Avalon DiBernard

The Jean Zine

The Jean Zine


a collaborative project between two friends 

©AvalonDiBernard ©JuliaFogarty

One evening in 2019, two girls embarked on a one-hour walk to a downtown Sarasota, FL movie theater to watch Harmony Korine’s "Beach Bum." That March night, after witnessing about twenty minutes of a character named Flicker, portrayed by Zac Efron, The Jean Zine concept was born. Following an hour and a half at the Sarasota theater, we strolled back to our apartment brainstorming ideas until inspiration struck. Enamored by Flicker's character and his distinctive fashion, particularly his JNCO jeans that sculpted a flawless geometric silhouette as he roamed the South Florida streets on Heely sneakers, we knew denim had to be our next venture.

Flicker, a complex blend of nihilism and devout Christianity, sported a denim vest adorned with evangelical patches, a beard resembling a panini, and the iconic JNCO jeans paired with Heely sneakers. Beyond his striking attire, Flicker's personality made him a standout character.

The Jean Zine draws its primary inspiration from "Beach Bum" and  Efron’s JNCO jeans, but the concept expanded further. Reflecting on the intricate geometry of clothing, particularly denim, and the distinct shape of JNCO jeans, we began contemplating the meticulous craftsmanship and expertise required for designing denim pieces. Each seam, curve, and detail is carefully considered to accentuate an individual’s form and create a visually captivating silhouette. To us, this dedication to precision and attention to detail mirrored the approach of other designers and innovators like Hila Klein or Steve Jobs, who similarly challenged conventions and pushed boundaries in their respective fields. Just as denim designers strive for precision in their craft, visionaries like Jobs pursued innovation with relentless determination, leaving an indelible mark on history.

The Jean Zine represents not only fashion, expertise, and innovation but also friendship. It provides a glimpse into our friendship (Babs and Juju) that began over seven years ago. This zine showcases everything we find iconic or beautiful, paying homage to 90s/00s fashion, design, lingo, technology, blending our past/childhoods with our present media. The zine’s design is a collection of aesthetics that holds the same nostalgic feel as magazines and tabloids such as Nylon and People.

Featuring five distinct looks and aesthetics, the first look is the, ‘Innovator’ look, inspired by Steve Jobs' legacy and his approach to new technological design. We recreate Jobs’ iconic outfit, blending our love for JNCO jeans and Fila sneakers with his signature attire. The JNCO jeans emphasize the innovative approach Apple has taken, with their clean-cut hem mirroring Mac's precise design.

Following innovation, we shine a spotlight on one of our favorite streetwear designers, Hila Klein, the CEO of Teddy Fresh. ‘The Comeback Kid’ and ‘Sick Beats’ highlight some of our favorite pieces from her 2020 Fall collection and 2021 Spring collection. ‘Sick Beats’ showcases the Teddy Fresh 100% denim logo jeans paired with the logo denim jacket and the pastel colorblock 2.0, representing the quintessential streetwear look of its time (2019-2021). Eager to showcase these specific denim pieces, we aimed to express our admiration for Teddy Fresh's unique take on denim design, employing a handwritten-on approach as if sketched into the material, featuring the Teddy Fresh logo. ‘Sick Beats’ pays homage to the early 00s skater aesthetic with a vibrant, pastel take. As for ‘The Comeback Kid’, it continues to feature iconic denim pieces, this time paired with a denim corset and pink beanie matched with pink combat boots. Inspired by the 90s streets grunge aesthetic, ‘The Comeback Kid’ takes a darker, more feminine approach. We wanted to demonstrate the versatility of the Teddy Fresh brand, as their main focus in design is tailored for a unisex fit, making its fashion accessible to individuals of any gender. This is why the TF brand ranks among our favorite streetwear brands; for its uniqueness, inclusivity, and ethical standards. Not only do we admire the fashion of Teddy Fresh, but the founder, Hila Klein, has also inspired countless women, particularly immigrant women, by achieving something widely regarded as one of the most challenging aspirations in America. Establishing a successful clothing brand after relocating to California is no easy feat. Yet, she not only made this possible but also stayed true to her brand and maintained her unique approach to design in the streetwear community.

Adopting a y2k pop girl aesthetic with the ‘Royalty’ look, this ensemble showcases the denim corset paired with JNCO jeans, complemented by a replica of Princess Diana’s Lover’s Knot tiara and pink heeled boots. Throughout our four years at Ringling College of Art and Design, Princess Diana's name frequently surfaced in conversations. Sharing our admiration for her legacy, fashion, and grace, we aimed to incorporate her essence while infusing a modern twist with the JNCOs and boots. Our intention was to demonstrate that denim can be elevated to exude chic sophistication.

For our final look in the Jean Zine, dubbed ‘Queen of Tennessee,’ we drew inspiration from the aesthetics of Taylor Swift's debut album and the pop-country vibes of Kacey Musgraves. We aimed to pay homage to the early 2000s country scene, which held significant influence in American music during that era. By pairing Gap skinny jeans with our denim corset and a denim cowboy hat, this ensemble emanates a disheveled country chic vibe. We sought to conclude the Zine by revisiting the origins of denim and the primary demographic associated with it during the 90s and 2000s.

The Jean Zine was crafted by two best friends who share a deep appreciation for design, fashion, and pop culture. It serves as a culmination of various elements, from fashion to innovation, feminism, and historical pop culture references. We aspire for this collaboration to inspire and bring joy to others. By featuring designers, innovators, and artists, we pay homage to the past, present, and future through denim and graphic design. This project has united two friends, blending their styles and aesthetics to create a denim masterpiece.



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