Alaina Miller // Her Picks

Alaina Miller of Citizens Of Humanity




Tell us about yourself.
Hello! My name is Alaina Miller. I’m a 32 year old designer living in Los Angeles. Prior to living in LA, my time was spent in Washington, Idaho, and Montana (where I was born), so moving here 11 years ago was a huge change for me. Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else! In my free time, I enjoy pottery, vintage shopping, live music, working in my yard, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.



What does a day in the life look like for you Alaina?
On a typical day, I wake up to my three year old cat, Kendrick, pawing around on my bed waiting to be pet. She gets some love before I quickly get ready and head to work at Citizens of Humanity, where I’ve been designing for almost five years. A day at work is never typical – we usually begin by reviewing garments that have come back from the wash house that morning and sending new styles that have just come out of sewing to the wash house. Then there is a bit of time to catch up on emails before our fit model arrives. We have fittings every day which helps ensure our jeans always fit perfectly! Depending on where we are in the season, we may have vendors coming in to show us fabrics or trims that afternoon, or we may be getting ready for a photoshoot for our website or our linesheets—never a dull moment! When things are less hectic, I’m able to spend time doing research either online or out of the office, and every so often I get to travel for either research or meetings. I’ve been lucky enough to visit New York, Paris, and Tokyo during my time at Citizens.



Who does all your creative direction and photography? Tell us how you get the perfect IG image?
 For Citizens, we have a Social Media Editor who curates our IG using original content as well as re-posts from our favorite influencers. For my personal account, I try to post images that are original and interesting—keeping a similar color palette in mind and varying the scale of the images so the eye naturally keeps moving. I use VSCO to adjust my iphone pics to make sure they all have a consistent feeling about them. I've recently started shooting film which I love scanning in and posting—I never filter my 35mm images… for some reason that feels like cheating! 


What is your favorite part about being a designer at Citizens of Humanity?
My favorite part of being a designer at Citizens of Humanity is that it’s literally my job to be creative! What a dream… doing research, sketching, working with the pattern makers—seeing ideas come to life! It’s so rewarding and fulfilling. I also have to add that working for a clothing company who manufactures 100% of their product in LA feels really good too. I know the people who are making our clothing. I know the environment they work in is clean and safe and that they’re receiving insurance benefits.


Where does your inspiration stem from?
Since the beginning, Citizens has been a brand that offers modern takes on vintage denim. I always keep that in mind when designing and look to vintage clothing for most of my inspiration. Luckily, I’ve been fascinated by all things antique from a very young age and have been shopping vintage for years and years. Sometimes inspiration comes from things I find in my own closet, but one of the funnest parts of the job is hunting for special pieces at flea markets, second hand stores, or some of the fantastic vintage shops in NY and LA.
What is your team dynamic like at Citizens of Humanity?
 I have to say that the team I get to work with at CoH is also one of my favorite parts of being a designer here. I report to our Creative Director, Karen Phelps, and to our CEO, Amy Williams, and have a tight  team of product developers who report to me. Company-wide, the dynamic is fluid in communication and respect. There are no divas here and everyone gets a chance for their voice to be heard. It’s essential that we all work together to be successful in achieving our goals and each team member is essential in making that happen.




Do you have any advice for women on how to find the perfect pair of jeans?
In order to find the perfect pair of jeans, you have to know what you like and be willing to TRY ON a lot of pairs! It’s also important to try on different sizes. You may think you know your size, but that can vary from brand to brand, based on how they fit. Once you find a pair you love—check and see if there are other washes available in that fit, and check back often! Most brands run the same fits for several seasons but offer newness in washes every few months.


What are your favorite pieces from your shop currently or from all time?
We have just introduced a couple of new fits that are currently available on our website that I’m obsessed with. The Olivia, a high rise slim, which we offer in a range of comfort stretch washes. I haven’t been wanting to wear super skinny jeans for a couple of years now, but don’t always feel like wearing rigid, so this fit really bridges that gap. That being said, I do absolutely love wearing rigid (aka non-stretch) denim and my favorite new fit is the Charlotte—a high rise straight leg with a 29” inseam which feels really fresh. I have so many cropped styles, that a longer inseam feels new right now.


What are your favorite pieces in our latest collection for Haati Chai?
I’m loving all of the ornate pieces. The Dev Earrings and the Aja Earrings are both so gorgeous! Working at Citizens and being somewhat of a denimhead, it’s easy to get into the routine of wearing jeans and t-shirts waaaaay too often. I like that these pieces can dress up my standard uniform without straying from what I’m most comfortable in. I also love the gemstone studs and the birthstone charms, which add just the right amount of color to my indigo wardrobe.


 Is there something you would like to share about yourself or your brand that we did not ask?
I feel very fortunate to be part of a company that despite having started fifteen years ago, is still growing and evolving, and to have experienced so much personal and professional growth during my time here.


 What's next?
We will always bring freshness and innovation to the market with our fits, fabrics, and washes, as well as with our manufacturing processes being made even more efficient and eco-friendly year after year. In addition to our commitment to always making great jeans, our offering of other items including chambray and woven shirts, jersey tops, fleece, outwear, and more, will continue to grow from season to season.

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