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Off the Cuff: Level 99 Creative Director Amie Gaines

From iconic ads to denim’s universal appeal, Level 99 creative director Amie Gaines shares why denim continues to be a source of inspiration.

Describe the Level 99 consumer.
Gaines: They are sexy, professional women; young but career driven. She doesn’t want to spend a ton of money on fashionable denim, but she wants the elevated look and taste level she sees in higher price points. And she’s looking for something that is wearable for longer than one season.

Why are you inspired by denim?
Gaines: You can do so much to it. You can embellish it, wear it raw, dress it up or down. And there is a huge global demand for it. Everyone loves denim and everyone can wear it. It is universal.”

Which pair of jeans in your closet is currently getting the most wear?
Gaines: My Level 99 Tanya high rise jeans. Those are my go-to jeans.

Which celebrity would you like to see dressed in Level 99?
Gaines: Well, we’ve had a lot of celebrities wear our jeans, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Charlize Theron, Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson. The great thing is that these women represent a variety of body types and show we can design for all proportions.

What is your first denim memory?
Gaines: I started to look at as denim when brands like Lee, Bongo and Guess were in your face. I just remember those brands and the way they advertised in the Eighties.

If you weren’t designing denim, what would you be doing?
Gaines: Probably designing products that complement denim——there’s just so many things to do in and around denim.