Terrance Sullivan may have the secret to making women happy: jeans tailored to the female form.
A Detroit native, Sullivan went from Cass Tech to New York, where he worked in the fashion district and, later, designed contemporary jeans under a different label. His own collection debuted in December 2007.
Terrance Sullivan jeans are now available online and in-store, including his new shop in Birmingham. This fall, his line will be in U.S. specialty stores and high-end boutiques; he’s also in talks with department stores.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s already garnered a celebrity following. Taylor Swift, Kristen Stewart, Nicole Richie, Audrina Patridge, and Halle Berry are fans.
What’s the difference between your jeans and, say, a regular pair of Levi’s?
They’re designed and handcrafted for a woman’s body with specific features you won’t find on other jeans. All jeans out there are made up with two-piece waistbands cut and sewn together to form a big circle for the waistline of a man. My jeans’ four-piece waistband is contoured to give a snugger fit and alleviates rear gapping. Front-leg panels are cut smaller, giving a slimming effect to the leg. I don’t use metal rivets [which are] only sexy if you’re a coal miner. Rounded rear pockets were designed to complement a woman’s assets. Pockets have imported Pima cotton and denim has a little stretch, helping to keep the jeans snug so they don’t grow with extended use. [The] jeans can be worn inside out, so it’s like getting two pairs.
Why denim and not dresses or shoes?
In New York City, I worked specifically with denim, so I had the most experience in that area. Also, from a wardrobe perspective, denim jeans are the cornerstone for women of today. There’s nothing sexier than a woman in a great pair of jeans. [And] having a business model with dresses and other things is difficult and is like starting a new business every six months. I have aspirations to grow into a fuller ready-to-wear collection.
What’s your favorite denim trend?
I vibe with classic pieces that make a statement and complement the body. The current collection is dominated by zippers, because I’m inspired by the notion of forced merger. I took a zipper, traditionally a functional piece, and designed it in a purely aesthetic way. Currently, I have skinny, straight, cropped, and wide leg with a killer 3-inch cuff, which is my favorite.
2245 Cole St., Birmingham; 248-635-9818, terrancesullivan.com.