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After an earlier stalled attempt, Current/Elliott is relaunching a men’s line that will be in stores this fall. Encompassing jeans and related categories, the men’s product will be in about 125 retail doors, including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Ron Herman, as well as international stores like Harrods and 10 Corso Como.
This story first appeared in the March 31, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Current/Elliott first offered men’s jeans for spring 2009 but ended the business after just one season. “We were too expensive. We were selling the jeans for over $300 at retail,” said Serge Azria, owner and chief executive officer of Dutch LLC, the L.A.-based firm that owns the Current/Elliott, Joie and Equipment brands. “We also realized it was important to do a complete collection and not just jeans. For a new brand, men’s retailers want something more special to create a long-term relationship.”
In this new iteration, men’s jeans will retail for $198, corduroy for $168, chinos for $168 to $182, shirts for $178 and chunky cardigan sweaters for $350.
Jeans will be available in two fits, a straight and skinny, each in a variety of washes and levels of destruction, with all production in L.A. “Our signature has always been our washing and beautiful fabrics. Everything is very authentic,” said Azria, who is the older brother of Max Azria, chairman and ceo of BCBG Max Azria Group.
There are 70 to 80 styles in the fall men’s collection, including Seventies scarf-print shirts, chambray shirts and corduroy jeans in a range of colors, including forest green, brown, khaki and navy. Azria expects denim to account for 40 percent of sales and other categories for 60 percent.
Azria launched Current/Elliott as a women’s line in 2008 and it quickly gained a following on the strength of its faded washes and of-the-moment “boyfriend” fit. The brand was named after stylists Emily Current and Meritt Elliott, who are consultants for the brand.
The Current/Elliott women’s line is now sold in 1,100 stores in 37 countries. Azria believes that the men’s business will account for 10 percent of sales in its first few years but that figure could grow to 30 to 40 percent down the road. “We have to get the fit right, that’s the most important thing. Once men trust your fit, they become very loyal shoppers,” he noted.