Amy Leverton’s latest tome celebrates LA women who’ve made the basic blue jean a redhot runway star.
Three years after releasing Denim Dudes, Amy Leverton, 37, is back with her highly anticipated Denim: Street Style, Vintage, Obsession (Rizzoli), a photographic portfolio showcasing iconic women in denim from around the world, including Los Angeles—natch. “The mix of skate and surf culture, rock ’n’ roll and retro bohemia makes LA such a denimcentric place,” says Leverton, who has worked in the denim industry since 2003.
Indeed, LA has been integral in helping shape global denim culture. “Blue jeans were born in Cali [during] the gold rush as practical workwear, not fashion,” Leverton, a recent transplant to LA, explains. But it was through Californian moments—and Hollywood, in particular—that this functional fabric was taken from the “street” and onto the runway, especially for women. “Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor all pioneered iconic denim looks in their day and were based here.” Since then, denim has evolved into myriad styles, fits and cuts for women.
Perhaps that is what gives denim its mass appeal—its exibility. “Denim can be destroyed, embroidered, handpainted… it can mean something different to everyone,” Leverton says.
From the purists to the vintage girls, Denim is a celebration of the many ways that women have staked a claim on the textile and made it their own. Leverton admits, “I think the content is even stronger than my last book, just because women’s dress is more diverse. Plus, I’ve really been able to showcase some amazing ladies whom I’ve always admired!”