NEW YORK — Erik Hart, founder and designer of the rocker-inspired contemporary collection Morphine Generation, is launching denim and swimwear for summer.
Hart hosted a party Tuesday night at Happy Valley, where guests drank, smoked cigarettes and danced to Madonna’s new album while models posed, sometimes scantily clad, in bikinis, jeans and denim skirts. Hart launched Morphine Generation almost three years ago but refrained from doing denim until now.
“I wanted to establish the brand first,” said Hart, who was showing his collection this week at the Intermezzo trade show here and playing gigs with his Goth group Suicide Club. “I don’t want to be known as a denim brand or a swim brand. I want to be a lifestyle brand with amazing tailored pieces. I see this brand being around 20, 30, even 40 years from now.”
He’s keeping the denim collection tight for the time being. The summer collection features two styles for women — a cigarette and boot-cut look — and a denim miniskirt and cropped denim vest. He’s using only Japanese denim and two washes: a black wash and a bone-colored one.
“We stayed away from indigo,” he said. “I wanted to create jeans in the way that my friends and I wear it. Our denim is super tight and super basic. I’m going antiembellishment. There are no bells and whistles here.”
The average wholesale price of the denim collection is $110.
Morphine Generation consists mostly of distressed T-shirts, sweaters and tailored suit jackets screened haphazardly with the company’s logo and other Hart-rendered artwork. The collection sells to more than 300 accounts domestically, along with retailers abroad such as Barneys New York Japan, Joyce Hong Kong and Co Star in Stockholm. His distribution plan is to sell denim in the same doors that carry the rest of the collection.
“I really want stores to commit to the entire collection,” he said. “Stores can’t just buy the jeans and not everything else.”
Originally, Hart expected his wholesale volume to range between $8 million and $10 million this year, but now he’s anticipating higher sales with the introduction of denim and swim.
The swim collection consists of three styles for women, all string bikinis. Each style features 12 prints developed by the designer.