The moment we saw Isa Arfen’s tartan-trimmed jeans we knew we’d hit the jackpot. And, then we saw them again, and again, and again. With so many influencers repping them, it’s as if they’ve gone viral.
Serafina Sama, the Italian-born, London-based designer behind Isa Arfen, specializes in the eccentric. Often her pieces are rendered out of a mash-up of materials - cotton poplin meets taffeta, denim dances with flannel - so naturally, they deliver a high-impact. Hence, they photograph well. And, hence, they have a strong celebrity following - Rihanna, Emma Watson, Alexa Chung, Margo Robbie and Sienna Miller.
Naturally, Instagram is a safe space for the Isa Arfen brand where the optics are skewed towards the visually appealing and arresting. Key opinion leaders, like Monikh Dale (better known by her 74.4K followers as @Monikh), Lucy Williams (@lucywilliams02 to her 378K fans) and Laura Jackson (@iamlaurajackson to her 80.4K Insta audience) have all found their own distinct ways to make the trews their own.
Monikh likes hers with a check overcoat, a tactile cardigan and a silk bag by The Row. Meanwhile, Lucy wore hers with an autumnal knit tucked in and a straw tote tucked under her arm. While Laura Jackson took a selfie in hers while wearing By Far lace-up booties and a shearling Saks Potts jacket in chartreuse.
'I first selfishly designed the clean version of the jeans: a true blue, high rise 5-pocket style with a straight cropped leg and a black crushed velvet ribbon sewn onto the waist,' Serafina tells Grazia, 'It was the style of jeans I wanted to have for myself - something I could pair with any of my evening tops which would feel sexy, relaxed but still polished.'
With the tartan trend already name-checked as a hot topic for next spring, these jeans are an ideal way to dip your toe into plaid’s potential. Though history may teach us tartan is intrinsically linked to Scotland, it popped up around the world during the spring summer 19 collections at Burberry, A.W.A.K.E, Gucci, Marques’Almeida and Sacai.
For Serafina tartan became 'a protagonist' of her collection almost by accident. She admitted, 'I am always full of doubts when I design so I had no feeling that they would be a hit. I was actually afraid I would see a picture of them on the Diet Prada feed next to an image of Bay City Rollers! ' In the end, it's as she says it's a way to, 'tap into the eccentric tartan trend without overdosing on it.'
As part of Isa Arfen’s debut denim collection, these high-waisted design with its black crushed-ribbon belt and contrast turn-ups only further proves just how much of a name-to-watch Serafina Sama is.