The Denim Duo: Emily Current + Meritt Elliott

Emily Current and Meritt Elliot, self-professed "hippie chicks," met in the late 90's as students at UCLA where they quickly bonded over a mutual love for vintage denim. On weekends they took the bus to thrift stores and flea markets in Santa Monica where they shared their finds with each other. When graduation day arrived, the girls sat next to each other wearing long vintage dresses under their graduation garb and discussed what they should do with their lives.  They knew they complemented each other well so they decided to "stay in touch and at least hang out, and eventually do something together."

Emily and Meritt in Los Angeles, ELLE Magazine

Emily and Meritt in Los Angeles, ELLE Magazine

Both girls were quickly hired to work in house for different brands - offering their styling assistance for editorial and celebrity. Eventually, their work came together and they realized that it made sense to join forces. 

Eventually, the girls became the go-to style consulting duo for a whose who of LA based fashion brands and celebrities and while they worked, they wore their vintage denim finds. Eventually while on shoots and ad jobs, people started asking to shoot the girls vintage jeans. The demand got so high that they started buying up every pair of vintage jeans they could find and kept them at the studio with a tailor. 

According to the duo, "fashion needed an ease, and denim was the perfect place for it. We just happened to be there at the right time and everyone unanimously agreed with us." 

Emily and Meritt, photo by  Because I'm Addicted

Emily and Meritt, photo by Because I'm Addicted

One of their clients, Serge Azria of Joie, was interested in investing in the girls denim concept so they hired a few friends who knew denim well and started printing their own tags and ironing on Current/Elliot patches to show to Serge. Serge showed the line to the buyers and they loved it. When Meredith Melling Burke was caught wearing a pair of Current/Elliot vintage bellbottoms, Vogue researched it and tracked them down and then Barney's jumped in and wanted to launch the brand first. 

After Vogue, it seemed that Current/Elliot was everywhere overnight. Most of the designs were made from men's vintage jeans because they had character and the silhouettes were different. The debut collection was only 22 pieces - the designs ranging from Skinny Leg Elephant Bell to Boyfriend.  The celebs favored the Boyfriend Jean so the press ate it up, but to the girls what really mattered was the whole story as a whole, not just one design. 

Inside Emily Current and Meritt Elliott's design studio

Inside Emily Current and Meritt Elliott's design studio

Today, operating under the alias of Maude, you can hire the celebrated Los Angeles based duo for styling, art direction, branding, merchandising, marketing and advertising.

Click here to purchase their book, A Denim Story: Inspriations from Bellbottoms to Boyfriends