LOS ANGELES — When it comes to timing, Kik Wear Industries likes to zig while others zag.
The Los Angeles-based young men’s and junior resource launched in 1991 amid the turmoil of the Persian Gulf War. Now it’s entering the contemporary market with Glitz, launched in April during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“We like launching in a tricky environment. It’s the best time because you can only go up from there,” said Alex Berenson, Kik Wear’s president and co-founder.
On track to hit $12.5 million in sales this year, the firm has been boosted by the strength of Kik Girl, selling at junior retailers such as Hot Topic and Pacific Sunwear, which has moved away from its raver roots to a more feminine silhouette.
Buoyed by the sales momentum, Berenson also believes it wouldn’t hurt to offer retailers a pleasant distraction to the grim economic news. Retailers ordering Glitz said they appreciated the fuchsia, burnt orange and other robust shades that are a hallmark of the vintage-inspired, 15-piece fall collection featuring denim and corduroy pants, miniskirts, cardigans and cropped jackets.
“I really like the colors and the contrast pipings,” said Sylvia Brownlee, co-owner of the five-month-old Cincinnati boutique La Monae. “It’s very cheery.”
The upbeat feeling of the line likely stems from Liza Gutierrez, who is doing double-duty as the designer of Glitz and the harder-edged, eight-year-old Kik Girl. So far, styles in neutrals black, gray and white are a no-no at Glitz.
“Maybe we’ll allow off-black or a beige instead of a pure white, but either people will get it or they won’t,” said Gutierrez, who once designed for JNCO. “It’s a lot of work, but I’m living my dream and I want it to show.”
For inspiration as well as to mentally and physically divide the jobs, she devotes one office wall to magazine cut-outs of skater chicks, punk-styled straps and D-rings, and the other to fabric swatches and hanging vintage handbags — a dozen of them from clutches to ovals to metal-cased boxes. An owner of a 1961 Buick Invicta, Gutierrez is a vintage hound who’s a monthly regular at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. She even attended the July Hootenanny music and car fest in Fullerton headlined by the Stray Cats.“I love everything nostalgic — old cars, fancy bags, fancy shoes,” she said.
She weaves her retro appreciation into the line. A demure, cropped cardigan sweater with a Peter Pan collar pairs with a denim skirt with oversized pockets, or large black-and-white target buttons dot the waistband and double-flap back pockets on corduroy bottoms match with fitted cut and sew sweaters. Corduroy is a core fabric in the collection in velvety minis with chunky zippers, double-loop pants and fitted jackets with thick waistbands.
Denim comprises 25 percent of the line. Denim trousers have emerged as a staple with looser-fit, flat-front and straight-leg silhouettes, while straight-leg pants with front and back leg seams and front welt pockets are another retailer favorite.
“The pants really struck us,” said Maclaine Soto, buyer at Riley James in San Francisco. “We already carry denim lines, but it was worth it to us to carry Glitz. We’re also really particular about corduroy, and liked the fit and texture of the pants.”
Wholesale prices range from $37 to $48 for tops and $54 to $79 for bottoms. The locally made line ships next month and Berenson expects Glitz to generate $1 million in first-year sales.
He said the decision to disassociate the line from Kik Girl was deliberate. “It’s a completely separate entity, from separate shipping tape to isolated invoices, so there will be no confusion about the brands whatsoever,”he said.
But the Kik Wear name and reputation has only helped in cultivating new retail business. So far, about 25 accounts have placed orders for Glitz, including key California shops Sharon Segal in Santa Monica, Lisa Kline in Los Angeles and Bryan Lee in Santa Barbara.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)