Starting a new business is always a gamble, but Frank Mechaly and Shaun Hurley believe they’re on a roll.
Their latest venture, 575 Denim, takes its name from roulette numbers the duo hit on one of their trips to Las Vegas.
“They’re proving to be our lucky numbers,” Hurley said.
They shipped the first batch of the brand last month and some retailers report they’ve already sold out.
“We have none left and we’re anxiously awaiting our next shipment,” said Lindsey Margolin, store manager at Miami boutique Lulu, which operates five stores. “We got one style in and it flew out of our stores in less than a week. It’s got an amazing fit.”
So far, the line has booked $2 million in orders from roughly 60 retailers. Distribution deals have opened markets in Spain, Italy, France and Japan.
Many of their connections stemmed from their days at Sacred Blue. Mechaly came to the U.S. from his native France two years ago to start that line.
He brought a strong denim pedigree: His father is David Mechaly, who, along with his wife, Caroline Athias, launched Blue Cult jeans five years ago. The elder Mechaly is also known for the sensation he caused in the Seventies when he launched Mac Keen, a line of a skintight jeans that was worn on the TV show “Charlie’s Angels.” Sacred Blue continues to operate under the Blue Cult corporate umbrella.
Hurley joined Sacred Blue as the sales manager and its first employee. His previous stints include jobs as a buyer for Gap Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch and fit modeling for Levi Strauss.
The 575 Denim line features Japanese and Italian denim jeans in heavy washes, with acid-looking finishes. Paint splatters, rips and hand-grinding are some of the line’s handiwork.
The three cuts — a low-rise boot cut and a baggy, boy-style capri and full-length jean — feature buttons made of old pennies and engraved with 575. They also have the signature 575 embroidered on the right back pocket and on the waistband, as well as knee patches. There are four skirts in mini, midlength and long styles. All styles wholesale for around $90. — Nola Sarkisian-Miller
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