Jessica Gebhart wanted to create a seasonless lifestyle brand for men and women with a strong emphasis on denim and casualwear when she founded her label I AND ME in 2015. The former denim buyer at Topshop runs the label, which debuted in April 2016, together with her husband Thomas. The collections are built on premium fabrications such as Japanese selvedge denim and Italian wool as well as strong function and form through wardrobe staples.
Collaboration is a key part of the brand and they have previously worked in conjunction with a ceramist, florist, fine artist, illustrator and poet to name a few.
Gebhart recently filled us in about her label.
You worked as denim buyer for Topshop before you started your own brand. What is it like now to be your own boss?
Being your own boss is great but it’s not easy. Running a brand is a very different challenge to managing and developing one department in a very established company but I love the challenge. I’ve had to learn a bunch of new skills and approaches. It was almost like starting again. Being this hands on and learning so many new skills has been so important for the growth of the brand.
Why do you think the world needs a new denim label?
I AND ME is an accessible and affordable premium denim and lifestyle brand. We champion a “Buy Less Buy Better” model and thrive on concepts and collaboration to set us apart. This makes up what I AND ME is about. We are evolving with every collection and this vision is what inspired me.
What distinguishes I and Me from other brands?
We champion a seasonless, timeless and genderless approach to fashion which results in wearable and functional garments for both men and women.
What are your guidelines for designing?
Designing a new collection always starts with travel, reading and a lot of research. For me, fabrics and silhouettes always stem from there.
What are the most important ingredients for the perfect jean? Is it all about quality? And how important is the perfect fit?
Fabric and fit are as important as each other. You need great quality fabric and a well thought out fit to perfect a jean–one simply cannot not work without the other. When designing my jeans the fabric cast and construction is what excites me. Beautiful, unique casts in rigid denim is always a must. I am not a fan of stretch jeans.
You said that you allow your collections to move at their own pace. What does this mean in terms of design, collection and sales?
It means no aggressive markdowns as we believe that the product is timeless. Obviously we wouldn’t advise wearing a pair of our shorts in January, but we are confident that when warmer weather returns, customers will be back wearing them or like previously even buy some more. We make clothes to be loved forever.
What does the collection look like? What are the key pieces?
We have just launched the third I AND ME collection which include 24 pieces across clothing and accessories. Key pieces and bestsellers for the brand include denim, jersey and socks! Prices range from £6 for a pin badge to £420 for the new 100% “Made In Britain” Waxed Army Jacket.
Where is your label sold? Which stores carry the brand already?
We have our full collections over online, three stockists in London, online in the US on Garmentory and some new stockists coming very soon!
What are your plans for expansion?
Japan, the US and Australia are on our radar.
I AND ME
38-50 Pritchards Rd
London, E2 9BJ