KHLOE KARDASHIAN’s denim label, Good American, launched last year, producing sales that the world’s biggest brands would envy. The first day it launched – buoyed by social-media support from her famous friends and sisters – the label sold $1 million-worth of jeans, and the growth doesn’t stop there. Today, it arrives in London’s Selfridges, a luxury partner that Kardashian lauds for being brave enough to stock the entire size range – 00 to 24. Vogue caught up with Kardashian and co-founder Emma Grede – a Londoner and former fashion partnerships specialist – to find out what’s so special about their Insta-perfect, bottom-sculpting jeans.
Tell us why you specifically launched the brand – what were the problems in other jeans that you knew you could find a way to solve?
Khloe: I’ve been bigger and smaller than I am today, and when I was bigger shopping for denim was really hard, I’d ask for my size and be told there was nothing for me. I would literally be denim shamed while shopping for jeans with my sisters. Which is crazy! When Emma approached me with the idea to start Good American with an inclusive size range, I knew it was something I wanted to be involved with. Plus I live in denim.
Emma: I’m a big buyer of premium denim and I’m always making alterations. I knew if I was doing that after spending £200, it meant other women would be too and so I wanted to make a perfect pair of jeans made to really fit a woman’s body.
Tell us about the name, where did it come from and what does it mean to you?
Emma: Good American was a play on words. I think any woman who is fearless in showing her sexuality can be quickly judged, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not good, or out in the world doing good. We also wanted our company to behave as a “Good American,” or rather, be a good corporate citizen. That’s why we manufacture in LA, pay fair living wages and it’s the way we run our business through and through.
Khloe: Plus, once we realised the name Good American was something we could actually own, we grabbed it!
The launch of the collection went phenomenally – sold out to the tune of $1 million on the first day – did you expect the reaction you got?
Khloe: Yes and no, we’d put a lot of work into the product and the launch but even we were surprised that we could have a launch like we did.
Emma: And more importantly the ongoing reaction is what’s so impressive, if you have a good product it will sell, but it’s those customers coming back for their second, third and fourth pair, that’s when you know you’re on to something really good.
What are the components of the jeans that make them work so well on all body shapes?
Emma: There’s a big technical difference in our jeans, first it’s the fabrics, we use the best premium fabric available and that gives the jeans great recovery. Then we created an amazing gap-proof waistband and that’s what stops you from having any gap at the back, if your waist is smaller than your hips or bum, as is the case for most women.
Khloe: What’s amazing is that the jeans work on all girls, we have Bella and Gigi Hadid, Chrissy Teigen, Giovanna Battaglia and Jennifer Jopez all wearing Good American.
You’ve spoken out for size diversity in the industry – asserting that all sizes should be represented and shown as beautiful in the media – why do you think it’s so important for everyone to see a beauty they can relate to?
Khloe: I think it’s important that the media shows a fair representation of all women regardless of race, ethnicity and size. All women want to feel beautiful and confident. Having diversity as we do in our campaigns and showing the jeans on multiple sizes is a must in this day and age.
Emma: I think size really is the last taboo in fashion, a couple of girls walking NYFW shows isn’t progress, it just shows how backwards the industry actually is. We live in a world where most women would be considered plus size if we allowed the fashion industry to keep their out-of-date labels. That’s madness. We as women demand choice in every area of our lives and fashion should be no different.
Selfridges have taken the range in all sizes from 00 to 24 – what does this mean to you?
Khloe: Everything, Emma and I made a decision early on to only work with retailers that will carry the full size range.
Emma: Indeed it’s non negotiable for us and we love Selfridges for being brave enough to do it.
Which sizes sell best? You have created a collection for women with curves, so many would assume that the larger sizes sell better, but this may not be the case?
Emma: Our best-selling styles are 0 and 18! Not what we expected.
Khloe: This will change over time too, we’re a new brand and we don’t market as plus or having petit sizes so as people discover Good American that will shift.
Tell us about the styles you provide – the rise, the washes, etc – will these change every season or will there be some constants for fans?
Khloe: We have three styles right now: Good Legs, a classic skinny jean; Good Waist, which is super high-waisted and our best seller; and Good Cuts, a really flattering boyfriend jean.
Who are your denim idols – who wears jeans well, then and now?
Emma: Oh I love Rihanna in a denim-on-denim situation.
Khloe: I think Kendall and Kylie Jenner look great in denim and Ashley Graham looks hot in Good American.
Emma: I don’t think you can beat Kate Moss in jeans back in the day. Those old Calvin campaigns were everything.
What is the next step for the brand? What areas are first in your plan to expand?
Khloe: We’re really working on perfecting the denim, we have new styles launching and skirts and shorts for the summer. But we won’t launch anything until we’re both really happy to wear it ourselves.