NEW YORK — A key growth sector during the recent boom years for the denim market was high-end contemporary denim, with retail prices exceeding $100.
Some of the companies that enjoyed the growth of recent years are now moving to strengthen their positions and broaden their businesses.
To that end, Los Angeles-based Blue Cult in October named Tara Narayan as marketing director. Formerly of Gap, Narayan plans to boost the brand’s marketing, rolling out a Web site and look book within the next year. Also on the agenda for next year is a plan to set up a network of distribution in Europe. According to Caroline Athias, co-founder of the three-year-old brand, the company will open an office in Switzerland.
“Switzerland is very easy and central for the rest of Europe,” she said. “This way we can do business in Germany, Italy and in France, where a strong denim market already exists.”
After a shaky time period following the exit of the company’s founding designer, Jerome Dahan, Seven For All Mankind is expecting a positive first quarter next year.
“No one really cut back on us, but I do think people were a bit skeptical placing orders last year,” said Jennifer Highman, national sales manager for the brand. “Now they know they can trust us, so next year is looking to be our best yet. The first-quarter bookings for next year are not only bigger than they were last year, but they are also bigger than what we had planned.”
Highman said next year the company is rolling out a style called the Flint. It is a combination of the two best-selling styles, the bootcut with a contour waistline. She said the jeans are only slightly distressed looking as far as wash is concerned. Highman said the company is on track to bring in more than $100 million next year.
The Los Angeles-based Chip & Pepper line also plans on seeing a shift toward cleaner, vintage-looking denim, according to twin brothers and founders Chip and Pepper Foster.
“We are staying true to our passion,” Pepper Foster said. “That is to create vintage-looking jeans with a great fit for the American market. A lot of denim companies buy their denim from mills in Japan or in Europe, but ours is 100 percent American.”Also extending its mix of basic high-end jeans is Red Engine, another Los Angeles-based denim firm. Owner Jim Boldes said cropped capris and stretch twill pants in an array of spring colors have sold well for his firm. While he said he has added a few new fashion-driven pieces, Boldes said it will never override the basics.
“We really have become known for our basics and I expect that to continue,” he said. “It’s a niche that we have found and adding a few fashion pieces here and there is just a natural progression for us.”
Also on the agenda is a lower-priced line of basic jeans that is testing in stores right now. With average wholesale prices of $33 and a retail range from $65 to $75, Boldes said the line carries the Farm Girl label right now, but he may change the name next year.
Western Glove is also introducing new lines. Silver said the company next year aims to build the Aiiro line that it quietly rolled out this year. That line, which he said takes its name from the Japanese word for “blue,” wholesales $16 to $19, for targeted retail prices on jeans of below $50. That’s slightly less than the main Silver line, which wholesales for $24 to $30. The company also has a high-end line called 1921 that wholesales for $55 to $70.
Also testing a slightly lower-end line is Evisu. The brand, which began its push into the U.S. market two years ago, is now testing a small line of jeans that retail at about $200. Although still a high-ticket price compared with other lines, most Evisu jeans sell for about $325 at retail.
“We hope that once we get our new lower price point line off the ground, our women’s business will grow significantly,” said Vince Gonzales, vice president of Evisu. “Ideally we would like the jeans to retail at under $200, but that can be difficult since we don’t want to sacrifice the detailing and expensive fabrics we use.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty