By and  on August 11, 2011

HABITUAL

After several years without a men’s line, Los Angeles-based Habitual will relaunch men’s denim for spring, showing at ENK Vegas. The collection emphasizes clean, modern looks in black, gray, dark indigo and medium indigo shades.

“It’s a very tailored and sophisticated look with a European aesthetic,” said Jennifer Wojinski, design director for both men’s and women’s at Habitual. “It’s more of a city look than the vintage look a lot of other brands are going for these days.”

Retail prices will range from $175 to $195 for basic washes to $225 for jeans with slight abrasion and $325 for a selvage style. Jean jackets are $275, with a jazzed-up version with leather sleeves at $575. All the product is made in Habitual’s own factory in Los Angeles from European-sourced fabrics, including some stretch blends.

The men’s jeans come in a skinny fit, slim straight, regular straight and relaxed boot. Black-and-white details adorn the collection, such as a white bar tack on the rear center belt loop and a black leather back patch with white stitching on the sides. Habitual has just started showing the men’s line to retailers and it has so far been picked up by American Rag and LASC.

Habitual was originally founded by Michael and Nicole Colovos but went bankrupt in 2008. Current owners Bobby and Teal Ahn acquired the brand from Pacific Marketing Works and brought on Wojinski as the new design director this past January.

DUCK HEAD

Ask any self-respecting Southerner to name their favorite khaki slacks and the name Duck Head is sure to be mentioned. The brand traces its history back to 1865 when two Nashville brothers, George and Joe O’Bryan, turned duck, heavy canvas surplus used for Army tents, into sturdy work pants and overalls. The company’s pants with their mallard duck logo became a wardrobe staple and the company changed hands several times over the years until being sold to Goody’s, a Southern retailer, in 2003. Goody’s itself fell on hard times and went out of business in 2009. The Duck Head name was auctioned off and purchased by a group headed by Virginia investor Ross Sternheimer. He brought on board Bill Reese, who worked for the brand for 22 years, to serve as president of Duck Head Apparel Co., and moved the headquarters back to Nashville.

For spring, Duck Head will return to the market, offering an updated lifestyle collection that is rooted in khaki pants and shorts, augmented by polos, woven shirts, tees, caps, accessories and footwear. The line will be shown at MAGIC.

“We started from scratch,” said Scott McFadden, executive vice president of Duck Head. “It needed to be updated. Goody’s was putting a duck on anything and everything, and we wanted to make a quality product.”

The initial focus will be on basics, with pleated or flat-front pants in multiple colors for $49 retail. Shorts average $43 and will be offered in seersucker, plaids and other updated patterns. Polos are $38 to $45 and T-shirts are $20 to $22.

McFadden said Duck Head is expecting its first push to Southern retailers and is targeting stores such as Belk, J.C. Penney and Stage Stores, which purchased the Goody’s name.

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