Stella McCartney, head of denim
Malin Ekengren
Stella McCartney, head of denim

Deep Dive

Malin Ekengren is a strong believer that truly sustainable denim is “the jean you already have in your wardrobe.” And with a personal archive of more than 600 denim pieces that include rare ’50s, ’60s and ’70s Levi’s, Levi’s Red and LVC replicas, her wardrobe puts other blue bloods’ to shame.

Ekengren’s 15 years of experience centers on denim design and consultancy at some of the world’s most celebrated labels, including Gap, Levi’s, Celine, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen. Now standing as the head of denim at Stella McCartney, she channels her unparalleled expertise to solidify the label’s reputation as a leader in sustainably sourced and produced denim. A brand known for merging sustainable denim and luxury, it was also one of the first to incorporate Candiani’s biodegradable stretch innovation that changed the game for body hugging denim silhouettes. Ekengren’s affinity for staying on the cutting edge of denim innovations naturally aligns with the brand’s penchant for offering luxury without sacrificing ethics.

Through her numerous talks at global denim trade shows, she has helped bring sustainability to the designer level, raising awareness that term isn’t confined to organic cotton or recycled content, but that it also includes traceability, circularity, workers’ rights and supply chain transparency as well. She urges other designers to understand the intricacies of the denim industry to both enhance their work and improve the world for future generations, and leads by doing.