A Decade of Denim - 10 Years of Skinny Jeans

We're celebrating ten years since Donna opened her first denim boutique in Chelsea on Draycott Avenue in 2006. It was also in 2006 that skinny jeans started to become the modern style staple that we all know and love, so to mark the occasion, we've asked our favourite denim fashionistas all about their first encounters with the skinny.


DI Thornton skinny jeans

Donna Ida Thornton, CEO of DONNA IDA Skinny Jeans Story

Talk us through your first encounter with the skinny jean? Sass & Bide introduced me to the skinny jean. My sister had bought them in Sydney and they were SO low rise they had a zip of around 1 inch. Crazy to think now when I only wear high rise. My eye took about three seconds to adjust to the new shape - it was a massive revelation. There was just no going back. Looking at those jeans now they were actually almost a straight or cigarette leg compared to where we are now, but 10 years ago such a step away from the bootcut seemed so extreme.

Who’s your Skinny Jean influencer? La Moss!! Kate wins every time.

Why you love your skinny jeans? They are just so easy to wear. Heels, flats, trainers, day to evening. Anything. The skinny, and every variation of it, just works with my fast paced lifestyle.

What have been your favourite skinny jeans in the last ten years and how did you style them? I had to make them myself - it is the IDA Rizzo. The perfect high waisted ankle skinny. Nice and high, leg lengthening, not a jegging. Just perfect.

What would your DREAM pair skinny jeans look like? Go crazy - you have a unlimited imaginary budget! High waisted, very flat fronted, central zip with ring pull, black leather, and the leg shape would be the same as our new IDA Kitty Kat. So actually what I want is the Kitty Kat in black leather. We should make that!

lorna andrews denim decade

Lorna Andrews, editor of blog lornaluxe's Skinny Jeans Story

Talk us through your first encounter with the skinny jean - describe your first pair? I actively avoided skinny jeans until my mid twenties, always preferring boyfriend styles. I remember being in New York for work and seeing a billboard of Victoria Beckham in her own design Rock n Republic skinnies - an hour later I was at Barneys Soho, jigging up and down in a changing room to get them on. It was love at first sight.

Who’s your Skinny Jean influencer? Emmanuelle Alt, never puts a foot wrong

Why you love your skinny jeans? They're so non fuss, so versatile. I can wear them casual (usually all day with white kicks) and then throw on a pussy bow blouse and heels in the evening. I strive to maintain as highly an edited wardrobe as possible and they are the ultimate foundation piece.

What have been your favourite skinny jeans in the last ten years and how did you style them? I wore a grey Donna Ida skinny which I styled with a bordeaux pussybow blouse AND FELT FANTASTIC IN. I suppose i stepped a little out of my comfort zone with that colour pairing. My biggest style hack when you're experimenting with new colours or shapes is to invest in great fitting pieces - nailing the fit is 80% of the battle won.

What would your DREAM pair skinny jeans look like? Go crazy - you have a unlimited imaginary budget! The Lorna Jean would be a slim fit reworked vintage stone washed denim, cropped above the ankle, mid-rise with button not zip closure, one pocket on the right cheek with my initials embroidered in white, I'd slash the bum-cheeks for unexpected naughtiness and style it with a simple white tee, black military boots and my beloved Chanel 2:55.

Follow Lorna Instagram & Twitter.

fanny 10 years

Fanny Moizant, Vestiaire Collective Co-Founder's Skinny Jeans Story

Talk us through your first encounter with the skinny jean - describe your first pair? My first pair of skinny jeans were a very pale blue high waisted pair, very 90's but I loved them and wore them to death; i don't remember what i wore before skinny jeans!

Who’s your Skinny Jean influencer? I love Charlotte Gainsbourg; she makes a skinny jean look chic even when paired with a simple white t-shirt.

Why you love your skinny jeans? For me, they're a wardrobe essential, easily working with everything I own which makes it easy to get dressed and go in the mornings. In the evening, all i have to do is add a great pair of shoes and i'm ready to go!

What have been your favourite skinny jeans in the last ten years and how did you style them? I really love Frame Denim jeans, their De Jeanne skinny jeans in the Columbia Road colour are my most worn pair. My daily uniform is made of these jeans and a silk shirt, with either Stan Smith trainers if i'm running around town or my favourite Gianvitto Rossi heels.

