LOS ANGELES — Capitalizing on the trends of color and versatility, Los Angeles-based designer Carl Jones has created the reversible denim line Bleulab.
This story first appeared in the June 1, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The jeans, which come in traditional shades of light and dark blue, gray and black on one side, feature shades like turquoise, cerulean and plum on the inside, and retail for $174 to $216.
Jones, who has been designing for more than 10 years, discovered the double-faced fabric during a trip to China in 2009 and brought it back to the U.S. to begin testing various washes and treatments. The jeans’ design uses a double-headed tack button and a reversible zipper with five pockets featured on either side to achieve two distinctive looks per pair.
“If I was trying to sell a basic five-pocket jean, I wouldn’t have had any success in this market,” he said. “But I had something a little bit different and special. Bleulab offers options, and stores were willing to give me a shot.”
In March 2010, Los Angeles retailer American Rag picked up eight of the brand’s first 12 styles days after meeting with Jones. During the remainder of the year, Bleulab extended its presence to other specialty boutiques around the country, and can now be found in Neiman Marcus Cusp stores and Henri Bendel, and at SaksFifthAvenue.com and Singer22.com.
The label’s fall collection comes in 20 color combinations and four cuts: the legging, the skinny, the boot cut and the wide leg. The collection also includes a reversible knit top and jacket, retailing at just under $200.
“I’m designing for the person who loves fashion, options, new things and travels a lot,” Jones said. “Instead of packing six pairs of jeans, you can pack three. It’s a product that young people like and more mature women love too.”
With sales projected to reach more than $3 million by the end of this year, Jones seeks to “build a Bleulab lifestyle,” incorporating additional separates into the brand, as well as experimenting further with colors, cuts, floral prints and vintage accents. Other future plans include the launch of Bleulab into European boutiques.