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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Republican Party

Last week, New York's fashionable, beautiful, moneyed and hip (and the odd lucky duck) united at Beatrice Inn to celebrate the beginning of summer, courtesy of West Coast jeans-makers Rock & Republic. LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy was on deck duty as a generous all-night open bar fueled a crowd that included gorgeous film scion Eva Amurri, jewelry designer Philip Crangi, rage-prone May Andersen and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler. Le Tigre's JD Samson and Australian indie cutie Sia were by far the coolest couple in the room (and so smitten it hurt to watch), while Kirsten Dunst and Andre Balazs showed up past midnight, proving that Beatrice is still a hot boîte. Between refills and dancing to everything from the Beatles to M.I.A., we chatted with ever-sweet Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, the denim brand's art director who just finished its fall campaign featuring her brother, Vladimir...

Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, her BF Magnus Berger & R&R's Andrea Bernholtz / James Murphy

Elite model Harley Viera-Newton / May Andersen

How was it to work with your brother? Did you like bossing him around?
Ha! It's always fun to boss your brother around, but that wasn't the reason I suggested and cast him as a model. Actually, I wasn't going to use a male model unless he was someone authentic with a rock look. Vladimir seemed perfect. He's not a model anymore, but still has enough experience to do a great job, and he has the right look and attitude. I didn't have to boss him around. I just wanted him to be himself.

We assume you, like everyone, loves jeans. How many pairs do you have?
I actually don't have so many. But there is one favorite pair I've owned for more than ten years. It's a pair of rough A.P.C. jeans and I would never wash them, just dry clean so they would keep the perfect color and shape. After a while, they fit me so perfectly that it looked like they were molded onto my body. But stupidly, I decided it was time to put them in the washing machine and they lost their perfect shape and color. I still own them though. They're one of my classics that I hope to fit back into one day.

What's your favorite way to wear jeans?
Jeans are meant to be casual clothes. I used to like them only with heels because they make a better silhouette. But I also like them with a simple T-shirt or a men's shirt—nothing over-the-top. I like the boyish side of wearing denim.

What would you like to bring to Rock & Republic? Does your French background inform your work?
Rock & Republic is an L.A.-based brand, and I think it's very important for me to keep this in mind. However, I think it was important to bring the French touch, plus the New York touch, since this is where I am based. I always thought Rock & Republic was a great name and I really wanted to push the image in a tougher yet glamourous direction so that it would reflect its name better. I think it's the mix of these three very different influences that allowed us to create such a strong campaign. The team on the shoot was half Californian, with photographer Mark Segal and stylist Keegan Singh, and half European living in New York. So it was a great mix.

What are your plans for summer?
I think I will go to Ibiza in August, for the third year in a row. It will be a real retreat—no clubbing or techno music, just reading, eating and relaxing. It sounds quite boring, but I always feel the best when I return from there.

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