GUESS TESTS PREMIUM LINE
Byline: Miles Socha
NEW YORK — Guess who’s jumping into the premium fray.
Guess Inc. is currently testing a new line of high-end jeans called Premium Denim at 16 of its retail stores. The line will be rolled out to all 90 locations and offered to top department store accounts for fall.
“It’s in sync with our strategy to really focus on denim and be on the forefront of new developments in denim,” said Maurice Marciano, chairman and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles-based company. “I want to keep pace with all the best brands in Europe and Japan.”
Made of ring-spun denim, Guess Premium Denim jeans start at $58 retail, $10 higher than regular Guess jeans. At present, there are four jeans styles for women and four finishes. A jeans jacket will be added for spring 1999 retailing.
“There are two businesses out there, the opening price business, which is all these $48 jeans, and then there is the business of innovation and fashion,” Marciano said.
“I really love denim, and I was kind of frustrated with these $48 jeans, where you can only use open-end denim. It’s good quality, but it will never have the character of a ring-spun denim.”
Joie Rucker, director of denim design and development at Guess, said ring-spun denim is stronger than open-end denim, has more character and improves with age, becoming softer and molding to the body over time.