LONDON — Men’s denim label Natural Selection wants to push into international markets and add ready-to-wear items for fall.
The London-based line launched last fall with a focus on creating aged looks. Using Japanese selvage denim, the line achieved the looks through rigorous hand-washing and -detailing, with washes given rugged names such as Scrapes & Bruises and Done and Dusted.
For fall, Natural Selection will expand to include tweed, corduroy and chino blazers along with denim shirts and sweatshirts. The items will be sourced from a factory in New York. There also will be corduroy and chino pants that have been aged in the same way as the denim, with creases and wear worked into the material.
“We wanted to do denim styles in a nondenim fabric.…We want to stay true to our washing,” said Paul Young, brand director of Natural Selection.
Young founded the company as part of the Guardians of the Standard design collective, which includes members such as Reilly, a London-based graphic artist. Young, who previously worked for G-Star, said he and his partners chose the name Natural Selection to suggest the jeans’ “evolutionary process” from raw, dry untreated denim.
Some of the line’s denim is sourced from Italian mills, which produce lighter-weight selvage denim for summer. Young said the label even attaches a leather belt loop printed with its logo — a pheasant and a penny farthing bicycle, designed by Reilly — before the washing process, so that the logo on each pair of jeans appears to have worn differently.
While Young is meticulous about washes, he said his aim is for the collection to occupy a competitive place in the market compared with denim with similar washing techniques. The jeans, which come in straight, narrow, carrot and loose fits, are priced from 140 pounds to 220 pounds, or $219 to $344 at current exchange.
“In the U.K. market, we felt there was a huge gap for this [kind of] style and also the pricing structure,” he said.
Young declined to give first-year sales figures for the line, but said all its accounts have made repeat orders.
“[Retailers] who bought for fall 2009 automatically bought for spring 2010, so we’re expecting very healthy growth,” he said.
The label initially kept its wholesale business to the U.K., but is now moving to bring Natural Selection into foreign markets. Young showed the fall 2010 collection at the Capsule trade show in Paris last month, as well as the Las Vegas edition of Capsule, which wrapped up on Wednesday.
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