Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on the Denim Trend She Didn't Expect to Love
What do you do when you’ve built your very own denim empire and have a slew of cutting-edge designs to entice the public with each season? You tap one of the industry’s most effortlessly chic supermodels to be the face of your brand, of course! At least that’s what Paige Adams-Geller, co-founder and creative director of her eponymous label, decided to do.
Last year, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley made her PAIGE denim debut by modeling for the company’s S/S 15 campaign, and she’s back at it again this fall posing as the ultimate rock star. To showcase her newest collection, which consists of luxe coated jeans, leather jackets, and cropped flares, Adams-Geller conceptualized a rock ’n’ roll–themed shoot that took place at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.
We had the honor of visiting Rosie and Paige on set during the production of this F/W 16 campaign, which consisted of bright lights, wind machines aplenty, and Ms. Huntington-Whiteley headlining her very own show.
In this exclusive behind-the-scenes interview, Huntington-Whiteley reveals her best tip for taking a pair of jeans from day to night and Adams-Geller tells us about the hottest pieces from the new collection. Watch the video ahead.
WHO WHAT WEAR: Tell us about the fall/winter collection and the overall idea behind today’s shoot.
PAIGE ADAMS-GELLER: You know, I was thinking about quintessential L.A., and I was really thinking about the music scene in L.A., which is always part of the rock-’n’-roll vibe of my alter ego. I think that I was a British rock star in my past life, and I say that all the time. I was like, “How can we bring that feeling into the collection?”
Then all of a sudden it hit me at like 4 in the morning, 5 in the morning—I was in Mexico, and I was like, “Oh my god, we have to shoot at the Troubadour.” I was like, “This will be amazing.” I really wanted to channel that even rock-’n’-roll vibe a little bit further by being in it, and then I almost wanted it to feel like Rosie was the rock star, or she was getting ready for the concert before and after, and what the vibe would be like, and then even see her on stage. She likes to sing karaoke.
ROSIE HUNTINGTON-WHITELEY: Oh yeah. I’m in my element today. I’m on the stage, the lights are on me, I have a whole band. There’s a wind machine. I’m very happy.
PAG: I used to have a band myself, and so it’s almost like me channeling myself through Rosie and really starring at the Troubadour. We even have a marquee outside that says, “PAIGE featuring Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.” I was like, “This is awesome; it’s like my dream coming true. I’ve never performed here, and now I feel like I am.”
RHW: I’ve had a few phone calls from friends who have driven past the Troubadour on the street and go, “Is there something we don’t know about you? Are you performing at the Troubadour? What's going on?”
PAG: You never know what happens later. We’ll see, maybe.
WWW: What’s your best tip for taking a pair of jeans from day to night?
RHW: I think my best tip to take a pair of jeans from day to night would be switching the shoes up. Often we’re in flat shoes during the day or a more casual pair of booties or sandals, and then in the evening I would put on really sexy high heels or a glamorous pair of boots. Again, maybe changing my top from being a T-shirt into more of a silk shirt. This shirt I have on actually will look really beautiful in the evening, and maybe changing your accessories. I think jewelry really is such a fun way to change up your look. Pretty much all this jewelry I have on is costume jewelry, which is so affordable to make your look fun and easy.
PAG: You took the words out of my mouth. I don’t wear flats ever, but…
RHW: Me either, actually.
PAG: I was really listening to you, I was going, “Really? You wear flats during the day?” I might go from casual boots like these to a really sexy strappy heel, and then change it up definitely with a silk blouse and a cool blazer, or a really nice leather jacket. There are so many great leather jackets in the collection that you could actually just wear with a T-shirt in the day and then just pop it up a notch with a sexy blouse, but accessories really do make such a big difference, I agree. Putting on the silk scarves, tying cool ties around your neck, and really just changing it up. Just one little thing can take it from morning till moonlight.
RHW: The stylist has taught me that, because she’s just so good at doing all these little details, and it’s really fun to see an outfit transform from being simple or more laid-back to then coming alive with accessories. I think that’s cool; it’s really cool to see it.
PAG: It makes it easier when you’re on the go, too, because you travel so much. Being able to take an outfit and not have to bring five outfits—which I don’t know if I’ve quite learned that when I’m packing—but I try to change it up with accessories, and it makes it a lot easier for packing. Just a couple little things make a big difference.
Naj Jamai for Paige Denim
WWW: Rosie, what do you love most about working with Paige and the rest of her team? What do you believe makes her brand such a huge success?
RHW: I was speaking to somebody on the team the other day, and I asked the question, “What do you think makes PAIGE so successful?" The answer was so clear to me, and that is really that you know who your girl is, you know who your guy is, and you keep updating the collection in a way that they feel they can come back and get something new, but they’re still coming back and they’re not getting anything that’s too different either. I think you’re really loyal to your customer, you really listen to them, and that is really important in a brand. I think especially denim. For me, I’ve always been attracted to brands where I know I can go and get something that I love each time, and it changes just enough without it being too different.
PAG: Thank you for saying that about staying true to authentically who our girl is. I guess that’s probably—if I think about why you’re the perfect person to be the face of the brand—is because PAIGE is very feminine but has edge and a little bit of chicness and coolness. I think that’s who you are. You’re feminine with a little bit of edge, and you’re effortless, chic, and cool.
WWW: Paige, what is it about Rosie’s style that makes her the perfect fit for your brand?
PAG: Just look at her!
RHW: I’m going to put my fingers in my ears. I always get embarrassed.
PAG: You know, what is so great about Rosie’s style is that it always looks effortless. It never looks contrived. She’s always polished, but she’s really natural and approachable yet gorgeous and aspirational. I think girls want to be her and guys want to be with her. Some guys might want to be her too; she’s just got amazing style. Every time you see her, she’s always put together, and I just love it. It’s quintessentially L.A. too, so it’s got that ease…
RHW: On the go.
PAG: And on the go, exactly; and her airport style’s the best. I don’t know, I can’t say anything negative. She’s just rock star status in my eyes.
RHW: Thank you, Paige. Have I gone quite red?
WWW: Rosie, what are some of your favorite pieces from the upcoming collection? Which pair of jeans do you see yourself wearing on repeat?
RHW: I always love black denim; you know that. I’m really excited about these coated jeans this fall, because they give a bit of a leather vibe but they’re really comfortable and a sort of more-affordable version of leather pants. You know I’m a big fan of leather pants as well, and you’ve redesigned them this season, and they look fantastic. I’m also really excited about the cropped flare and the cropped denim, which initially when the trend started happening recently, I was like, “I’m not so sure.” It takes me a second to get on board with a trend, but I tried micro-cropped flares the other day, and I wore it while I was working in Paris, and I loved it. They’re really, really flattering and just give a slight edge and a point of difference to an outfit. I’m looking forward to rocking those in the winter as well.
PAG: What I’m excited about the luxe coating is that Transcend is one of our best fabrics on the line that everybody loves, because you feel like you can wear it from morning till moonlight. This season, we actually took the Transcend fabric and coated it to give it that leather look, so it’s so comfortable that you could wear this on an airplane to travel in and still look like you’re rocking leather pants, and it’s not quite as heavy as leather. I’m obsessed with leather too, so I think this will be a win-win.
Here are some of our favorite pieces from the new line.
If you’re on the hunt for something sultry with a rock-’n’-roll vibe, Paige’s Lillian Bodysuit will be calling your name all season long.
What do you think of the new Paige campaign? Which pieces from the collection are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!