Why everyone from Vogue is hooked on her jeans.
- 05 March 2013
- Alex Zagalsky
If you haven't heard if Donna Ida, you're probably not a jeans junkie - no bad thing, but log on to her eponymous website and chances are you'll catch the denim bug too. You may love your faithful Topshop Motos, but enter the realm of the camo skinny, boyfriend baggy and kaleidoscopic second-skin and you'll realise what you've been missing out on.
Donna Ida, AKA the Queen of Jeans, launched her business after she realised that there was nowhere truly dedicated to this crucial wardrobe staple - her site stocks all the high end labels from Current/Elliott to Victoria Beckham, as well as accessories, tees, knits, jackets and blouses.
Last January, Donna took the bold step of launching her own denim brand, IDA, and in this short time, she's garnered a cult following (I noted before this interview that Lauren Laverne regularly tweets her for collection updates and Lorraine Candy, Editor of Elle, is a big fan too). So when I was invited to one of her 'denim clinics' , I was eager to see what all the fuss was about.
Originally from Australia, Donna is radiant, petite and polished with a mane of poker straight blonde hair. She's warm and utterly charming but it's clear from the onset that she is immersed in what she does.
She explains, 'Women are as picky about their jeans as they are about their swimwear. They need to flatter. You come under a lot of scrutiny when you wear jeans, more so than any other kind of clothing, so they have to fit perfectly and give you confidence.'
'I've listened to so many clients over the years about what they want from a denim label, and IDA is my response. High waisted jeans that elongate the legs, flatter the silhouette and lift the bum, that's what we all want, whether it's with a skinny fit or a flare.'
At this point, I'm dying to try some on, not least because the table in front of me is strewn with pieces from her current collection (plus I want to road test the bum lift!). I try the Noir Dreamtime skinnies in black with white swirls inspired by the art of aboriginal cave drawings. They fit… like a dream! These are expensive jeans (£165) but they feel expensive and they look expensive; it's like they've been engineered to mould to the body.
In many ways they have, since Donna explains with technical precision the design subtleties that enhance the fit: small pockets positioned to lift the bottom, delicate stitching that 'pulls' your gaze upward, tightened hips that carry the weight of the denim for looser styles (no more cellophane thighs!). The product speaks for itself.
Her silk blouses are also sell-outs (see her iconic Mrs Thatcher pussy bow shirts, above) as are her super soft, ultra fine cashmere knits (the grey V necks have nearly all gone). In fact Donna sources all her fabrics in the UK, because according to her, 'they're the best.' This explains why her prices are that bit higher than most start-up labels.
She may not have the notoriety of someone like Isabel Marant just yet, but this label is growing a strong identity.
Next fall, there are more surprises in store as Donna expands her range into jackets, beanies and even leg warmers - look out too for her floral explosion jeans, she's wearing them in the main picture above and I suspect they'll be a big hit with fashion editors later this year.