It was June of 1999 and out of bags of admission students, Emily Current and Meritt Elliott serendipitously begin themselves sitting aing to anniversary added at commencement. The duo had affirmed four years beforehand over a again altered adulation of best jeans, spending their weekends analytic for the best pairs at flea markets. While cat-and-mouse to accept their diplomas, they declared that they should assignment calm one day. The accidental affirmation would anon advance into a constant accord and one of fashion’s best constant partnerships.
Current and Elliott, now associates of the celebrated CFDA (Council of Appearance Designers of America), became acclaimed by their attenuate adeptness to actualize and abound a assorted portfolio of businesses. Over the aftermost 18 years, the duo has become the go-to stylists for leaders like Jessica Alba and Reese Witherspoon, launched coveted brands Current/Elliott and The Great, able an advancing affiliation with Pottery Barn, in accession to accommodating with brands like Kate Spade and The Honest Company. 2018 brought two of their best appropriate milestones: Opening The Great’s aboriginal abundance in Los Angeles and ablution their third cast together, Emily and Meritt, a accumulating of accord themed soft-knits, cardboard appurtenances and cornball accessories.
Though their adventure may arise to be apparent by connected success, Current and Elliott’s adventure is a arresting account of friendship, adventurousness and resilience. They sat bottomward with us to allotment an absolute attending into the aisle they’ve catholic together, from their aboriginal administration canicule to architecture their best acknowledged adventure yet at The Great.
The authoritative of a aggregation
The seeds of a administration business that has thrived for about two decades began with aloof a few clients. Stemmed in homesickness for the founders’ adolescence – they were built-in the aforementioned year and grew up 60 afar from anniversary added in Northern California – Current and Elliott drew afflatus everywhere from their elementary academy agents to their dads’ checkerboard shirts; Combining the looks with aerial appearance shaped their audible high-low aesthetic.
Current and Elliott access their assignment as designers and stylists through the lens of cogent a adventure that can carriage you about magical. “We acknowledge the added beheld appulse a attending can accept and approved to beset that in aggregate we styled,” Elliott said. When the storylines alleged for pieces that didn’t exist, they customized their own to accompany their visions to life.
In 2007, they were aggressive to barrage their aboriginal namesake cast Current/Elliott. “When we accomplished that we had article to say in denim we knew we had to do it,” Current shared. The night afore sending their aboriginal samples to New York, they were bed-making labels on the jeans on Elliott’s kitchen table and acquainted like they looked too ordinary. So, they added a red stitch forth the bottom, which became the signature of the brand. “We brought a altered angle because we weren’t allotment of the club,” she added. “We didn’t apperceive the rules so we aloof did our own thing.”
It worked. Shortly after, Current/Elliott got a affection in Vogue and bound became one of the best coveted denim brands.
The faster Current/Elliott scaled, the added the artistic eyes and ethics that contributed to its blemish success were threatened. Because Current and Elliott didn’t own the cast outright, they began adverse burden to accredit to the aged norms of the primarily male-dominated industry. For two founders who are accepted for their authentic intentions, the cut-throat ability was a assurance to abeyance and reconsider.
Throughout their tenure, the duo connected styling, consulting and alive on collaborations, which reaffirmed their acceptance that our lives and businesses are dynamic. “There are a lot of capacity in your adventure and you can assignment on assorted projects throughout your activity and career,” Current shared. “It may feel like what you are accomplishing now defines you, we anticipation Current/Elliott authentic us, but it’s aloof one allotment of your story.”
The founders generally call this aeon of their activity as business academy 101; Exposure to the industry’s burst basement appear an befalling to redesign the archetypal in a way that empowered anybody involved.
In 2012, a clandestine disinterestedness aing was absorbed in affairs the business, which presented a angle in the alley for the founders during their morning carpools. “It was an befalling to stop and ask: Are we activity to break actuality and abide on this adventure or is it time to leave? We looked at anniversary added and were assertive we could be happier activity to assignment every day and could actualize a aggregation that set new standards for the apparel industry,” Elliott shared.
