Fueled by investment from Milan-based private equity firm Style Capital SGR, Los Angeles denim and ready-to-wear brand Re/Done is ramping up growth with the opening of a flagship on Melrose Avenue.
Across the street from Cecconi’s restaurant, a couple storefronts down from Chrome Hearts and across Robertson Boulevard from Maxfield and John Elliott, the 2,000-square-foot space showcases the breadth of the growing brand. The offerings include its recycled and reengineered Levi’s, Re/Done Originals jeans produced with waterless wash techniques, chic-looking patchwork sweaters made from deadstock knits, aloha shirts upcycled into Western shirts, remade sweatshirts and Hanes Ts, vintage-inspired pony hair clogs and Eco runner sneakers.
Stores in East Hampton, Miami’s Design District and Aspen will follow later this year.
Cofounders Sean Barron and Jamie Mazur started Re/Done in 2014 with the idea of reengineering vintage Levi’s before sustainability was a fashion buzzword. “We didn’t know what sustainability was, it was two guys who wanted to cut up Levi’s,” Barron told WWD, explaining that they later realized the opportunity in creating a second life, not only for jeans but for American heritage brands Levi’s and Hanes, which have since become partners, and other collaborators along the way, such as Champion and G.H. Bass.
Re/Done opened its first store in November in Malibu, a natural for the brand built on denim worn by many a model who has called the seaside enclave home, including Bella Hadid, the original face of the label way back when, before she was famous.
“It’s doing a lot more business than you’d expect from a 200-square-foot store in the off-season in Malibu,” said Barron of the glass box in the Malibu Lumber Yard. “Each of our jeans fits a little differently. People want to go out and try things on, shop and discover stores.”
The airy Melrose space has the feel of a Laurel Canyon hang with a warm midcentury look; red steel beams after those in architecture buff Mazur’s Craig Ellwood house; Lautner-inspired flagstone floors, and Andy Warhol Polaroids on the walls. There’s a 1960s analog record player and sound system and a guitar in the corner, and an Eames surfboard coffee table full of collectable art and design books (all for sale). Also on offer, a selection of vintage RetroSpecs’ made-in-America Ray Bans, belts and jewelry from the brand’s online Marketplace.
(A vintage junkie, Mazur showed up for the interview with a midcentury ashtray picked up on the way from the design store Object.)
Using the large parking lot in front, the founders hope to host an “upscale Rose Bowl-style flea market” once a month, featuring vintage vendors.
Re/Done adds another chapter to its circularity story this month by launching Re/Sell, a resale marketplace on its website for pre-worn Re/Done products. A portion of profits from the initiative go to Sheltersuit, a non-profit that provides shelter and clothing for homeless people.
“We created a peer-to-peer relationship. If you bought a pair of jeans and you resell them, you get Re/Done credit and 5 percent of the sale goes to charity,” Barron explained. “We have done a lot with The Real Real, creating a third life for jeans, and it was great. But there’s so much community in our company and talking on DMs, we wanted to bring everyone together and have fun,” he said of keeping resale in the family. “It also gets the customer who may not be able to afford the $350 jean but can buy a used one that’s already used anyway for $150, so she’s now become a customer because we’ve created that opportunity, and within the Re/Done world.”
Re/Done has a luxury sensibility and higher price point ($195 to $400 for jeans, $395 to $495 range for knits, and more than $1,000 for leather moto jackets). The brand is slowly expanding into other categories, with plans to relaunch men’s wear for fall.
Declining to share specific revenue figures, Barron said Re/Done was charting 50 percent year-over-year growth before the pandemic, and is aiming for $50 million in total revenue for 2021.
Denim currently represents 48 percent of revenues.
“Everything we buy is 1983 or earlier, which was when Levi’s stopped making selvedge jeans,” said Mazur of the vintage selection, which includes pairs that can run upward to a thousand dollars.
Re/Done Originals (straight and boyfriend cut are the current bestsellers) are produced using sustainable, waterless techniques in a factory in Mexico, but the founders still consider L.A. the center of the denim creative universe. “Even Celine, when Hedi [Slimane] left Saint Laurent and moved back to France for Celine, he left one division of the brand here, denim, and they have an office a block from here,” said Mazur.
To date, Re/Done has upcycled, remade and sold 117,000 pairs of Levi’s, saving 5 million plus gallons of water and diverting 200,000 discarded garments from landfills, according to its sustainability report.
Asked about the ever-growing number of players jumping into the sustainable fashion market, particularly in the denim category, Barron said, “It’s not about competing, it’s about changing the world. I have a 10-year-old kid, I need to do my part, LVMH and others need to do their part….My whole team is excited every day when they find a new way to do something sustainable, whether it’s no-chemical washing or mushroom leather.”
Resale has also been heating up, of course, and Re/Done partner Levi’s even has its own buy-back program now. Barron still says the more the merrier: “If I’m losing market share to someone who is doing a sustainable effort, they can have it. We are all working toward a nicer place to live — hopefully.”