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Nativen is an American heritage workwear brand, for hands-on women with know how. 

From our curated collection of vintage pieces to our thoughtfully crafted USA-made workwear,  we are passionate about providing you with the kind of products you will love to live and work in.

We believe that you don't need more stuff. You need better stuff.

 

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Filtering by Tag: denim

The Ladies of Desert & Denim - Amy Leverton: Denim Dudette

Lily Hetzler

A tour de force, and seemingly endless fountain of energy, Amy is the kinda woman to bring excitement to any room she steps into.  She strikes the perfect balance between child-like spontaneity, and a confident command that could stop a snake in it's path.  As the founder of Denim Dudes, and Dudettes, she's got more than a decade and a half of blue jean expertise under her belt.  On our latest jaunt to the dusty town of Joshua Tree we chatted with her about rock icons and leading ladies. Hope you enjoy her charm, as much as we did...

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Amy:    My name is Amy Leverton, and I am a denim consultant and forecaster, and the author of two books Denim Dudes and Dudettes. 

Nativen:    What is your favorite stress relieving hobby? 

Amy:    Oh, wow. What am I going to say? Hiking, mate…  I was going to say my ultimate night in is pinning shit on Pinterest and watching inane Netflix stuff.
But actually properly relaxing, or if I'm upset, or down, or stressed, getting up on that hill. It really helps. I grew up in the countryside, and that's why I love LA, because I live in the city but I can get into the countryside. If you're in a good mood, it’ll make you ecstatic. If you're in a bad mood, you come back happy. 

Nativen:    Yeah, it's a total brain cleaner. It's the best. 
Who's the woman who's inspired you the most? 

Amy:    Well, I mean, there's lots of people. Of course, I'm close to my mom, and there's a lot of things that I've inherited from her that are good qualities. But in the denim industry, I think I'd have to say someone like Lynn Downey, who is the head of the Levi's archive, because she's come at denim from another point of view, from and archivist and historian point of view. We, the denim industry, just owe her a lot for putting all that together. Because obviously, Levi's holds a lot of history. She's just retired now. 
But I guess as a woman, and I'm getting older now, as well, it's just really wonderful seeing a badass woman in the industry who everyone reveres and everyone looks up to. She told me a story once. She was in Tokyo and she walked into a vintage store. She was just minding her own business. This guy looks up and goes, "Oh, Lynn Downey san." She was like, "That's the best thing." In Tokyo, of course, they think denim is the bee's knees. That would never happen anywhere else. Just that story and the fact that she got to this status, because of just knowing a lot about denim and the history of Levi's is really cool. 

Nativen:    That's a great one. 
Three women you'd love to sit around the campfire with, dead or alive. 

Amy:    I know many women will choose suffragettes, activists and very serious ladies but this is a campfire, right? I honestly can't think of anything worse than feeling totally out of my depth trying to sound intellectual and hold conversation with someone far superior than me. So I would go for women I know are going to entertain me, keep it real and teach me about life. I want women around me who I can connect with on their level.
For that reason, first up I'm going with Whoopie Goldburg! My first memory of Whoopie was in The Color Purple which I think totally destroyed me! But she's just badass and maternal and I can imagine her getting us all screaming with laughter too. Just a firecracker of a lady. My other thought would be Joanna Lumley for similar reasons but there's something incredibly 'overflowing' about Whoopie that I just love. 
Barbara Kruger is an amazing artist but she's self-depreciating, down to earth and straight talking. She's not my favourite artist (although obviously I do love her) but in my work in trend forecasting, her themes just speak to me SO strongly that I think I'd just hang on her every word. She talks about feminism, sexism, consumerism, hype... everything thats so relevant to today's culture and she'd just add a badass touch to the campfire vibes.
I love books and I adore the amazingly repressed passion throughout British history! I am totally obsessed with the Tudors but I would be waaay too scared to sit beside Queen Elizabeth 1st so my historical gal pal would be Jane Austin. To write what she wrote in her lifetime, I feel like she would have this incredibly romantic character and a million boy stories. My dating style is way more suited to the 18th Century so we'd have a lot to talk about! She might be a bit too stuffy n shy though so if she's not gelling with the group can I just kick her out?
Ooh! In fact what about Stevie Nicks?! She's be amazing. So Jane Austin but if she's being a bore then lets get Stevie Nicks in, half pissed on a gin n tonic and that'll get us back on track!

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Nativen:    Quick words of wisdom to anyone who's looking to pursue their creative dream. Like a nugget of advice you would offer them. 

Amy:    Well, I think that ... This is a personal taste thing. I don't like people who get too into themselves and lose that child-like quality of exploration and open-mindedness. I just think it’s important to stay open-minded. If you don't like something, you run towards it and you try and find out why you don't like it, and maybe you can understand it better.  Rather than just being like, "I don't like that."
Also, I was given this advice by my ex-boss. She's a badass, and was the head of design at Donna Karan at 30 years old. Someone said to her "How are you at this point, at this time in your life?" She just looks at her and said, "Work twice as hard as everyone else." 

Nativen:    If you could spend a day in someone else's jeans, who would it be? 

