LOS ANGELES — Kentucky Denim Co. is returning to the women’s premium denim market for the holiday season under new ownership and a focus on vintage Americana styling.
The Los Angeles-based label was launched as a men’s jeans line almost two years ago. Hartmarx Corp., maker of premium denim and contemporary sportswear, acquired parent company Monarchy LLC for $12 million in August 2007. The Kentucky Denim label was then acquired by Herzl Talasazan, who had been an investor in Monarchy.
Now operating as a private company, Kentucky Denim is relaunched in the women’s market with eight jeans styles and a range of T-shirts wholesaling for $68 and $24, respectively. It also added $34 woven shirts, $38 shorts and $68 dresses to the spring collection.
Kentucky Denim’s interpretation of Americana leans toward punky rockabilly. Shorts are cut from striped denim and Western shirts are embellished with gold foil screenprints and lavish embroideries of flowers.
“We just want to go back to the true form, fit and quality of what denim was then but with a modern twist,” said Lourdes Creus, who manages women’s sales. “It’s now come to a point where a lot of denim companies look alike. We just want to differentiate ourselves from the other companies.”
While many retailers who carried the men’s line also picked up the women’s offerings, the women’s business is focusing on specialty boutiques, Creus said. She added the goal is to generate $1 million in wholesale sales in the first year through retailers like So Vain in Phoenix, North of Wednesday in Victoria, British Columbia, Project in Houston and AB Confidence in New York.
Spring looks that appealed to retailers included striped denim cutoff shorts and jeans that were overdyed in a berry tint and then hand-sanded for a distressed look.
Designer Monica Reyes, who previously created private label clothing for Arden B., said Kentucky Denim promoted clean looks for the holiday relaunch. Moving forward, however, it will place more emphasis on fashion denim, she said.
“The reaction from the buyers was they wanted crazier stuff,” she said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast