I’m the Inventor of Gaucho Pants and I’m Ready to Talk
For over 15 years, every major publication in the world has wanted to interview me. Today, I finally feel ready to share my vision, my journey, my demise, and ultimately, my redemption.
This is my story.
There we were: in the golden age of fashion — when you couldn’t walk a block without spying a Livestrong bracelet dangling from a wrist…when heads turned for a sequined shrug atop a lacy camisole…when the words PINK sashayed across millions of colorful butt cheeks.
It was 2005 and life was as grand as one of the weddings that Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn crashed. (They don’t make films like that anymore!!)
And yet…something was missing. Something soft and flowy, something palazzo-esque, something mid-calf length; something that would shake up the entire ‘going out pant’ industry as we knew it.
So I got to work creating a new type of pant that would energize an entire generation: gauchos.
I began my conceptualization with the question of shape. My first instinct was what shape? so I went with that — modeling the design after my favorite pair of JNCOs from 5th grade and adding a wide panel waist band that folded over (an homage to the original, iconic Old Navy yoga pant). For length I thought to myself, what’s the sexiest part of a woman’s leg? And the answer was obvious: calf. By this point I was in Flow State and the concept was coming together faster than you can say “Don’t Phunk with My Heart” (an undisputed banger, btw!)
I was nearly done with my original sketch when I had to choose a fabric. I hemmed and hawed (lol hem — fashion designer joke for ya!) until around 4:30 AM when it came to me as if in a dream: jersey. It was so obvious I had to laugh. Soft, stretchy, structureless — a pair of pants that feel like the Twin XL sheets you shacked in last night? Incredible.
I remember the first time I stepped into my prototype and looked in the mirror. The light from my studio was coming through at just the right angle and before me stood an angel…in the sexiest, drapey-est, widest pants I’d ever seen.
Did I think I was alone in being drawn to this shapeless, confusing silhouette? Perhaps.
Did I think my gaucho pants would appeal to the masses? Not exactly.
But did I go ahead and make several hundred to sell from the back of my VW Jetta? You bet Bo Bice I did (he should’ve won American Idol if you ask me!!)
And as photo evidence from 2005 to 2006 will tell you: it worked.
The rest of the year was a blur of platform flip flops, Tiffany heart chains, triple popped polos, and incredibly small shoulder bags. Celebrities like Ashley Tisdale, Hillary Duff, and Mischa Barton were promoting the brand. My biggest rival — a long tunic over jeans — could no longer compete. I was watching my dream come true.
But just as quickly as it started, it was over. By 2007 no one would even say the word gaucho. The only solace I had was the 2.4 billion dollars I made in sales. And most days, that’s enough.
Still, to be candid, I hope to live long enough to see a gaucho pant revival. What other pant looks so stunning with a long, cap-sleeve tee and a wide belt worn low around the hips? What else are you supposed to pair with your cowl neck tanks?!?
At the end of the day, my story is as unique as the gaucho pants themselves. It’s a mishmash of inspiration, hope, and a desire for fancy pajama capris I could wear out on the town. I believe that we all have our own gaucho pant story and I’m honored to have shared mine today. Thank you for being along for the ride — you’re so raven (what. a. show.)