Earnest Sewn has been acquired by Anthony Frym, a denim veteran who owns a China-based jeans production facility. Frym is in the process of establishing new wash and sewing facilities in Los Angeles to manufacture Earnest Sewn, which will relaunch for fall 2014.
Frym bought only the Earnest Sewn trademarks from the previous owner, Benoit Briere, and none of the company’s operations or retail leases. Two Earnest Sewn stores currently open in New York’s Meatpacking and Lower East Side neighborhoods will shutter by the end of the year. A new store operated by Frym will open in New York next year.
Frym has hired Vincent Dean Flumiani as Earnest Sewn’s creative director and Melanie Drake as brand director. Flumiani was previously the founder of a men’s label called Caulfield Preparatory in 2005 and designer of Sinclair Denim beginning in 2010. Drake was previously creative director at the workwear label Smith’s American.
Born in France, Frym got his start in the industry as the founder and designer of a Paris-based jeans brand called New London, which he launched in 1996 and sold to the European division of surfwear maker O’Neill in 2002. Today, he is the owner of a full-package denim manufacturing company near Guangzhou, China, called The Lab of Denim USA, which produces for clients including Sandro, Iro, Zadig & Voltaire and El Corte Inglés.
Frym said the Earnest Sewn business has been in decline over the past years and there is no wholesale business to speak of. “For me, it still has a very strong American brand image,” he said of his strategy to revive the business.
Earnest Sewn was originally founded by Scott Morrison, Eleanor Ylvisaker and Lori Jacobs in 2004. The trio exited the company at various points in 2008 and 2009.