Frame, co-founder
Jens Grede
Frame, co-founder

Deep Dive

Frame co-founders Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson sold their first pair of Le Skinny de Jeanne 10 years ago when the market was deep into a skinny jean cycle. Unyielding demand for the fit didn’t slow Grede’s and Torstensson’s vision of evolving Frame, however. 

What began as a Los Angeles denim label has become a lifestyle brand—spanning ready-to-wear, footwear, handbags, and accessories—with celebrity cachet and a sustainable future. A year after Frame introduced its first range of jeans that follows the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Jeans Redesign guidelines for circularity, the brand introduced a collection this spring made with Saitex USA using biodegradable denim fabric and washes that use virtually no water in its production. More than half of the brand’s Spring 2022 denim styles was made with sustainable fabrics and washes.

The decade’s worth of lessons learned in denim has teed up new opportunities for Grede outside of indigo. His newest venture is co-founding Brady, the technical men’s apparel brand by seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Grede is also the co-founder and CEO of Skims, Kim Kardashian’s shapewear behemoth valued at $3.2 billion earlier this year. 


What are some of the projects and achievements from the past year that you’re most proud of?

Frame celebrates a decade this year, we started with one pair of blue jeans and have grown into a global direct to consumer and wholesale business. We opened our first international store in London and have seen an incredible reception to our launch in China. Skims has also had an unbelievable year. Our partnership with the Olympics and our collaboration with Fendi definitely stand out, as well as launching Brady Brand with Tom Brady back in January.

What denim buzzword do you think is overused? And what would you replace it with?

Everyone is too obsessed with if the skinny jean is dead or not. I think the greatest thing about fashion today is your individual pursuit of style. I still wear skinny as well as straight, and I think most customers dress to how they feel and how they want to look that day. What I’m interested in for the future is what type of corporate citizen Frame is going to be. As our business and platform continues to grow, we have an obligation to better serve the industry and our consumer through honesty, inclusion, creativity, and a forward-thinking ethos which better protects our planet.

What do you wish more consumers knew about the jeans they buy?

This is a question we ask ourselves internally and has manifested itself through documenting a garments trajectory which traces materials, vendors; forging a direct tie between the physical product and digital identity on our site to provide an accessible way to communicate with the customer. Our largest initiative thus far was with the launch of (Bio) Degradable Denim last year by implementing QR tags on the inside of the jean, with plans to bring this level of accessibility and transparency to additional styles as they roll out.

If you had one request for denim brands, what would that be?

We should collectively see ourselves as allies in the quest to improve denim production’s impact. A closer alignment, shared intelligence would better enable us to accelerate the path to moving the industry forward in terms of our contribution to climate change.

 

What was your most recent denim purchase?

I’m really into white jeans right now. Other than that, I’m always restocking my closet with Frame’s classic L’Homme Slim in Noir, you might say it’s my uniform. It’s a wardrobe essential that I can’t live without.

What is your first denim memory?

My most significant denim memory was the first pair of Frame jeans we created. In a sea of neon and collaboration denim, Erik [Torstensson] and I turned our lens on the original appeal of the blue jean; crafted in a great fabric, a silhouette which had longevity and we gave them to a few of our friends, some of whom happened to be the models of the moment. For us, seeing these women who had access to all the designer collections wearing our jeans, not once but over and over again, was seminal for me.