What would your DREAM pair skinny jeans look like? Go crazy - you have a unlimited imaginary budget! My dream skinny jean, would be a medium blue colour, have a mid rise waist with a cropped ankle and a few subtle rips on the knee, making them look worn in but just the right amount.

Follow Fanny on Instagram

peony lim decade of denim

Peony Lim's Skinny Jeans Story
Talk us through your first encounter with the skinny jean - describe your first pair? I bought my first pair when I was still at school I think I was about 14 or 15. Everyone else was still wearing huge flares, and I used to go on holiday with my family to Sinagpore every Summer, this Summer I decided I was going skinny. I still had the jeans and they still fit until this year. But the bum had a huge unrecoverable rip so I had to put them in the bin, but I literally wore them to death.

Who’s your Skinny Jean influencer? Emmanuelle Alt for sure.

Why you love your skinny jeans? They make me feel skinny, strangely! haha. Probably they just suit me more, because I'm not crazy tall.

What have been your favourite skinny jeans in the last ten years and how did you style them?
I used to love J Brand, but of late I prefer Frame Denim and Goldsign.

What would your DREAM pair skinny jeans look like? Go crazy - you have a unlimited imaginary budget! Oh I still wish I had bought the Christopher Kane, J Brand jewelled jeans. OR even better, I would love to find a vintage pair of the peony embroidered jeans that Tom Ford did for Gucci. Then I could have them tailored!

Follow Peony on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter

rosie fortescue decade of denim

Rosie Fortescue founder of AtFashionForte and Rosie Fortescue Jewellery's Skinny Jeans Story
Talk us through your first encounter with the skinny jean - describe your first pair?  My first pair of skinny jeans were grey from Superfine. I think I was about 15 and I saved up for them. I still have them now, I can almost squeeze into them and just can't get rid of them. They're a keeper!

Who’s your Skinny Jean influencer?  I think I was obsessed from Kate Moss. I remember she had said Superfine grey skinny jeans and I just HAD to have them!

Why you love your skinny jeans? They're flattering, can be worn both day and night and are just my ultimate wardrobe go-to.

What have been your favourite skinny jeans in the last ten years and how did you style them? Leather skinnies and waxed jeans are my favourite. I love wearing them on a night out with a silk shirt, blazer and heels. It's how I feel most at easy and feminine.

What would your DREAM pair skinny jeans look like? Go crazy - you have a unlimited imaginary budget! I am obsessed with personalisation so maybe a pair with my initials on the pocket would be IDEAL!

Follow Rosie Fortescue on Twitter & Instagram.

carmen haid decade of denim

Carmen Haid Brand Consultant & Fashion Curator's Skinny Jeans Story

Talk us through your first encounter with the skinny jean - describe your first pair? My first pair of skinny jeans were Earl Jeans. I loved their elongated silhouette and stretch material

Who’s your Skinny Jean influencer?  My big skinny jeans hero is my dear friend Peter Golding - The Inventor of the world’s first stretch denim jean in 1978. He made the skinny jeans of today possible. Peter had also a fabulous store called ACE which opened in 1974 on the Kings Road in London, amongst his customers were The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Why do you love your skinny jeans?  Because they are like a second skin, allow for maximum movement and are quite rock’n roll

What have been your favourite skinny jeans in the last ten years and how did you style them? I thank the heavens for my friend Chloe Lonsdale to revive her family business Made in Heaven Jeans. For years my favourite style has been the MIH PARIS jeans. A cropped skinny fit which works well with both flats and high heels. Also J Brand which I used to wear when I was pregnant as they seem to grow over time. Finally, Frame Denim Le Skinny De Jeanne which I have in all colours and wear them to the school run as well as with a tuxedo and heels for maximal exposure

What would your DREAM pair skinny jeans look like? Go crazy - you have a unlimited imaginary budget! An automatic body temperature regulated skinny jeans which fits like leggings but looks like proper jeans. In a dark blue colour with red stitching and short tassels on the the bottom hem for summer, a mink lined hem for the winter.

Follow Carmen Haid on Instagram.