Four Types of Jeans You Need for the Perfect Denim Wardrobe

All photos courtesy of Talley Denim

I like all kinds of fashion — give me embellished dresses, gauze-y skirts, a cool le smoking jacket… Perhaps it’s my inner patriot coming out to pay fashion homage to a very American-feeling staple, but at the end of the day, I’d trade any trend for classic denim, time and time again.

As such, I am constantly curious about what might emerge next, shape, color, or brand wise. So, when we find a new label that combines the resume of a denim expert with the innovation and excitement of a new brand, we want to know everything. Benjamin Talley Smith, a seasoned denim vet, (he worked on Alexander Wang‘s denim launch, Rag & Bone, Evisu, and more) gives us the scoop on his own new line TALLEY, and the pieces required for the ideal denim wardrobe.


The Boyfriend
Fit might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of this baggy, borrowed-from-the-boys cut, but Talley Smith tells us it matters more than you think.

“In my opinion fit is what separates a great jean from the rest. At TALLEY we spend most of our time perfecting the fit so it hugs your body perfectly–when it comes to the boyfriend style, that means getting the draping right. Of course an amazing wash helps but without the perfect fit it’s just an ill-fitting jean.”

The Skinny
While we’ve had a number of office debates about what will become of our standby stacks of skinny jeans as the style tides turn to more relaxed fits, Talley Smith urges cautious hesitation before donating all of your skinnies.

“A great skinny is a given. And most girls have a mountain of them now.”


The High-Rise Slim
The high rise slim is kinda like a “mom jean” but…reclaimed, and we’re all about it. Once you embrace the intentional frumpiness of this style, it’s more versatile than you might have thought. Sneakers, flats, heels, boots: all are game. This jean is the new skinny–even if we’re not trashing those just yet either.

“…You want a great vintage wash in an updated fit rather than an ill-fitting vintage jean.”

The 70s Flare
The right wash is just as crucial as finding the right fit, especially if you’re opting for one of these vintage silhouettes. When it comes to this look, we always think of that occasion jean. That sort of glam, professional look that gives a little dressier, tailored vibe and looks great with a statement heel, regardless of your height.

And, if you’re not in the market to restock your wardrobe but want to modernize the denim you’ve got–Talley Smith shares this simple styling trick to keep things casual:

“I personally think the use of running shoes with denim now is interesting. A good Nike with an ankle skinny or even a boyfriend is fun. It makes it less serious.”

Denim dilemma solved. (For a look at how it’s done, check out this story styled by our senior style editor Alyssa Shapiro!)


Vince’s Got a Brand New, Chic, Minimalist Collection of Bags

Images via Ilan Rubin

I’ve relied on Vince for everything from cashmere to cotton boxy, minimal sweaters, to job-interview blouses with a cool edge–not to mention my very, very trusty (read: worn out) perforated black leather slip on-sneaks, for years now. So it’s a delightful surprise that we can all head over to Vince and place pre-orders on the company’s very first bag range TODAY.

The line breaks down into three mini-collections.

1. Vince Signature: composed of smooth, structured leather in clean silhouettes and featuring a signature notched “V.” Select styles also come in a super-sophisticated stamped croc

2. The Modern V: think slouchy pebbled leathers for medium and mini crossbodies

3. The Cut-Out Collection: Statement making silhouettes in graphic black + off-whites with sleek cut-outs and larger, carryall shapes

The bags come in chic, modern, understated colors that complement Vince’s clothing–classic nude and black, off-white, two blues: ‘coastal’ and ‘bright ocean blue,’ rhubarb red, and three (not 50) shades of grey: anthracite, stone, and steel.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got eyes for one of those croc-stamped bags. the colors are to-die-for and practically seasonless. Either way, there’s something for everyone.





Vince Has a New Creative Director

Vince spring/summer 2014 campaign photographed by Lachlan Bailey

Natalie Ratabesi, who recently stepped down as creative director of Philosophy, has now transitioned into the role of creative director at Vince. Before Philosophy, Ratabesi filled her resume with gigs at Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, and Ralph Lauren.

Ratabesi’s womenswear vision is based on the self-assurance women obtain from dressing well.

Karin Gregersen, president at Vince, confirms Ratabesi’s vision for the brand, telling WWD, “Natalie has a very modern sensibility, which is very close to the Vince DNA and core value, she really has a very sophisticated design sensibility. As we increase and elevate our fashion point of view, she’s such a critical part of this process for us. She creates silhouettes that are modern, understated and cool and understands our neutral, rich colour palette… I think she’ll really leverage our brand DNA.”

We’re eager to see the fruits of Natalie’s labor, which will debut for pre fall 2015.

