I make no secret of the fact that I am obsessed with jeans. More than shoes, bags and yes, even jewelry, denim is my ultimate weakness. So can you imagine the extent to which I completely and utterly geeked out upon meeting Koral’s head denim designer, Nicole King-Burroughs, a few weeks back. It was girl crush at first sight!
Not only is Nicole one of the coolest women you’ll ever meet, but she knows an insane amount about jeans. You would too if you worked at Gap, 7 For All Mankind, Mavi and AG. Obviously, I couldn’t let her get away without picking her brain–here’s what you need to know.
SHEfinds: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into denim design? Where were you before Koral? How did you make your way to Koral?
Nicole King-Burroughs: I went to Parsons School of Design in NYC and received an internship at Gap my senior year. I was hired as the design assistant to the Women’s Design Director after I graduated.
They gave me one category to focus on–denim. 7 years later, I became the Design Director for the first 1969 Collection.
Before Koral I worked for Mavi Jeans, Ralph Lauren, Guess Jeans, AG, 7 For All Mankind, Rich and Skinny, DWP and Ever.
I worked for Peter Koral and Rick Crane designing the women’s collection for 7 For All Mankind. They called me 6 months ago and asked me to design the Koral Collection. I was honored and jumped at the opportunity to be reunited with my denim family.
SF: What’s one surprising thing the average woman doesn’t know about denim?
NKB: 62% of Americans do not wash their jeans. We call these individuals “denim enthusiasts.” They eliminate bacteria by placing their jeans in the freezer for 6 hour then thaw and wear. I have a few special pairs that I’m adamant about the “thaw & go” technique.
SF: What’s the most universally flattering denim silhouette (skinny, bootcut, etc)?
NKB: The flare leg accentuates curves, or creates the illusion of curves!
SF: What’s the more universally flattering denim wash?
NKB: Dark washes are the most flattering–consider a dark denim jean the LBD of the denim world.
SF: What’s the #1 denim mistake you see women make?
NKB: Quite a few women have a small waist and a fuller bottom. A mid-rise or high-rise jeans is great for a petite waist. It creates an hourglass illusion.
SF: What’s the one pair of jeans every woman regardless of body type should own?
NKB: Our relaxed skinny is awesome. It can be worn with a great sneakers, or an elegant heel.
SF: How many pairs of jeans do you own?
NKB: 241. I am not a hoarder, I just have soooo many oldies but goodies.
SF: Why do you love denim?
NKB: It’s in my DNA. My mom harvests indigo, from plant to dye. As a child I remember mom always having indigo dyed hands. She’s a textile designer. We love to collaborate on her denim projects.
SF: If you weren’t designing denim, what would you be doing?
NKB: I would definitely be a contemporary painter, living in Paris.
SF: What makes Koral different from all the other denim brands out there?
NKB: The fit is exquisite. The fabric soft but authentic. The details are refined and modern. I always feel “dressed” when I have on my Koral jeans.
Click through the slideshow to shop our favorite Koral jeans of the moment.