Michelle Siwy is a bit of an anomaly: she’s half-Vietnamese and half-Polish; she’s a designer who’s even hotter than her models; and, perhaps most strikingly, she’s a woman in the male-dominated field of denim. In fact, she’s the only female denim designer based in New York. Since she began her line, Siwy Jeans, in the spring of 2005, the 34-year-old Rhode Island native’s jeans have been embraced by the likes of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller as well as everyday women in search of jeans that embody a tough, downtown aesthetic with a flattering, feminine cut.
For her spring/summer collection, titled “Strange as Angels,” Siwy was inspired by the constant movement of gypsy life. “As icons of freedom, gypsies travel to faraway places, adopting native styles that mix and cross cultures,” she says. “This is not only an aesthetic but also, a way of life and state of mind.” The collection, which includes the full spectrum of fits from super-skinny to super-wide leg, features soft, sun-faded colors that Siwy says evoke vintage beach colors.
HuffPost caught up with Siwy to talk about the collection, her design process, her life in New York, and what it’s like being a girl in the boys’ club.