) worn with ankle booties, a fantastic silk blouse and a leather jacket.
LPA: Everyone’s had a few fashion disasters in their time, and most of us still do on occasion. What style sins can you confess to committing in the past?
PAG: The Little House on the Prairie stage when I was a child growing up in Alaska was particularly bad. I wore peter pan collar dresses down to the floor, ruffles, braids in my hair and glasses.
LPA: What more do you feel brands and publications could, or should, be doing to promote a more healthy standard of beauty?
PAG: I always work with models who look healthy and have a glow from within. Brands should be careful of how much they alter images. It needs to be realistic and achievable beauty.
LPA: Printed and bright denim is everywhere this season, but can everyone really wear these tricky styles? Should certain body types steer clear of certain colours or cuts?
PAG: Yes! It’s all about proportion. If you’re looking to wow you can go crazy with clashing prints and colours. If you’re not so confident wear a neutral colour top and shoes and make the patterned jean an accessory and the focal point.
LPA: What advice would you give to someone hoping to launch their’ own company?
PAG: Don’t allow too many chefs in the kitchen. Stay true to your vision, believe in yourself and your instincts and it work hard and it will be a success.
Love Ella. X