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Seven Signs on for Slim Styling

New program pairs colored denim with the new Slim Illusion silhouette concept, a subbrand that emphasizes stretch fabrics.

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Seven For All Mankind is turning up the brightness control on its color story for fall.

This story first appeared in the June 13, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Seeking to inject newness into the popularity of colored denim for women, the Los Angeles-based premium denim specialist has introduced Slim Illusion, a subbrand that emphasizes stretch fabrics with strong recovery characteristics, and made it the umbrella for all of its colored denim as well as some twill. Deliveries begin at the end of this month.

“It starts with what’s been going on with color in jeans these past two years and takes it to a new level,” said Barry Miguel, president of Seven, which is part of the contemporary brands coalition of VF Corp. “Since our inception, we’ve been innovators — premium denim itself is really about innovation — and we’ve identified a point at the intersection of fashion and technology.”

The technology is Japanese — Seven hasn’t yet disclosed its fabric supplier for the program — and uses both tightly woven denim and fibers enriched with soy protein to provide improved stretch and recovery performance.

“In both the makeup of the fibers and the weave itself, this involves very tight construction that incorporates a lot of the characteristics that have gone into shapewear performance technology,” Miguel noted. “It’s an extremely flattering look and the recovery aspect means the jeans look as good after they’ve been worn all day as they do when they’re first put on.”

In women’s and men’s, shape retention has been a challenge for manufacturers of jeans and slacks involved in previous incarnations of stretch in the past, but the introduction of shapewear technology has helped remove some of the “sag stigma” from bottom-weight stretch fabrics.

The Slim Illusion Twill will retail for $168 and come in blackberry, port, ginger, fuchsia and lagoon, while Slim Illusion Denim carries a $178 price and is available in amber, chocolate, burnt orange, “Café LA,” peacock, olivine, eggplant and black. More colors are expected to be added for holiday delivery.

The twill is made from a blend of 93-6-1 cotton, polyester and spandex, and the denim in two blends, 92-5-3 cotton, polyester and spandex and 98-2 cotton-spandex.

Jeans in the Slim Illusion initiative are being shipped with hangtags touting “tighter construction, intense stretch, sexy slim illusion.” The program adds an additional selling point to a trend that has proliferated throughout the jeans market for longer than many had expected and has often been paired with the skinnier silhouette that has stayed in the fashion spotlight of the women’s denim market.

“Color has been an important component of the jeans world for several seasons now,” Miguel said, “and it’s become a staple of the women’s wardrobe. I don’t think that’s going to change. It’s becoming a part of men’s, too. They’re embracing color, if not necessarily the superskinny silhouettes that have gone with it.”

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