Posen Teams With Seven for Fall
Since starting his company in 2001, Zac Posen has experimented with denim fabrics, but the dream of having a jeans collection always eluded him.

Enter Neiman Marcus, which was looking to add a new dimension to its booming premium denim business by bringing a young designer into the field. Neiman's selected Posen and introduced him to Seven for All Mankind creative director Tim Kaeding, suggesting a creative collaboration between the two.

"Our denim business has been so explosive in the contemporary area and we are constantly challenging ourselves on how we can continue to keep the category growing, both in sales and in terms of the uniqueness of the product we can offer," said Ann Stordahl, executive vice president and general merchandise manager at Neiman Marcus. "So we came up with the idea of going to Zac Posen, for whom we have so much respect and who is always such a willing partner, and marrying his talent to Seven for All Mankind, which has such great fit and quality. We felt they could execute the vision."

Posen and Kaeding collaborated on the design of three limited-edition jeans that will be co-branded "Zac Posen for Seven for All Mankind" and sold exclusively at Neiman's this fall. Seven for All Mankind manufactured the jeans, taking care of the fits and washes, while Posen designed topical details such as special logo rivets and floral embroidery.

"I wasn't interested in challenging the idea of jeans," Posen said. "I was interested in creating a jean that had incredible texture."

An example is a five-pocket jean with the outer seams on the leg embellished with rows of Seven for All Mankind and Zac Posen "Z" rivets, in aged brass, antique pewter and gunmetal sheen finishes. The pair, which retails for $995, also has a riveted waistband.

Another design, a distressed-wash, slim-cut style with a slightly flared hem, features floral embroidery on one leg culled from one of Posen's fall jackets. The pair, priced at $700, comes with a special tassel made of semiprecious beads and stones dangling from a belt loop. The third pair, for $450, is a stretch boot-cut in a dark wash featuring Posen's Z rivets and Seven for All Mankind's rivets on the waistband. A riveted letter Z serves as back-pocket detail.The collaboration was an eye-opening experience for Posen and Kaeding.

"It was incredible to understand the handwork and chemical processes and washes that go into developing that perfect look," Posen said.

"Zac brought a different look that I wouldn't have done for Seven," said Kaeding. "It's a very unique and distinctive way of working on jeans."

The jeans will be launched exclusively at Neiman's 36 stores during The HIP Event, Oct. 7-8, a biannual initiative that the upscale retailer uses to spotlight contemporary collections through special activities.

Neiman's is restricting the purchase of the jeans to one style per customer.

"Great fashion comes out of rarity," Posen said. "These jeans are limited in edition, but down the road, it will definitely be something to expand on."

Stordahl, who declined to disclose sales projection or the number of pairs in production, said the jeans will be sold in Neiman's contemporary departments.

For Seven for All Mankind's Kaeding, the collaboration may well be the beginning of more to come, not necessarily in the realm of fashion.

"I am also inspired by great graphic artists and other artists or photographers," Kaeding said. "I like the idea of collaboration because it brings new ideas for me and I can share what I do best. It makes us so much more multidimensional."
— Marc Karimzadeh

In Search of Immortality
When Diana Tabeshi thought of launching her own denim line, she did so for one obvious reason: "I don't own one skirt," Tabeshi said.

But when it comes to denim, her wardrobe staple, she admitted she always had to sacrifice something — be it fit or fabric — in her search for the perfect pair of jeans. So, on Monday, her own Dallas-based denim line, Denim for Immortality, will launch in high-end specialty stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Henri Bendel and Searle. The line is represented by the Cynthia O'Connor & Co. showroom in Manhattan.

The collection consists of three rises and three leg openings in seven washes, each named for a Roman goddess. The washes include the Diana, a soft-blue one; the Venus, a deep indigo wash, and the Minerva, vintage-inspired with a tinge of golden brown mixed with indigo. The wholesale price range of Denim for Immortality is $85 to $122.Tabeshi said her jeans have five days of memory built into them.

"You can wear it for five days and it will still fit like the first time," she said. "It won't stretch."

Tabeshi uses only Italian denim woven tightly so it won't lose its grip. Also, an additive called PermaCoat is painted on during the final stage to secure the fabric.

"It makes our jeans softer against the skin and prevents premature fading," Tabeshi said.

Additionally, the contour of the waistband, longer belt loops and the positioning of the front pockets give the appearance of a flatter stomach. The placement of the back pockets paired with rich deep indigo washes gives the illusion of a smaller bottom. The circumference of the thighs, knees and waist are also calculated to make legs appear longer and leaner. She predicts the wholesale volume of the collection will reach $5 million to $10 million in the first year.

Tabeshi incorporated details in the seams and hardware. Metallic slate is used as embroidery to create the signature side seam. Some styles are decorated with Swarovski crystals on the bar tacks of the belt loops, side seam and on the bottom leg openings. The button at the waist features the face of an angel.

"When I was in Italy developing our fabric, I saw a statue of an angel," she said. "I sketched this angel and made a little modification to the face and it became our logo."

The face, she noted, is surrounded by 36 Swarovski crystals.
— Lauren DeCarlo

Deréon Denim: Seat of the Pants
The House of Deréon's denim collection puts its emphasis on the derriere.

Tina Knowles, co-creator of the collection along with her Grammy-winning daughter, Beyoncé, said there were a few keys to making the behind look its best.

"On most of the jeans I bought for the girls over the years, I've had to put darts in them to create the natural shape of the butt," said Knowles, who has been the designer and stylist for Destiny's Child. "It was actually Beyoncé's idea to add those darts to our jeans."In addition to the darts, Knowles said the seams are single-stitched rather than double-stitched, like most jeans on the market today.

"We left our seams like a pants seam, so if you need to make alterations, it's easy to do," Knowles said.

The pants will launch for holiday, along with the rest of the House of Deréon collection. There are six styles in the collection in a range of finishes, leg openings and fabrics, such as cashmere denim. The collection will be available at specialty boutiques and Federated Department Stores Inc., including Bloomingdale's, as well as Dillard's. The retail range is between $100 and $225. The company expects retail volume of $18 million to $25 million in the first year.

Since the House of Deréon is named after Beyoncé's grandmother, the Knowleses wanted to infuse the collection with some Creole flair to pay homage to their roots.

"I grew up going to Mardi Gras, so we wanted to add some of the culture," Tina Knowles said.

All the styles have a patina coin dangling from the back waistband and are made to compliment various body types. Knowles said the cuts were tested on curvy and slim women to achieve the best results.

"Beyoncé was also focused on contouring with the washes," Knowles said. "You'll never see lighter shades on the sides. It has to contour the body. It should be darker under the butt and on the side of your legs."

The denim collection will include skirts, dresses and jackets.
— L.D.

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