Exclusive: Joan Smalls on Perfecting the Fashion Statement
With fashion week officially upon us, it seems appropriate that international supermodel Joan Smalls wants you to make the street your runway—the tagline for her F/W 15 True Religion capsule collection. “I want to tell women shine bright,” Smalls says of the 19-piece line. “Make sure all eyes are on you, but in a positive way.” Heads are sure to turn when they see the bold graphic prints, edgy zipper detailing, and unique textures featured throughout the model-off-duty-inspired collection, available online and in-store today. To celebrate the launch, we chatted with Smalls about the woman she designs for, finding that perfect pair of jeans, and, of course, the key to making a statement on the streets. Keep reading for our exclusive interview, and shop our favorite JS x TR pieces.
Who What Wear: How did your relationship with True Religion come about?
Joan Smalls: I’m a lover of denim and had always loved the True Religion brand, so when they approached me about collaborating, it seemed like a perfect fit. This is my second collection with True Religion, and it was even more fun and exciting than the first.
WWW: How would you describe the Joan Smalls x True Religion woman?
JS: My new Fall 15 collection is designed for the woman who is sexy and feminine with a street style edge. She loves to mix luxe and streetwear, and has an eye for details. I want women to feel like they’re unstoppable in these clothes, to feel so confident that when they put on these pieces and stare themselves down in a mirror they say, “Damn, I look good.”
Credits: Joan Smalls x True Religion Skinny Jeans ($249) in Hellcat.
WWW: This is your second collection for the brand. How did you approach the design process differently?
JS: For this collection, I wanted to bring in an active streetwear influence. We started by taking classic, everyday silhouettes and updating them with bold, attention-grabbing twists. We used fabrics with unique textures and construction combinations, like leather mixed with denim and mesh paneling. There’s a mixed-media theme, which is playful, versatile, and sexy.
WWW: What’s your favorite piece, and how would you style it?
JS: I love the flares from my collection. The extra-long inseam gives you super-long legs, and they’re versatile enough to dress up or down. I like to wear them with the mesh top from my collection. It drapes beautifully and can be worn with the mesh in the front or back.
Credits: Joan Smalls x True Religion High Rise Stacked Skinny Jeans ($219) in Loner.
WWW: What do you typically look for in a great pair of jeans?
JS: Fit is everything. Women want to look and feel great in their jeans, so comfort is key too. For my Fall 15 collection, we incorporated European denim, lambskin leather, and premium fabrics for flawless fit and comfort.
WWW: The fall collection is about standing out. What’s your favorite way to make a fashion statement?
JS: It’s all in the details. I love to take a classic look and add unexpected twists with accessories and detailing. For my collection, we adorned each piece with a unique JS x TR label to make a statement and added discoverable details such as JS x TR pocket interiors.
WWW: Do you think there is one fashion item you can never have too much of?
JS: Definitely jeans. I live in my denim, and that’s exactly why I love working with True Religion.