Interview: Donna Ida Launches IDA

We reported in our news section back in June that the infamous Donna Ida (founder of the namesake women’s denim store in West London) was launching her own denim line. The range, aptly named IDA is now available to pre-order and the S/S 13 range looks great. We thought it was about time we asked Donna all about the line, what led her to start her own venture, and what else we can expect from her over the next 12 months.

After fitting many women with numerous denim brands in the store, what led you to start your own venture? Is there something lacking in what you’ve found in the market, or was it simply a need to do your own thing?

“I opened Donna Ida to offer the best selection of designer jeans and give specialist denim advice. I have a great customer called Jeanie who would always ask me for high-waist jeans. I would show her what I had, but she always wanted more options. It became obvious that I should look at my own denim range. Simply selling high-waist jeans in all different shapes, washes, and prints. So IDA was born. I named the collection after my middle name, which is also my grandmother’s. All the styles are named after old fashioned names. I imagine them all sitting around drinking tea together!”

Describe the basic fits of the range and why you chose them.

“The first jeans I designed were Jeanie the Cigarette, named after Jeanie of course. Then there is Ivy the Skinny for that sleek fashion look. Frenchie the Straight are more relaxed on the thighs for ladies looking for a traditional French cut. Mabel the Ankle Slim is a cropped jean in pastel shades of strawberry and limoncello with a 1920s vintage-style print on them. I love a flare, so Martha the Flare was easy with a retro, 70s dark indigo wash. Finally, Audrey the Zip Pant, named after Audrey Hepburn, is a classic noir jean that you can dress up or down; it’s so versatile.”

How important is branding and details to the look, and what did you decide on?

“So important. I’m so particular about branding, it has all been a work in progress. I wanted to create features that were unique and chic in keeping with the IDA brand, from the button to the label. One element, the Donna Dip, has been designed to create shape and subtle detail on the pockets of IDA jeans. The stitching on the back pocket of the flares draws the eye and is flattering on the bum. The Donna Dip also features on the coin pockets of the front of the jeans, where it will be a distinctive element.”

How about trends? You must have seen some serious denim trends come and go over the years; are you reacting to any trends within your range?

“Yes, there is always a new trend in denim! For S/S 13 we’re seeing a move back to traditional blue denim. I’ve introduced classic washes into IDA; the kind of jeans you can wear forever. Also for Spring, the prints are exclusively vintage prints, capturing an Art Deco era but with a contemporary edge and will be digitally printed.”

And your plans for future ranges?

“I’m already at sample stage for F/W 13 and this will be growing the collection significantly — it’s so exciting.”

Will IDA be sold in other stores or exclusively at Donna Ida?

IDA stockists will include Donna Ida, Anthropologie, and Bottega. It can also be found on www.idabydonnaida.com

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