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UCLA

Denim Duo

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By Trishna Patel

Published Oct 27, 2011 3:10 PM


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(l-r) Dakota Fanning, Rachel Bilson and Sarah Jessica Parker are all fans of Current/Elliott jeans. Photos courtesy of denimblog.com.

It's Oscars night 2011. Singer and actress Mandy Moore is about to perform "I See The Light," nominated for Best Original Song from the movie "Tangled." By her side—amidst the backstage madness—are her stylists Emily Current ‘99 and Meritt Elliot'99.

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The designer/ stylist duo. Photo courtesy of Starworks Group.

"It's one thing to have successful styling jobs," says Current. "But to pull it together for a live show is very rewarding."

Along with Moore, Current and Elliott boast a notable array of Hollywood clientele, from Emma Roberts to Fiona Apple. And in addition to their talent as stylists, they are primarily responsible for today's hot boy-jean trend and boast one of the most sought-after lines in the highly competitive world of fashion denim, Current/Elliott. This past August, the Los Angeles Times Image section predicted that the duo's jeans were, "bound to show up on trend-conscious girls everywhere."

Sociology majors Current and Elliott came to UCLA with no specific career goals. "We wanted to explore," says Current, who originally enrolled as a ballet dancer in World Arts and Cultures, while Elliott was recruited as a nationally ranked swimmer. Between classes, the self-proclaimed "hippie chicks" bonded during weekend trips to local flea markets and visits to their favorite vintage shops. At commencement, they sat next to each other—wearing vintage dresses under their robes—and promised to keep in touch and collaborate.

Their first break came in image development for Interscope Records, and soon they were styling every new band signed to the label. "We complemented each other well," says Current, who prefers the "fantasy" of editorial design over Elliott's inclination to mainstream, commercial work. "We developed together as young artists and witnessed each other's journey."

They also learned to "cultivate and nurture" relationships and reciprocate the support offered to them. Their rapport with Serge Azria and his company Joie led to a consulting job and an opportunity to create the Current/Elliott denim brand.

The women attribute their success to their camaraderie and knack for adventure. New denim lines are as common as the corner Starbucks; yet they remember thinking "there was something missing." It's hard to imagine but "at the time there were no baggy-styled jeans on the market," says Current. "We knew we had a good thing."

Good? Try great. Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Sarah Jessica Parker can't get enough.

Not too shabby for women who weren't thinking about fashion before coming to Los Angeles. "As a sociology major, you can be strongly influenced by your environment," Elliott says.

"We have a specific world view that translates into a lot of different categories of clothing," adds Current. "Denim was the perfect first step for us."

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