The Cheap Monday denim pool is extensive: founded in 2004, the Swedish brand made its debut with 800 pairs of jeans boasting the now iconic skull logo – today its operation fills about 1,800 stores globally.
And while the offering has grown to include PVC, faux fur, velvet and more (think jackets, dresses, boots and the rest), denim remains at its core. From black drainpipes in which you can breathe (just), to XL sized stonewash silhouettes, Carl Malmgren’s team have every combo covered.
With tips to up your denim game, below Cheap Monday's Head of Denim offers a guide to buying up all the styles. Because if there’s one thing that fails to slip from north of one's want/need/absolutely must have now list, you can bank on it being a solid pair of jeans.
So what are the most important things to look for when seeking a new pair of jeans?
When shopping for jeans I think the most important thing is to be picky about the fit. If it doesn´t feel 100% right, you most likely will never wear it; your denim is supposed to be your best friend following you wherever you go, you know! The best thing is to visit a good store that has staff that knows denim – use them to find your perfect pair.
What are the key Cheap Monday styles right now?
We have been inspired by the long history of customising denim for our PRE SS17 line, which is the most recent addition we have – it has just dropped into stores. The key look is, of course, the altered, re-tooled jeans with front split seams, uneven frayed bottom hems and moved back pockets. We have also tapped into early punk and new wave by playing around a bit with classic bondage styling with D-rings, zippers and black leather-like coatings for winter. Wider silhouettes are mixed up with our classic skinnies.
If I had to call out some must-have fits…. Tight is always a go-to if you want classic Cheap Monday styling, as it is our original fit, aside from that in women’s, Donna is a really cool take on the mom jean with 90’s inspired washes and details, as well as Common which has an easy loose fit and shredded hems. Men should dig into Work Denim, our relaxed tapered fit which is perfect for every day, it looks so cool on, we also have a fit called In-Law, which is a seasonal denim tapered and slightly cropped.
And what about the different washes, do you have a favourite?
I really like the Common ‘Alter Black’. It is a slightly more roomy women’s fit with a straight leg, in a worn black wash with front splits and an uneven frayed hem. The same type of look is available in Tight ‘Morphed Black’. I also like the black coatings in our super skinny Spray On fits a lot. As a brand that is largely about every shade of black, we really have some great washes to explore with details in the textures and shades we offer.
So what’s your number one from Cheap Monday’s catalogue – past or present?
Oh, so many to choose from! We have done a lot of weird stuff that I really like. One favourite from the past that comes to mind is the fit called Atomic. It is an A-Line shape with the widest leg opening I have seen. It was made for a fashion show a couple of seasons back, but was so popular that we had to produce a small quantity for people to buy. And I have to say that today my own favourite fit is Sonic – it is the slim fit that I wear every day.
Sounds cool. So finally, who’s your denim style icon?
I don't really have one classic icon, but I remember being a teenager I had a picture of Henry Rollins with Black Flag on my bedside table wearing only worn out Levi´s and Vans. That image stays with me all the time.
Styles pictured: Donna, a high rise comfort fit with tapered jeans; Tight, a medium rise slim fit with slim legs (unisex); Sonic, another medium rise slim fit with slim legs; High Spray, with a high waist skinny leg made from a stretch/soft denim.