J BRAND ♡ @STEPH_SHEP
THE ENTREPRENEUR AND INSTAGRAM STAR DISCUSSES THE EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED-EDITION #LITTLEBLACKJEAN SHE DESIGNED JUST FOR J BRAND.
*The #LittleBlackJean has been restocked—shop it now.
Hers is a classic American tale, one of a young woman who moves across the country in pursuit of her dreams: When Stephanie Shepherd first moved to LA from her native Ohio back in 2009, she had very little in her possession save for her ambitions: of career success as an entrepreneur, of an idyllic LA life, perhaps even of stardom.
“I love everything about LA: the weather, the culture, that there is so much to explore and so many places to go. I love being surrounded by forward-thinkers,” Steph waxes about her now-home. “I literally learn something new every day here. I owe so much to this city: the opportunities and the friends that I've made. I am grateful to have found a home here.”
Shepherd grew up an avid student of dance. Once in LA, she established herself firmly in the celebrity world, as a longtime assistant for the Kardashian family. Now, she has a lucrative profession as an influencer in her own right, along with innumerable fashion and beauty collaborations under her belt and more to come.
But as a young whippersnapper just trying to make it in LA, Shepherd says, she knew very little about the worlds of celebrity and style. She saved as much money as she could for her one fantasy fashion purchase: a brand-new pair of J BRAND jeans.
“One of my first fashion memories was when I was introduced to J BRAND. I remember seeing all the celebrities in the weeklies wearing them,” Steph shares. “I wanted a pair so badly, but I barely could afford rent, so I saved my money for months in order to make my first wardrobe investment: a pair of super-skinny, low-rise black jeans from J BRAND. I was so excited that I wore them every day, every night. I actually had them until just recently, but had to donate them because I can't fit them anymore, haha. Hopefully some young girl will wear them and feel the good juju.”
The tables have now magnificently turned: Shepherd—who prefers to go by her Instagram identity, @Steph_Shep—has taken the reigns right here at J BRAND, designing her very own limited-edition jean.
“I’ve lived in black skinny jeans for probably the last seven years; it’s my uniform. Many of J BRAND’s styles have been in my everyday rotation,” Steph explains of her initial inspiration. “Knowing the fits and cuts really helped to dial in the style I wanted to work with. I knew that the Maria was one of my favorite styles, so we had a familiar jumping-off point to start the process.”
Inspired by her love affair with the brand, Steph set out to put her own unique spin on our iconic Maria high-rise super-skinny fit—with an even higher rise and snugger fit through the leg. The style is constructed of our iconic Photo Ready denim, and the entire pant “slurps you in,” as Steph puts it; the lace-up front lends a unique detail for an added cool vibe.
“I love a lace-up! I always gravitate toward that style; I think it creates a really sleek look,” Steph says of the detail. “For some women, myself included, the tummy area can be an insecurity, and I think the lace-up offers a little extra support.”
The #LittleBlackJean by @Steph_Shep is available now, exclusively here on jbrandjeans.com.
“This design can be a staple for every woman; it can be dressed up or down, and I hope it fits into everyone’s wardrobe,” Steph says. “I wanted it to be something that both my mom-friends back in Ohio and my fashion-friends in LA can wear and really make their own. The lace-up adds a touch of style, yet it's still understated. The denim is comfortable and stretchy, which is my favorite part!
“When in doubt, wear it with a white tee,” Steph advises. “Don’t overthink it. I’m very much a less-is-more kind of girl, so I like to pair a good jean with a good basic. Then it's classic.”