Amy:    Oh. Probably like Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin in his really tight jeans in the '70s, or Bruce Springsteen on the album cover. The 501s. Yeah. 

Nativen:    Oh, 100%. Yes. 
Last question. Three things you can't live without. 

Amy:    Ooh. I should probably be more spiritual, but ... Sleep. I'm useless without sleep, and I don't get enough of it. At present, probably like everyone else, unfortunately, my iPhone, because I use Instagram and all that, so it's not very spiritual, but functional. 
I guess just people. Being surrounded by positive people or inspirational people. Just people make your world. 

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Interview by: Lily Hetzler

Photography by: Ashley Turner

This interview has been condensed & edited

all images copyright of Nativen

The Ladies of Desert & Denim - Susie Shaughnessy: Crawford Denim Vintage

Lily Hetzler

Susie has that kind of smile that's utterly contagious.  With a glint in her eye, that's half momma's girl charm, and half cheeky jokester.  Susie Shaughnessy is the founder of Crawford Denim and Vintage, a small batch denim brand and vintage shop that's all about community. On our most recent trip to the desert we sat down with Susie for a quick chat about the women who inspire her the most, and the things she can't live without.

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Susie:        My name is Susie Shaughnessy and I'm the owner and designer for Crawford Denim & Vintage.

Nativen:    What is your favorite stress relieving hobby?

Susie:    It might be dancing in the middle of my living room. When I'm super stressed out, Huey Lewis comes on... Anything bad 80s I really like to dance to.

Nativen:    Oh, now I'm gonna have to enlist that into my routine.

Susie:    Yeah, that's my guilty pleasure.

Nativen:    Who's the woman who's inspired you the most?

Susie:    Our mom. Yeah. She was a really great artist and was super fun. Always made everybody feel like they were part of the family and she threw great parties and was just super creative, but also super down to earth and ... That's who we looked up.

Nativen:    What a wonderful model.

Susie:    Yeah, she was really encouraging to a lot of people. Our dad is a football coach at a high school and for years they had kids live with him before they ever had any of us, so there's a whole entourage of men that are 10, 15 years older than we are that are our brothers that they actually fostered throughout school and college and everything.

Nativen:    Wow.

Susie:    When our mom passed away, it was hard for our whole community, not just our family, because she took care of a lot of people. We had no idea that she was paying for people's prom dresses, and making sure that they had school supplies and our parents had arranged for a bunch of scholarships for a lot of the students, because it was a private school, and they just made sure that anybody who wanted to go there could afford to. We're a family of five kids on one schoolteacher's salary and they just made a lot happen and it was all because of her. She just knew how to make everybody feel welcome.

Nativen:    How cool. I love that. Three women you would love to sit around the campfire with, dead or alive.

Susie:    Oh, I don't know, I have to think about that. Our old art teacher, Wendy Sussman. Maggie [Susie’s sister] was her TA in school, and she was from New york and always wore black and she had this crazy, curly hair. It was just so incredible to ... first she was really off-putting, and then by the end of your semester you just wanted more of her craziness. Seeing her face and really motivating you. But yeah, she was an incredible person, I want to know what she thinks of now. Oprah. I think she's just so fascinating. She's got such an interesting history and she just keeps on moving and creating something new, and different all the time. Trying to think of a third person. I think it would be Joan Jett.

Nativen:    Yeah! That's a really interesting combination too.

Susie:    That's kind of all three parts of me.

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Nativen:    Definitely sums it up for you. Okay, so words of wisdom or a nugget of advice that you'd offer to someone that's looking to pursue their creative career path?

Susie:    I think it's always good to have a balance in what you're doing. If you're only creative and don't know how to do the finances you're going to get in trouble later. Even if you don't do it yourself, you should know how to do it. Because I find that with a lot of creatives, both men and women, if they leave it to somebody else they end up losing their business. And I've watched a lot of friends who's brands are their names, lose their names. It's a shame, how you can lose your signature, to somebody else because you just didn't know how to protect your financial side. We're creative, you can come up with a million ideas and do a bunch of stuff and people are going to be influenced by you and take part of your ideas and you just need to know how to financially take care of yourself and make sure the books are taken care of, and all your permits are done. Because it would be terrible to lose your own identity and brand because you don't know that side of business.

Nativen:    Yeah, absolutely. If you could spend a day in someone else's jeans, who would it be?

Susie:    Ooh, I like that. I think it would be Bart Sights. I used to work with him a long time ago at Levi's, and I just think that man's a genius and their family is so incredible. I think what Bart's doing with Eureka is really fascinating. He's really making it look authentic, but still bringing in technology and moving the entire industry forward and trying to be sustainable with water and resources. That man's a genius.

Nativen:    Last question, three things you can't live without.

Susie:    Oh! That's easy. Salsa. It's just always in my refrigerator. We had this conversation, the three things that are always in your fridge. But also, coffee, and I think something to do. I never stop moving.

Nativen:    So, Salsa, coffee and a good project.

Susie:    Yeah, exactly.

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Interview by: Lily Hetzler

Photography by: Ashley Turner

This interview has been condensed & edited

all images copyright of Nativen