History of Denim Brands: Frankie B


Born in Israel but currently living in California, Daniella Clarke, married former Guns ‘N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke and the couple then had a daughter who they named Frankie. Daniella founded and launched her denim brand Frankie B. in 1998, naming it after her little one Frankie.

The origins of the line took root a few decades ago when Clarke was always cutting and resewing her own jeans to fit her killer bod to achieve a more ’70s sexy look. She would often fashion her new creations after a pair of her favorite Dittos jeans that a friend borrowed and never returned. She had a very keen eye for denim and loved the brand Dittos.

“I was obsessed with them,” says Clarke. “I used to beg my mom whenever a new color came out.”

In a full circle moment, Dittos recently contacted Clarke and told her she would be the perfect person to resurrect the line, and of course she jumped at the chance. Although she often sports the widelegged Dittos, she says her favorites are still her Frankie B. boot cuts. “My boot cuts are my O.G.,” she laughs. This is quite a distinction, as Daniella’s closet boasts more than 300 pairs of jeans that she puts on a rotation.

Between traveling, being a wife and mother, and heading the Frankie B. empire it seems Daniella has found perfect harmony, all the while teetering on top of a pair of platforms. It only makes sense that she created a wardrobe that would take her from the backstage of a concert to the front row of a fashion show, or just as easily to the couch where she snuggles up with her family.

Daniella has altered and redesigned clothing to fit her style since her early teens. While on tour with her rockstar husband in the late ’90’s, she was continuously asked about the one-of-a-kind jeans she was wearing. Soon after, Frankie B. was launched, establishing its mark on the women’s fashion map almost immediately.

Responsible for creating the low-rise jean craze with her 6″ rises and putting a spotlight on the premium denim market, the Frankie B. brand has grown across the globe and remains as much of a wardrobe staple today as when it first launched. In fact the brand is best known amongst its jean fans as an addiction – most Frankie B. owners collect pairs and, on average, have more than 10 different styles! A few years later, Daniella was invited to resurrect Ditto’s the iconic denim brand she wore and loved as a teenager. The first collection debuted in Spring 2007 and instantly became a favorite among retailers and fashion’s elite.

Daniella designs for women like her; laid back, feminine and confident – with a bit of an edge; and she creates clothing that encourages women to feel alive, stylish and unique. Always inspired by what’s next on the fashion landscape, Daniella never forgets the classics that have made Frankie B. a “go to” among fans like Sienna Miller, Charlize Theron, Mischa Barton, Eva Longoria, Fergie and many others. Since Frankie B.’s launch in 1999, it has grown into a full lifestyle brand that includes tops, bottoms, dresses, eyewear and activewear Daniella has the same vision for Ditto’s and serves as creative director for both growing collections with more than 80 pieces each. She approaches each collection with an eye toward what she wants next in her closet, making both Frankie B. and Ditto’s a fashion resource for women who embrace a distinctive and sexy west coast lifestyle. She makes sure Frankie B. is always on trend, the last season releasing lots of distressed washes, Tie-Dye denim and boyfriend fits. Pretty/bright back pockets have always been a statement with her jeans as well as zippers. The brand also focuses on a great fit, good pocket placement and slim through the legs, lower rises also helping to elongate legs and give the illusion of a perkier butt. (You can view her Fall 09 collection here)

Her work has not gone unrecognized. Daniella and Frankie B. were awarded the MAFI Fashion Innovator of the Year award in 2004 for contributions to the fashion industry; and three years later, Daniella was honored with a Media Award from Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization for her support and dedication to the charity. She is invited to host events and discuss her experiences as a designer by people all over the world, which has enabled her to entertain her love of shopping vintage stores for clothes, magazines, jewelry and inspiration.

Image and parts of the article taken from FrankieB.com