Photographed by Anna Victoria Best.


H&M Designer Kelly Harrington Shows Off Her Enviable Denim Collection

From ripped to fitted, you’ll want them all

by Kelly Harrington

The following feature appears in the August 2016 issue of NYLON.

My fondest denim memories come from my teenage years during the ’90s. For my 17th birthday I begged my parents to buy me a Levi’s trucker jacket. To this day I still wear that jacket and love it the older it gets—it’s battered but in surprisingly good condition considering it’s been around the world with me. It’s like my safety jacket. 

I don’t consciously save all of my denim, but I’m quite nostalgic about my clothing. (I’ll admit to having a big memory box of denim styles I don’t wear but keep for sentimental reasons.) I’ve been working in the fashion industry for 14 years and denim is something I wear 90 percent of the time. I spend my day-to-day researching and analyzing ever-changing fashion trends, but denim has become my go-to, my constant. 

Click through the gallery to read the rest of the feature.

I wear and collect all sorts of denim and indigo, from swaths of fabric all the way to boro kimonos and happi coats. I like classic, vintage, new, patchwork, threadbare, and workwear styles. One of my most prized finds is my pair of 1940s denim sailor pants, which I picked up at the Inspiration L.A. fair in Los Angeles, a specialist buyers’ fair for vintage lovers. They fit perfectly with a wide cropped style and have great lace-up detailing at the back waistband.

Discovering new denim trends and brands when I’m traveling is my biggest thrill. I’ve been visiting Asia for over a decade and I’m still mesmerized by it. I particularly love the Japanese brand Kapital for its unique handcrafted feel (I have a great pair of their 10 oz. denim overall apron-style pants I purchased during a trip to Tokyo in 2015), and the quirkiness of Korean brand SJYP. I’m equally at home in a pair of Paige skinny jeans. The fit for me is perfect and can easily be worn with a heel or sneaker. My go-to jean right now is a cropped kick-flare shape from J Brand.

On my last count, my collection reached about 120 pieces. I store it all in my walk-in wardrobe, categorized by shape and style. But I’m rapidly outgrowing this—I need another storage solution!