NEW YORK — Imitation of Christ has inked a licensing deal with Blue Concept, a Los Angeles-based denim firm, to design a premium denim collection that will launch for spring. Tara Subkoff, Imitation of Christ’s designer, will serve as creative director.
Subkoff admitted she wanted to do a denim line for years, but was never approached by a denim company whose credentials she deemed worthy. Until now.
“I met a couple of people who were wooing me to do denim, but they wanted to start from scratch. They would pay me really well, but they were inexperienced,” said Subkoff in a telephone interview from Blue Concept’s factory in Los Angeles.
Subkoff likens the Blue Concept partnership to the Easy Spirit collaboration last year when she designed a collection of stylish but comfortable shoes. “You can create something even better when you work with people who know what they’re doing. I can’t wait. I’m ecstatic. Everyone here [at Blue Concept] is so knowledgeable.”
Marc Beckman, founder of the Designers Management Agency, represents Subkoff and orchestrated the deal. “We’ve been approached by many companies in the past year to do an Imitation of Christ denim line, but Blue Concept was the company that fit best from an infrastructure point of view. They have manufacturing and sourcing capabilities unlike anyone else in the marketplace,” said Beckman. “As far as the creative direction, it’ll all make sense because Blue Concept has the unique ability to manufacture with Tara’s creative vision.”
The denim collection will officially be unveiled at the Imitation of Christ runway show during fashion week here in September. Though she didn’t want to reveal too much about the collection, Subkoff didn’t hold back when explaining what it won’t look like.
“I don’t want to see a bedazzled [jean] ever again. Like, for the rest of my life,” Subkoff said. “I’m taking jeans back to the roots. It’s about taking one’s body into consideration and understanding what is flattering. We’ve gone so far to the right [with embellishments] that I want to see how far to the left I can go. Right now, the bedazzled and embellished looks are just tacky. Let’s face it: I think women can look better than that.”
The back pocket of the Imitation of Christ denim will feature the brand’s signature three crosses. The line will wholesale between $90 and $120 and will hit better specialty stores in the U.S. and abroad in January.
Blue Concept and its founder, Paul Guez, are known for providing the back-end support for a number of thriving denim labels. “[Subkoff] brings a distinctly feminine flavor to the jeans market and that was missing from the labels we have,” said Beth Guez, executive vice president of Blue Concept.
The company’s roster of brands includes Antik Denim, Taverniti So Jeans, Yanuk Jeans, Grail, Henry Duarte, Elvis and Memphis Blues.
Subkoff said she’s taking her inspiration for the collection from film stars from the Fifties through the Seventies — and from her two friends, Chloë Sevigny and Scarlett Johansson. “They know so much about looking good,” she said. “They wear jeans all the time. Denim is almost like camouflage for imperfections. It’s taken the place of the little black dress.”
And while the details aren’t fully squared away, Subkoff said she would like to donate a portion of the denim profits to charity.
Though the contract with Blue Concept was signed just last week, Subkoff is confident the collection will be ready for the runway, where she’ll also show Imitation of Christ ready-to-wear, one-of-a-kind pieces and her Easy Spirit shoes. “My parents used to have a swami and he always used to say, ‘If you want something done, give it to a busy person.'” she said.
Beckman said the plan is to grow Imitation of Christ horizontally as a luxury brand. “Right now, we’re speaking with handbag companies and fine jewelry companies and we’re in the process of talking about fragrance,” Beckman said. “That’s really the big picture.”