By  on October 15, 2009

Denim veterans Michael Glasser and Joie Rucker are looking to score two hits within a year at Nordstrom with the launch of Easy Money.

The label will be introduced at Nordstrom stores nationwide beginning the first week of December, and will mark Glasser and Rucker’s first venture into producing a product that retails below $100. It follows the launch at Nordstrom’s earlier this year of Glasser’s Cj by Cookie Johnson line.

Glasser said the impetus for Easy Money came from a September meeting with Nordstrom’s management, which was looking for a lower-priced but high-quality label that could stand on its own in the store’s T.B.D. department, alongside brands such as Paige Premium Denim, Joe’s Jeans and Citizens of Humanity.

As a founder of Seven For All Mankind and Citizens who has dealt almost exclusively in the premium price segment, Glasser acknowledged he was skeptical whether quality levels could be maintained at the $100 price point.

“I didn’t realize the fabrics I’d be able to use would be that good,” said Glasser, recalling the early days of premium denim when high-quality fabrics and those that incorporated stretch were primarily available from Japanese and Italian suppliers.

Lower-cost fabrics wouldn’t perform as well when washed or would lose their fit. However, in researching the feasibility of Easy Money, Glasser found that gap has largely been closed over the last decade.

“I think that some people really know what they’re doing in the denim fabric world and have been able to replicate the fabric of the premium market,” he said.

Nordstrom’s willingness to put its weight behind the label as a premium-level product was also eye opening.

“There’s a moment in time where everything makes sense,” Glasser said. “That moment for price consciousness is right now.”

He also believes Nordstrom provides the right retail environment to drive the quality message. Glasser anticipates keeping the line exclusively with the retailer for at least four to six months. Further distribution will be kept in higher-end retail environments.

If successful, Easy Money will be the second hit for Glasser and Rucker in less than a year. In February, the duo launched a test collection of Cj by Cookie Johnson, a denim line targeting curvy women from the wife of basketball legend Magic Johnson, also at Nordstrom. By this fall, Nordstrom had expanded the line to 74 of its stores, picked up an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey and was picked up by Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.

Easy Money will launch with five core styles, including boot-cut, straight-leg, skinny and legging jeans, as well as a denim jacket, all retailing between $76 and $116.

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