When Lucy Pinter and Flora Evans established Superfine in 2003, it’s possible they didn’t know at the time they were pioneering an entirely new silhouette that has become a mainstay among the numerous denim styles. The concept for the line, or rather at the time, the skinny jean, came about in the most authentic way. Lucy was styling at the time and regularly needed, but couldn’t find, a skinnier denim jean. After taping extra fabric back on shoots long enough, Evans convinced Pinter to make her own. At the time, the girls were immersed in the late 90s, early 2000s rock ‘n’ roll London culture without any shortage of eventual clients. The jeans blew up when Kate Moss was photographed in The Daily Mail wearing Superfine jeans. Recently, Pinter moved herself and the brand to LA and has allowed the brand to grow and evolve into a more well-rounded collection. Fine by Superfine, a contemporary counterpart to the designer collection, will launch in stores in Spring 2016.
Did you always know that you wanted a career in fashion?
Not at all. I traveled throughout my early 20’s. I really loved photography but after settling in London and meeting Judy Blame, I decided fashion was my thing.
You started out as a celebrity stylist, how easy was it for you to make the transition to designer?
The transition was fairly organic. A huge amount of work, but it all happened naturally. I styled until Superfine made enough money for me to stop.
Who was your most memorable client to style for a shoot?
There have been so many. Especially back in the day. But Amy Winehouse was pretty memorable. Maybe partly due to what happened to her and her career after that first album (when I styled her) but she was a very memorable, special little lady.
How did you develop the concept for your label Superfine?
There was no real concept. I wanted to make a cool skinny jean. Ramones style, but more fashion. Amazing to think of it now, but back then no one made one. I taped jeans from everyone else tight. I wanted something clean and it was impossible to find. Denim then was all LA indigo’s (Paper Denim Cloth, etc). McQueen did some nice bits but nothing skinny so my friend Judy suggested I “bloody well make some.” So I asked a friend, Flora Evans, to partner with me and the crazy journey began.
What is the meaning behind the name?
Flora and I used to refer to clothing as “she.” She’d call and say “Are you wearing her tonight?” I’d say “Yep” and she’d reply, “She’s fine!” And so Superfine was born…Flora knew a band by the same name. She had to call them and ask them if it was ok if we use the name! Luckily, it was.
When you started Superfine in 2003, what was your vision? How has it evolved?
I’m not sure we had any vision really…It’s a truly authentic story unlike so many now. We were just two young girls who wanted to make cool stuff. And then we learned very hard and fast about the business when it blew up after Kate Moss wore our first sample on the cover of The Daily Mail! It’s evolved so completely into something different now. I grew up and the brand grew up with me. Denim became an utterly saturated market with other brands running very successfully with the non-branded skinny and I moved to more complicated rock skinny jeans. Things that were our own, harder to copy. The brand has no denim anymore. We have taken the denim and sweat and more every day tees and put them into our new contemporary line, Fine by Superfine. Superfine is now a very high end label, completely produced in Italy (very, very rare these days) with a rock feel but a more luxury feel. I’m 44 now, and I love beautiful fabrics and finishings. I’m so lucky to be able to continue working with them.
In what ways has relocating to California influenced your brand?
The most obvious is that we now have a real US business model. I now have partners who run the brand in a much more business-like way. We deliver on time, we have people in place to cover all our bases from customer service to press and marketing and strategy for growth. It’s what we always needed. In terms of design, I think we listen to the US market a little more as this is where we are launching properly for the first time. I’ll add a lighter palette and maybe a few more dresses, but Superfine still has a more edgy, European feel. Fine by Superfine is more contemporary and this is the line where you will see more color, sweats and Pimas, which is perfect for US
Your pieces are synonymous with comfort and luxe style. Was it difficult to integrate those two concepts?
Thank you! Not difficult really because I’m still working with such a star Italian team and the best fabrics.
If you could collaborate with any designer to create a collection, who would it be?
Rick Owens. He’s still my hero.
How do you define your personal style?
Bit of a rock’n’roll hippy I guess…It depends a little on where I am. I make more of an effort when I’m in Paris!
What’s your favorite pair of Superfine jeans to wear?
Rebel. It has been for a while…I wear them almost every day in LA.
What’s the best advice you’ve received about starting a fashion label?
Be tenacious. Concentrate on doing good work. It’s a tough business, but if you love the actual work, you’re being fed creatively. I try to shut the rest out.