Elle.com: How did this denim line come to fruition?
EG: So, actually, I know Kris Jenner because in my previous life I worked in marketing for quite a long time. I’ve done a lot of work for Kris. When I decided to try and do this range I felt it was important to have a business partner and I decided that should be Khloe. I literally said, ‘Kris, I’ve got this great idea and maybe Khloe would be interested.’ In typical Kris fashion she was like, ‘Well you need to talk to Khloe.’ It turned out it was good enough of an idea that she did actually want to be involved.
KK: The older I’ve gotten the more I’ve gotten picky and choosy about what I do and who I partner up with. Doing a project on my own–this is the first time I’ve ever done something like this–I wanted to be really choosy about that. Meeting Emma and liking her as a person was a huge thing for me. She was someone who not only wanted to create a designer denim label, but [the collection] was also making a change and empowering women. Doing something I feel we really need. There’s a gap in the market for that. That’s something I’m truly passionate about. For me, the biggest thing was the range in sizes. That’s something to really fight for and it’s something we were both really adamant about. It came true and we’re about to provide this really fabulous denim line that’s really trendy and cool for a great, diverse range of women.
EG: There’s been a shift in pop culture in what we find beautiful. Khloe, for me, was somebody who really epitomized that. She’s somebody who, regardless of size, you feel this confidence in her. Khloe–and the rest of her family–are very responsible for the reason we all find curvy bodies really, really beautiful.
Did you have someone you looked to as a body-positive role model when you were growing up or someone who made you feel okay about having a butt?
KK: It’s so interesting because when I was growing up heroin chic was the really cool thing. And there was Kate Moss. And she was gorgeous, but I was like, ‘I don’t identify with that body.’ I always, weirdly enough, was attracted to the Victoria’s Secret models of the world because they were more voluptuous. It wasn’t even because they were in bras and panties. It was like, ‘Okay, I finally see bodies that are a little more like mine.’ And they’re not even bigger girls. They just have bigger breasts and a little curve. When Jennifer Lopez did Selena I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was so relatable for me and my sisters. But at the time it was really only her. I don’t remember a lot of other really strong women at the head of pop culture at that time. And now looking back at J. Lo there were so many girls with way bigger butts, but that was what we had. It’s important to me, no matter what size I am or weight I am, to feel beautiful. Even at my biggest I was rocking body con dresses and you couldn’t tell me twice. That’s what I think Good American is. It’s about women of individuality and diversity, but also about being comfortable in yourself. That’s what we’re trying to promote. It’s not about fitting into a size two and that’s what makes you beautiful. I just want people to be healthy and love who they are and be in control of your life. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a size six.
What does the name Good American represent for you?
EG: First of all, we thought the name Good American was a great name. But it was more about a play on the words and the connotations of what being « good » means. Can you not be a really sexy girl who shows off your body and be good and do good in the world? We wanted our company to also behave like a good American. It’s about paying a fair living wage to people, about operating in a way people would find acceptable and manufacturing in America. So all those values of what it conjures up to be a good American is what our company should be and how it should behave.
KK: And with that we created our Good Squad, which is the wonderful girls we have representing our line. That’s also who we find to be good Americans. They’re bad ass girls who all have a lot going on in their lives. Women who are strong and so versatile. We have girls of all different colors, ethnicities, heights, sizes. They have tattoos, shaved heads– everything. Because that’s really now what our world is. It’s not about cookie cutter ‘I’m a blonde with long flowing hair.’ Although there’s nothing wrong with that.
EG: And you are one!
KK: I am, even though half this hair I paid for. But that’s the point! To have all different types. It’s a melting pot. In my family we all look so different. My nieces and nephews are so mixed and I don’t want them to see one thing and think that’s what beauty is. There should be no definition. It should be all colors and shapes and sizes.
Do you have any good tips for how to try on denim?
EG: It’s ‘Buy them online and try them at home.’ We don’t want that dressing room mirror situation. We stock them at Nordstrom and we’re very, very happy to be in stores, but the online experience has brought a whole new dimension to what is a really tricky purchase. If you can, buy a few pairs and try them on in the comfort of your own home with your own clothes. That’s a major plus. We have a lot of stretch and if you’re more straight up and down you can probably go a size down in our denim. If you’re a curvy girl you’re going to go into your size and feel brilliant.
