Once a dumping ground for loose and baggy hand-me-down styles that sold well in the men's lines, but were tweaked for the female body, the women's urban apparel sector has evolved to feature better fits and more fashion.
LOS ANGELES — Once a dumping ground for loose and baggy hand-me-down styles that sold well in the men's lines, but were tweaked for the female body, the women's urban apparel sector has evolved to feature better fits and more fashion — and no category demands the best fit possible more than jeans.
Thanks to the recent boom in the denim business, generated partly by growth in the premium sector for jeans costing $100 and higher, urban labels, including Rocawear and Apple Bottoms, are continually finessing their fit and increasing their presence in the denim market.
"We definitely saw there was an opportunity in the marketplace," said Alain LaFontant, vice president of sales for Rocawear's women's business, which is produced under license by Signature Apparel Group in New York.
Though a great fit is a requirement of all jeans makers, the urban brands need to take particular consideration to the physical dimensions of their female customer, who wants the styling of a premium denim label but doesn't necessarily want to pay the price to look good in those cuts.
"The typical urban woman, she tends to be more on the curvy side and pretty much well endowed, whether she's a size 2 or size 16," said Dorothy Antoine, design director for Apple Bottoms in New York. In other words, she has a "full bust, small waist, and her butt and hips are wider," Antoine said.
Throw in a limited budget and the aspiration to wear skinny-leg jeans and other trends that rock the runways, and the result is a range of strategies to nail the perfect fit.
Rocawear hires a number of different models who can fit a size 5 to see how a certain pair of jeans looks on each woman. The company also delves into a supply of top-quality fabrics such as premium ring-spun cotton, cross-hatch fabrics and Japanese denim.
"You're not going to get the fit you want without great fabric," LaFontant said.
Antoine said her six-person team at Apple Bottoms focuses on making sure the garments fit first before adding stylistic touches such as the logo. As Apple Bottoms is a euphemistic term for a round booty, it's natural that the company wants to accentuate the butt.
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)