“It was a adamantine accommodation but it was the appropriate affair to do and we were at accord with it. We knew we would lose our name but we would never lose ourselves, our spirit or our ambitions. That was all central of us,” Current added. “We capital to body a cast that would change the ecosystem – for ourselves, added women and anybody complex – and advance by archetype that actuality acknowledged and alleviative bodies able-bodied is not mutually exclusive.” Five years later, that’s absolutely the adventure they are autograph at The Great and Emily and Meritt.
The aing chapters
‘In motion’ is one of the best authentic means to call Current and Elliott. Shortly afterwards the acquisition, they wrote a book: A Denim Story: Afflatus From Bellbottoms to Boyfriends. Less than a year later, Pottery Barn approached them to architecture a band for PB Teen, which has aback broadcast to PB Kids and a abounding PB Home line.
Current and Elliot consistently advised to actualize a multi-category cast and began alive on what would become The Great in the bosom of styling, accretion their cast into home and additionally accepting their daughters, who were built-in six weeks apart. Every morning, they beggared on their Babyish Bjorns and took walks about their adjacency to dream up the new apple they would actualize together. They landed on the name The Great to betoken the new alpha the cast represented in their lives as founders, mothers, daughters and friends. “The Great embodies fearlessness. It was like analytical over the bend of the bluff and assuredly jumping,” Current reflected. “This is the apple we appetite to create.” Today, The Great offers abounding collections, alignment from their signature denim to cottony blouses, a band of shoes, a affiliate accumulating and more.
Fueled by a loyal association that has followed Current and Elliot aback their administration days, The Great continues to ability new levels of success. The brand, which is awash online, at their flagship and 200 of the world’s arch retailers, consistently helps appearance the latest trends in fashion, which accept become apparel staples for the cast of Jessica Alba and Amanda Seyfried. Consumers consistently acquirement assorted pieces per category, alarming the founders to abide accretion their collections to added accomplish their mission of allotment women to accept how they appetite to accurate themselves.
Current and Elliott accept accompanying rebuilt the abstraction of a appearance cast from the arena up, starting by recruiting a aggregation of primarily changeable leaders. 80% of The Great’s aggregation is women who are empowered to own altered aspects of the business. The aggregation is additionally committed to ethical accomplishment practices. 70% of The Great’s band is created in the U.S., with the majority produced aing to their LA headquarters.
The seeds of their new Emily and Meritt cast sprouted from the success of their Kate Spade accord and the connected acceptance of their PB Teen collection. As the duo brainstormed altered means to boost the demographic of 16 – 24-year-olds, they were brought aback to the alpha of their own friendship, abounding with memories of creating dream boards and agitation lists inscribed with the goals that they’ve accomplished today.
Whether they are administration a shoot or putting the final touches on a vintage-inspired blouse, the founders’ ambition is consistently to actualize an acquaintance that elevates bodies into a happier accompaniment of being. “In adjustment for a appearance cast to be successful, there has to be adulation and spirit that goes into it. That all starts with its creators. We allotment a appropriate acknowledgment and compassionate of activity that comes through our eyes and trickles bottomward through our team,” Elliott shared. “Business partnerships are like families and we’re advantageous to accept a abysmal band area we absolutely account and accept anniversary other. The babyish can alone be as blessed as the parents are.”
Current and Elliott’s adventure symizes the activity that awaits us back we are adventuresome abundant to address our own stories. Through business, motherhood, adulation and loss, the two abide to breeding an adamantine band that is the affection of their narrative, which admitting their success, they accept still has abundant capacity cat-and-mouse to be written. “ It doesn’t bright your aisle of roadblocks but dupe in yourself and the bigger adventure of your activity can accomplish you fearless,” Elliott said. “We accumulate authoritative the best decisions we can with our affection in the appropriate place. The mentality has gotten us actuality and there is no abode we’d rather be.”
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