As the queen bee of Denim Dudes, Amy Leverton keeps denim exciting and approachable.
Some people grow up knowing they want to be a famous author. Others assume the role by accident, à la Amy Leverton.
Working for four years as a denim designer straight out of Kingston University in London, Leverton made the shift into trend forecasting in 2007, taking a role at WGSN as associate denim editor under Sue Barrett.
“Suddenly I’ve gone from being a designer who loved the research and loved the mood boards to being like, ‘This is a job?! I can just do this, and I can inspire other people in the industry?’” Leverton said.
The trend expert and B2B journalist then took a role as denim editor at Stylesight, deepening her appreciation for street style while honing her writing skills, learning more about the ins and outs of denim, and meeting people from all walks of the industry. But it wasn’t until a trip back home to the English countryside that Leverton dreamed up her 2015 best-selling book, Denim Dudes.
“I was meeting a lot of people and designers who would talk about what inspired them. A lot of them were very keen on denim and dressing, and a lot of them were very stylish,” Leverton said. “So I kind of put the two together.”
Denim Dudes shines the spotlight on 85 indigo insiders—from Henry Holland of House of Holland to Adriano Goldschmied—giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at the global denim industry and the men who are shaping it. And as of 2018, the women, too. Leverton’s second book, Denim: Street Style, Vintage, Obsession, launched in the spring, featuring denim’s leading ladies as they show off their unique takes on denim styling.
With a third book already in the works, Leverton is splitting her time between growing the Denim Dudes website and her now-solo trend consulting business. Since branching out on her own as an independent forecaster, Leverton has partnered with such brands as Levi’s, Kingpins and Vivienne Westwood.
Her advice to the next generation of hopeful denim influencers? “If you’ve got an idea and you’re passionate, just work really hard. Talk to as many people as you can without being pushy,” she said. “But get in there in the industry, prove yourself and be educated by all of these experts that are out there, and the inspiration will come.
With trends as diverse as ’60s psychedelia to Y2K’s fixation on futuristic fashion barreling down on denim, it helps to have the expertise of Denim Dudes founder and Rivet 50 member Amy Leverton on your side.
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What is your first denim memory?
"To visit the oldest mill in America was my denim-defining moment. That was the moment when I was like, ‘Wow, there’s so much to learn. There’s chemistry involved here.’ It was just such a huge area of learning that I was addicted to, because I knew I’d never become a true expert, no matter how much I knew."
What is your favorite pair of jeans?
“It’s a pair of Levi’s from the ’70s. I got them passed down to me from my brother, and I think he got them passed down from the neighbors. I’ve got this photo of me when I was 17 in them, and they’re loose—more of a boyfriend-ish style. I wear them now and they’re skintight petal pushers. The pockets are way too small, because it’s really a kids’ jean.”