Natalie Ratabesi

Chunky Sweaters For the Girl Living in a Perpetual Igloo

I don’t know about you, but I’m always cold. When others are feeling a bit chilly, I’m likely on the verge of frostbite. When I’m in an AC-blasting office or shop, I die a little inside. A cool breeze is the death of me, and I’ve learned to accept it. But this isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy the fall and winter seasons—in fact, layering is one of my favorite activities and discovering new outerwear is unusually satisfying. And it goes without saying that I love me a good chunky knit. So if you’re like me and keeping warm is a year-round struggle, here are a few sweaters that are as stylish as they are supportive.

Clockwise from left: Topshop Cable Knit Short Rib Jumper, $80; Rachel Comey Boatneck Sweater, $209; Vince High Low Sweater, $235; Edun Cropped Wool-Blend Cable Knit Sweater, $180; All Saints Rumos Drape Jumper, $120; Modekungen So You Sweater, $88.

BlackBook Staff Picks: Dining, Drinking, Shopping, & Staying

Here at BlackBook, we pay a lot of attention to where cool customers go out — bars, clubs, restaurants, shops, hotels, you name it. So why not flip the frame and let you see where we go out? Here’s a periodically updated, exhaustive list of hotspots currently favored by everyone at BlackBook, from the mighty bosses down to the humble interns, from the charming local lounges around the corner to the jet-setting temples of luxe living.

BLACKBOOK MEDIA CORP ● Chairman – Bob Hoff, Voyeur (LA) ● CEO – Ari Horowitz, W South Beach (Miami) ● Associate Publisher – Brett Wagner, Da Umberto (NYC) ● Director of Finance and Operations – Tim Umstead, Aquagrill (NYC) ● Corporate Counsel – Drew Patrick, El Ay Si (NYC) ● Executive Assistant – Bridgette Bek, Manhattan Inn (NYC)

EDITORIAL ● Creative Director – Jason Daniels, Morimoto (NYC) ● Vice President Content – Chris Mohney, This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef (NYC) ● Senior Editor – Nick Haramis, Freemans (NYC) ● Features Editor – Willa Paskin, The Sackett (NYC) ● Writer-at-Large – Alison Powell, Jean Philippe Patisserie (Las Vegas) ● Nightlife Correspondent – Steve Lewis, subMercer (NYC) ● Assistant Editors – Ben Barna, LeVack Block (Toronto), Cayte Grieve, Vince (NYC), Foster Ethan Kamer, Sel De Mer (NYC), Eiseley Tauginas, Maialino (NYC) ● Copy Editor – Michèle Filon, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink (Miami) ● Editorial Interns – Megan LaBruna, Crash Mansion (NYC), Averie Timm, Madiba (NYC), Hillary Weston, Les Halles (NYC), Annie Werner, DBGB (NYC), Ashley Simpson, Barcade (NYC), Michael Jordan, Destination Bar & Grill (NYC)

ART ● Art Director – Amy Steinhauser, Union Pool (NYC) ● Assistant Designer – Serra Semi, Five Points (NYC) ● Photography Assistant – Stephanie Swanicke, Provocateur (NYC) ● Freelance Designer – Krista Quick, Fornino (NYC)

FASHION & BEAUTY ● Fashion Editor – Christopher Campbell, Grand Sichuan International (NYC) ● Fashion Interns – Jillian K. Aurrichio, Greenhouse (NYC), Anabele Netter, Il Buco (NYC), Nicole Applewhite, Vanilla Bake Shop (NYC), Deanna Clevesy, Tao (NYC)

ADVERTISING ● Senior Account Executive – Dina Matar, Blue Duck Tavern (Washington, DC) ● Executive Director, BlackBook Access – Gregg Berger, Charles (NYC) ● Advertising Director – Michelle Koruda, Supper (NYC) ● Detroit Account Executives – Jeff Hannigan, The Lodge (Chicago), Kristen von Bernthal, Pukk (NYC) ● Midwest Account Executives – Susan Welter, Old Town Social (Chicago), Andrea Forrester, Tuman’s (Chicago) ● Southwest Account Executive – Molly Ballantine, The Tar Pit (LA) ● Northwest Account Executives – Catherine Hurley, Flora (Oakland), Shawn O’Meara, Nopalito (San Francisco)

MARKETING ● Marketing Manager – Julie Fabricant, Eponymy (NYC) ● Partnerships & Promotions Manager – Andrew Berman, Bozu (NYC) ● Interns – Adam Meshekow, Ronnybrook Milk Bar (NYC), Kayla Gambino, Grom (NYC), Marie Baginski, Stir (NYC)

DIGITAL ● Director of Development – Daniel Murphy, Standard (Miami) ● Developer – Bastian Kuberek, Greenhouse (NYC) ● Developer – Dan Simon, Hudson Terrace (NYC) ● Designer – Matt Strmiska, Uchi (Austin) ● Developer – Sam Withrow, Phone Booth (San Francisco) ● Quality Assurance Engineer – Sunde Johnson, Ginger’s Bar (NYC) ● Mobile Developer – Otto Toth, Alloro (NYC)