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LONDON — After launching a collection of skinny and boyfriend-fit jeans under the Ruby name last year, London-based designer Kate Ogle decided there was a more mature denim customer that her edgy brand hadn’t captured.
Rather than dilute Ruby’s offer, Ogle opted to launch a separate brand of easier-fitting jeans under the Katherine Ogle label that will make its debut as a capsule collection at Bloomingdale’s New York flagship in January.
“I think [women in their 30s] would pay anything to buy a good pair of jeans,” Ogle said. “They don’t necessarily want really trendy fits, but they don’t want jeans shapes that accentuate the hips.”
Ogle’s four-piece collection of high-waisted jeans in slim, cropped, boot-cut and wide-leg fits are made with flat denim as opposed to fabric with a slubby weave to achieve a slim silhouette and 2 percent elastane for stretch.
“They’re cut to create a narrow thigh and give you a waist, but you can still move in them to pick up your child,” Ogle said.
The collection will retail from $140 for cropped jeans to $175 for a wide-leg style. It’s a slightly lower price point than the Ruby collection, which is priced as high as $200 for a pair of PVC jeans with gold studs, a limited edition piece set to launch at Lord & Taylor.
Washes in the Katherine Ogle line are kept to dark, overdyed navy; washed-out gray, and a faded blue. Detailing is minimal, too. Back pockets are stitched with orchids in colors that tone with the denim, some of which are embellished with a few crystals, a motif inspired by Ogle’s honeymoon in Kenya, where the designer was given an orchid leaf with her name etched in gold. There is also a small green and gold Katherine Ogle logo on the back pocket and silk stitching inside the jeans.
As with Ruby, which is sold at stores such as Intermix, Madison and Lord & Taylor in the U.S., the jeans have inspirational phrases stitched into the lining. Labels in the first collection are printed with the words: “It’s in the stillness that we find ourselves.”
Although her business is based in the U.K., Ogle said she chose to launch Katherine Ogle in the U.S. because there was more of an appetite for newness in denim there.
This story first appeared in the October 18, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“The U.K. can be a bit slow to pick up new denim brands,” Ogle said. “The market is a lot smaller [in the U.K.] and in the U.S., choice comes through designers, unlike in the U.K. where it comes from the high street.”
She will launch the line in the U.K. through her Web site, rubylondon.com, and plans to wholesale in the U.K. next fall. Although Ogle declined to give sales predictions for the line, she said she aims for it to be sold in 20 doors worldwide within a year. The designer, whose company also designs and produces private label denim for Barneys, Paul Costello and Irregular Choice, plans to introduce printed shirts and jersey tops into the line for next fall, as well.
“With Katherine Ogle it’s not just denim, it’s more eclectic,” she said. “I’m creating a look for a whole woman.”