LOS ANGELES — Denim Design Lab’s need to open an office in Southern California led to a vintage-inspired retail concept the jeans label hopes to replicate in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Denim Design Lab unveiled Miner49er in November in San Clemente, a picturesque beachside community where the five-year-old denim label is based. The 900-square-foot shop will be home to DDL’s selvage jeans priced from $180 to $285. In addition, Miner49er carries organic cotton T-shirts, overalls, skirts, hand-sewn jeans and jackets from Bzen, a Hong Kong-based brand that values the craftsmanship of vintage denim as much as DDL does.
“All of the product in here can’t be characterized as fast fashion,” said DDL founder and designer Brian Robbins. “Denim Design Lab is an American vintage concept.”
Charles Lam, Bzen’s principal, signed on as Robbins’ partner in the label in June. Enthusiastic about the early response to Miner49er, Lam, based in Hong Kong and Montreal, and Robbins plan to convert the store that Lam owns in Hong Kong, called Indigo Bar, into a second Miner49er store. They also intend to open another Miner49er in Shanghai this year, and Robbins said he is eyeing a second U.S. unit in Los Angeles.
The San Clemente store will play multiple roles. The design, sales and marketing office occupy the building’s first floor. The second-floor retail space can be closed and restocked as a showroom for potential wholesale customers to check out new merchandise. The store will also serve as a test site for pricier pieces such as Bzen’s $500 hand-sewn jeans.
“You’d be crazy to open a store out of the blue,” Robbins said. “The first priority wasn’t to open a store. So we’re not relying on revenue from a store. If we break even, it’s just going to pay for the office space.”
Robbins, who has written a book that includes a history of denim and a how-to guide on how consumers can re-create vintage looks with household tools, has made sure Miner49er is also part museum. Under the historic Spanish-style building’s red-tiled roof, Robbins hung shadowboxes filled with puffs of cotton plants, swatches of selvage fabric provided by North Carolina’s Cone Denim and other denim-related accoutrements on the white stucco walls. Handheld scales, picks, lamps and other tools used by miners during the Gold Rush are also on display.
Despite the one-hour-plus drive from Los Angeles, Robbins is optimistic that Miner49er will attract fans.
“You’re going to get selvage denim fanatics from all over the place,” he said. “It’s going to be a destination store because of how cool the concept turned out.”
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion