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Rag & Bone Revamping Denim

For fall, managing partners Marcus Wainwright and David Neville will relaunch their denim collection under the Standard Issue label.

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Rag & Bone is turning its attention to the category that started it all more than a decade ago — denim.

This story first appeared in the June 12, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

For fall, managing partners Marcus Wainwright and David Neville will relaunch their denim collection under the Standard Issue label, creating an edited assortment with limited fits and washes that are designed to complement the brand’s basic tops.

“Denim has always been an important category for us,” Neville told WWD at an interview at the company’s headquarters in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. “We started with it.”

But over the years, he said, “the terminology became complex and the consumer did not understand the verbiage we were using to code our jeans. We needed to simplify our denim.”

So Rag & Bone looked to its successful Standard Issue assortment of tops — a grouping that includes clean men’s wear staples such as cut-and-sewn T-shirts, raglan jerseys and Henleys — for inspiration and decided to revamp the denim offering in a complementary fashion.

Standard Issue Denim will be offered in four silhouettes: Fit 1 for skinny, Fit 2 for slim, Fit 3 for straight and Fit 4 for classic. Hangtags will clearly describe each fit.

Fit 1 is the slimmest of all styles with a low rise and a 12-inch ankle opening. It’s available in black only and will retail for $175. “These are like spray-on jeans,” Wainwright said. “They’re for the Lower East Side kid,” Neville added.

Fit 2 is slightly more relaxed and has a 13-inch ankle opening. It’s available in five washes and will retail from $175 for raw to $210 for iron. This fit also features a chino in two colors that will retail for $210.

Fit 3 offers more room in the thigh, has a mid rise and tapers to a 15-inch ankle opening. It’s available in six washes and prices range from $175 to $210. Twills are available in this cut in four washes for $195, there are two colors of chinos for $210, and straight-leg corduroys in two colors for $185. A “blade jean” trouser, with a 14-inch ankle opening in a tonal selvage wash, will retail for $220.

The classic Fit 4 will have a 16-inch ankle, a mid rise and will be available in one wash for $210.

The Standard Issue collection will also feature a selvage shirt for $255, a denim jacket for $275, and the brand’s signature Ts in crew or V-necks in white, black, gray, light brown and dark olive for $75. Henleys and raglans in a similarly subdued color palette are available for $150. A polo featuring the Rag & Bone logo is also available for $125.

“This stemmed from us wanting to offer a guy something he doesn’t have to think about,” Wainwright explained. “It’s in every guy’s wardrobe and we had a big line that was convoluted, so we edited it heavily and kept it as tight and edited as possible.”

Like much that the brand does, Standard Issue takes its influence from the military. “When you join the army, they give you a uniform: pants, a shirt, a jacket, boots. We wanted this to feel more like a guy’s uniform,” Wainwright said.

In Rag & Bone’s stores, the collection will be displayed as a cohesive package with the tops being merchandised in white boxes, while the jeans will be on tables.

A similar package will be offered to interested wholesale clients, the partners said. “And they’re all replenishable as well,” Neville added, noting that the jeans are made in Los Angeles.

The partners said revamping the denim and broadening the Standard Issue tops offering is part of their plan to evolve the brand. “We see Rag & Bone as timeless, but we also know we have to introduce newness,” said Neville. “The concept of this is very pure and is the foundation of every men’s wardrobe.”

Also for fall, Rag & Bone will introduce an Archive collection of denim, unrelated to Standard Issue. The heritage-driven collection of Japanese selvage denim pieces pays homage to the brand’s workwear roots with their triple-needle stitching, hidden rivets, reinforced cream-colored waistband and leather back patch. Archive will hang with Rag & Bone’s sportswear collection and retail for $195 to $395. “We see this as elevated streetwear,” Neville said.

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