At Latina, we strive to inspire our readers with real-life stories that celebrate Latino achievements. That's why we decided to create a weekly segment called #LatinaMakers, where we will highlight Latinx entrepreneurs that are empowering our community through their creativity.
J-E-A-N-S! A simple five letter word that causes a lot of emotional stress. Whether you have a narrow waist or wide hips, most women struggle to find jeans that flatter their body types. As Latinas, we come in different shapes and size, which further emphasizes the idea that not 'one size fits all."
Frustrated with the lack of jeans that catered to pear-shaped body types, Designer Cenia Paredes, decided to take matters into her own hands and create ConVi Jean. Like many women with this body type, Paredes always struggled with an unflattering gap at the back waist with other jeans.
The inspiration to design a convertible, yet flattering jean came from own personal passion via my struggles to find a truly flattering jean for my body type. Me, along with 30% of women tend to have a significantly smaller waist than their hips, yet there wasn’t a jean on the market that could truly fit and mold to our bodies without the need for alterations.
The patent-pending ConVi jeans have two strategically placed zippers on the back waist that when zipped cinch the waistline and does wonders for your Latin curves. Of course, the Dominicana didn't just want to cater to women with curvy bodies. When the zippers are down, the waist measurements on these convertible pants is the same as standard jeans.
We caught up with the fashion designer to talk about her denim line, inspirations, and much more.
What was the inspiration behind ConVi Jeans?
As a curvy, pear-shaped woman myself, I always had a very difficult time finding jeans with the right fit for me on the market. They tend to be too big at the waist if they fit my hips and vise versa. Also, they always gave me that unflattering gap at the back waist, and if I belted them they would bunch up. So I always ended up fixing them myself by making two little darts at the back waist.
How did the idea of putting two zippers perpendicular to the waistline come about?
I noticed many women in my community with their jeans taken in at the back waist and realized there many of us with the same problem. Furthermore, I consulted with the premier manufacturer of dress forms, which happens to have body scans of millions of women worldwide, and found out that about 20% of all women, regardless of ethnicity are pear-shaped and about 10% have hourglass body types. So all together, about 30% of women have waists significantly smaller than their hips. So I decided to create a jean with the two little back waist darts, but zippered instead so that it can convert back to a standard jean's waist measurement and it could be worn by anyone while providing a solution to those of us with smaller waists so there is no more waist gap troubles!
How do your jeans differentiate to others on the market that claims they are for women with curves?
My jean is the only one on the market with a patent technology that perfectly fits small waisted/big bottom women while allowing it to convert to a standard jean's waist measurement. In addition, the ConVi Jean comes in a super stretchy, soft denim fabric made to celebrate a woman’s curves no matter the size or body type and it is cut so that the waist sits right above the navel, which tucks in side handles and stomach area. It is also designed with no pocket bag at the front in order to keep the hip area smooth.
Why do you think it's so difficult for women to find flattering jeans?
I believe the majority of designers and manufacturers make clothes that ignore the variations in body types and continue to make clothes that fit the conventional woman. I'm my customer and have lived the struggles to find the right fit myself and through my friends, family and community.
What's next for your brand?
The sky is the limit! I'm currently negotiating deals for worldwide distribution of my Convi jean as I have been approached from many countries such as UK, Australia, Denmark and many more with interest. There new collections coming soon with style updates as well as new colors.