There’s more to Paige than denim.
This story first appeared in the May 18, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Paige Adams-Geller, the former fit model who founded Paige Premium Denim LLC in 2004, has branched into leather sportswear and is working on collaborations to produce shoes and bags.
“One of the things that has been growing in the Paige brand is nondenim categories, like ponte and twill,” Adams-Geller explained, adding nondenim now accounts for 20 percent of the business.
“Leather has always been a passion of mine,” she said. “I love shoes, bags, purses, the beauty of it. There is so much versatility and texture and color and weights. Leather is probably the most fascinating material to work with other than denim because there are so many things you can do with it.”
Paige will begin shipping five styles of lambskin jackets and a pegged pant in July. They wholesale from $200 to $325.
“One of my favorite uniforms has always been a leather jacket with a pair of jeans,” Adams-Geller said. “You can’t go wrong.”
Leather shorts, skirts and shearling are on tap for holiday. The leather will be labeled Paige Denim, and the company is gradually dropping the word “Premium” from its jeans labels as well.
Adams-Geller’s favorite jacket is the Northwick, a stonewashed gray ombré hip-length style with an asymmetric zipper, peplum back and removable sleeves and collar. She has also introduced a heavier black varsity jacket with ribbed cuffs, two motorcycle styles and a feminine bolero with three-quarter sleeves trimmed with eyelet lace. Colors are cognac, black and gray.
Adams-Geller dabbled in leather last year with two jackets and a pair of pants that retailed from $600 to $900 in her Black Label line. Though she discontinued the pricy label, the leather pieces did well at her three Paige stores and other doors, which prompted her to expand the category.
Two of the company’s stores opened as the economy was plunging — a Las Vegas shop at The Venetian bowed in October 2008, and a unit in New York’s Meatpacking District opened two months later. But she says she doesn’t regret it.
“It has enhanced the brand, and it gives me an opportunity for a testing ground,” she said.
The East is more polished and prefers clean, dark washes and skinny legs, while the West goes for casual washes and silhouettes, Adams-Geller observed. The nation’s midsection likes boot-cuts and pocket treatments; the South wants lightweight fabric.
Adams-Geller, who owns the Culver City, Calif., company with her husband, Michael Geller, and partner, Michael Henschel, declined to reveal revenue. The brand is distributed in 2,000 doors in the U.S. and Europe.