KK: I used to be a sales employee. And sales employees, that’s their job. I have been convinced that I look so good in something and I’ve gotten home and been like, ‘What the fuck did I just buy?’ I’m a big online shopper. I think nowadays it’s so accessible and easy. You can do it on your phone. You buy things, try them on at home with your own clothes and shoes and if you don’t like it you send it back. I just feel like I’m making the decision for myself when I shop online.
EG: And the nice thing about our website is we’ve shot everything on three different sized women. So you can see who you’re closest in size to and see how she looks. Which I think is a nice touch on the website.
It’s unusual to have a shopping website that showcases the clothes in various sizes.
EG: Why isn’t everybody doing that? We’re like, ‘This is such a good feeling! Why is everyone not doing it!’ But the reality of the fashion industry is that it’s really stuck. It’s stuck in this idea of only providing sample sizes. It’s stuck in this idea of when you’re in a department store you can’t actually go onto the designer denim floor and find anything above a 10. And 10 is relatively small. It’s ridiculous. So this feels revolutionary because it kind of is. We actually hope other brands follow suit and it becomes the norm. That’s why we keep talking about a « denim revolution. » Having [sizes] 0 to 24 is not a weird thing. The average size woman in America is a size 16. She should be able to go in her local store and find a beautiful pair of designer jeans.
KK: That are on trend!
EG: You shouldn’t have to stick with really dull styles that are dependent on your size. That’s a very un-modern way to shop.
Khloe, does it feel like lending your name to this will actually help change the fashion industry?
KK: You know, I feel like I’m given a platform and I should use it for something positive. That’s why I’m so vocal about working out and trying to eat right and things like that. And also when I make a mistake I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m hungover and I had a wild night of partying.’ That’s life and reality. Something like I’m so passionate about. I was one of those girls where I would go to a clothing store and they wouldn’t have my size in jeans. I would feel horrible. I was like, ‘I’m not that big.’ And I still don’t think I was. So we need to fight to not just carry those sizes but to have them all in one department. Nordstrom was great enough and brave enough to keep the 0 to 24 all in one division and not separate the two. That’s embarrassing for your girlfriends if one is a little smaller and you aren’t, and you have to go to the plus-sized department while your girlfriend goes over here. So yeah, if I could bring that much more attention and speak up for that many more women and it catches on to other designers, I would love to take that role because then I helped that much more.
What’s your latest favorite way to style denim?
EG: I know what Khloe’s going to say! Jeans and a body suit!
KK: That’s my uniform. It’s like how some girls wear jeans and a tee-shirt. I went Catholic schools my whole life with uniforms. I miss it in real life. I used to hate wearing a uniform now I’m like, ‘What the fuck do I wear every day?’ So I made my own uniform. What is yours? You don’t have a uniform.
EG: I don’t have a uniform.
KK: I think you’re always in a beautiful silky blouse and jeans.
EG: So a good top is the best way to style them.
KK: This [bodysuit] is literally, I think, just underwear. It’s underwear. But that’s okay. Maybe it’s my naughty uniform.
And, to end, what is your idea of true happiness?
KK: Emma, go first.
EG: Mine is so boring. Not having a schedule is my idea of happiness. Like when you wake up on a Sunday and you have nothing to do except look at the paper, play with my kid. That is so nice to have no schedule. That’s my heaven.
KK: Sundays are my favorite day for that. No one’s calling you. It’s so corny, but for me it’s family days. I love chilling by my sister’s pool. Our phones are all inside–I hate when we’re all on our phones. So I would say Sundays are my idea of complete happiness. And every Sunday I bake something I’ve never made. I made homemade jam one Sunday. I’ve made homemade pretzels. It’s just to see if I could do something. That’s what I do every Sunday. I try to never work on Sunday. It’s my day to do nothing.
What are you going to bake this Sunday?
KK: I don’t know! I’m out of town this Sunday and when I’m out of town I normally don’t do it. But if I’m in town that’s what I do. I Google for something hard to make.
Like you Google ‘difficult recipe’?
Yeah, I Google ‘Hard recipe’ because I want to say I could do something. And then I can do it.