Surf 'n' turf twin designers Chip & Pepper go back to their '80s roots just in time for the season's latest trend.
Versace’s doing it, H&M is copying it and every like-minded style maven is following suit. Think skinny jeans, plenty of purple and ankle booties. Yes, the ’80s are back — in a big Flashdance sort-of-way — so it really comes as no surprise that the surfer tie-die-obsessed Canadians, Chip & Pepper, have made a major resurgence in the fashion arena as of late. Launching a chic, oh-so-designer denim line in 2003, their popularity can be seen across the backsides of the infamous and not-so-famous across the nation and the globe. They’re cited as a must-have-designer to own from no other than industry bible WWD, and women everywhere are rebelling against their Citizens, forgetting to count their Sevens and backlashing against their True Religion in favour of a new denim god.
ELLE online sat down with the two blond brothers to dish on celebrity style, what they love about women and what they’d do if they only had one day left to live.
ELLE Canada: If you could dress any one celebrity (male and female), who would it be?
Chip: It is flattering when a celebrity wears your clothes, mostly because they get so much stuff for free and you know they can wear whatever they want. So when a celeb chooses Chip & Pepper, it means a lot.
Pepper: The thing about Chip & Pepper is that there isn’t one type of celebrity that you can align with us. It really spans the board with people who respond to our clothes. We don’t design to appeal to celebrities exclusively or because we hope they will end up on the red carpet. We want to make everyone feel good when they have our clothes on.
EC: What celebrity is in most need of a fashion makeover?
C: But that is so not us. We’re not really the makeover type. Chip & Pepper has always been about expressing one’s individuality, that is why we make so many styles, we have something for everyone.
P: Right … there isn’t really a perfect look or style. If we made someone over, it would be just to our personal taste. What is so great about fashion is that it is a way to express yourself, so there is really no right or wrong way to do it.
C: And who would we like to do a makeover on? I will leave that to all the amazing stylists out there! I hate when people say someone is a “bad dresser.” Everyone’s style is different, let’s embrace that. In Japan, everyone looks different. They are all so individual from their hair down to the shoes they wear. No one looks like anyone else, they all do their own thing and look incredible.
Our fall must-haves are in. Check them out here!
EC: What is your perfect idea of happiness?
P: Easy! When our whole family — me, Chip, our wives, our sons, our mom — are all together at our cabin at Lake of the Woods in Ontario!
C: You took the words right out of my mouth. There is nothing better than that.
EC: What is your greatest fear?
C: Opening the fridge and not having any beer.
P: Running out of gas on an L.A. freeway during rush hour!
EC: Who (or what) do you admire most?
C: As for people, my mother, my brother, my wife (who is the most amazing mother in the world). I admire hard work and individuality in a person; perseverance is so important.
P: Exactly. I admire all the strong women in my family. My wife, Vanessa, is such a beautiful mother and a great partner to me. My brother, my mom … she is able to handle me and Chip (that is a true hero!). I like people who take chances but in saying that, you have to be cautious as well. When we were younger we were so eager to grow our business that we did way too much way too soon. This time around we are more careful. We’re not an overnight success. There is always a back story that the public never hears about.
EC: What is your favourite trait of each other?
C: His good looks, obviously (laughing). Did you know we’re identical twins?
P: Chip has such great hair. Oh, and I like the brand of denim he always wears!
EC: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
P: When my son Hudson was born.
C: Nice one, Pep! For me, getting married was a huge thing in my life and when my son Lake was born this year, I was overwhelmed by it. Career-wise, it’s when Bruce Springsteen worked our jeans on the cover of the LA Times calendar section. We grew up rocking out to him so to see him wear our designs … that was insane.
EC: Favourite thing about a woman? A man?
P: When they’re wearing Chip & Pepper, of course!
EC: If you only had one day left to live, how would you spend it?
C: At Lake of the Woods having a big party with all my friends and family.
P: With lots of beer and Elman’s pickles!
EC: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
C: End world hunger, have world peace.
P: Everyone would be wearing our jeans!
C: Nicely put!
Chip & Pepper are available across Canada at Mendocino, Aritzia and select Holt Renfrew locations
Check out other great fall fashion finds here!