PARIS — Going organic is proving just the business for Monkee Genes.Monkee, which hails from Bakewell, a small town in Derbyshire, England, became the first denim label to obtain the U.K.’s highly respected Soil Association organic certification in July. Retail doors haven’t stopped opening since. The 32-piece collection for women and men goes on sale in Macy’s this month, while the U.K.’s House of Fraser and Selfridges are negotiating orders. An initial run in London’s Topshop last month, where Monkee opened a concession in June 2007, sold out within 10 days.Monkee was founded in 2006 by Phil Wildbore, the designer behind the 25-year-old Road Jeans label. Monkee and Road together generated 2007 sales of nearly a million pounds, or $1.8 million at current exchange, and this year sales are expected to more than double to 2.5 million pounds, or $4.4 million, largely driven by Monkee. “This idea that we can’t be green and be successful is just b---s,” Wildbore declared, adding that independent companies have the potential to thrive in tough times. “During a recession the high street goes even more boring and indies can have a pop at the market.”Monkee aims to stand out with its marketing, with banana emblazoned merchandising and slogans like “Our customers are not paid peanuts.” And though selling at a slight premium, the organic offerings remain affordable at 50 pounds, or around $90. “Proof that organic products can also be good value for money,” said a Topshop spokeswoman, who added that reaction to the organic line has been strong.While steering clear of what he calls ethnic, hippy designs, the move to organic did influence Wildbore’s aesthetic and inspire him to add flare styles.“It felt right to have vegetable-dyed flares,” he said.Other cuts include skinny, “supa” skinny and hip hugger, available in three finishes — Sateen, a shiny finish, raw denim and a fine corduroy. Colors run the gamut from bold reds, purples and greens to more neutral grays. In addition to certifying the cotton as organic, the Soil Association, which Wildbore dubs the “Rolls-Royce of accreditation,” inspects everything from the dyes used to the working conditions. “Our standards are some of the highest in the world,” assured Sarah Compson, the association’s business development officer, who added other denim brands have since applied for certification.And certification isn’t easy to acquire. It took 18 months to approve the factory, where certain dyes had to be replaced. Then two months before launch, Wildbore was informed the Pop Art-inspired back pocket labels didn’t qualify as organic because they contain polyurethane. Hence the detachable label. “Because it comes off and because we’ve got a disclaimer [saying it’s not organic] on the label, we can get away with it,” he said. With six different designs, the label has become a selling point and the brand has lodged a patent application for the invention.For spring, the collection will include more finishes and, eventually, Monkee will convert completely to organic.
Exclusive: @longchamp is planning to stage its first official runway show at New York Fashion Week this fall. The French leather goods firm has expanded into ready-to-wear as part of its repositioning as a lifestyle brand. The show, scheduled for September 8, will also cap the brand’s 70th anniversary celebration. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex undertook their first overseas engagement as a married couple in Dublin. The trip included multiple events and outfits changes, including this black dress by @emiliawickstead that Meghan Markle wore for a party at the British Ambassador’s home. #wwdfashion #royals
At 20 years old – and with an estimated net worth of $900 million - @kyliejenner is the youngest person to ever make @forbes’ annual list of America’s Richest #SelfMadeWomen. “It’s incredible to be recognized for something I’m so passionate about, and I’m really grateful for that. I’ve always loved makeup and worked really hard to bring the first lip kit to the market,” said Jenner on founding @kyliecosmetics. See who else is on the list on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @rainerhosch)
“The collection is inspired by Tulum and the Mayan Riviera – its laid-back luxury, life of cabanas, untouched coastline, natural habitats, exotic cocktails and jungle parties with renowned DJs,” said Matteo Maniatty, creative director and cofounder of @descendantofthieves, on the brand’s inspiration for its latest collection. See more designer sketches and inspirations on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #nyfwmens #nyfw
@riccardotisci17 is releasing a limited-edition capsule collection as part of his anticipated runway debut for @burberry in September. Delivered in a series of instant drops, this is the second Burberry capsule collection announced since Friday, when Tisci broke the news on his collaboration with @viviennewestwood. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
“It’s like a Cinderella story. You get a little fake, you get a little real, you put it together and voilà,” said legendary rapper Slick Rick, who helped pioneer the merge of luxury and streetwear. WWD’s @ariahughes spoke to @therulernyc about his jewelry collection, his collaboration with @bally and how the industry has evolved – link in bio. (📷: @kristaschlueter)
@ragandbone and @eminem are teaming up on a special capsule collection of streetwear pieces. Sold at a one-day pop-up in London’s Soho on Friday, the collection features three different T-shirt designs and a hoodie. The capsule is set to kick off the rest of Eminem’s shows in his European Revival Tour, which ends on Sunday. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion