PARIS — Consider it a case of “bottoms up.” Several leading denim brands are branching out from basic jeans and adding chic tailored looks and accessories to the mix. “I was tired of the image of denim brands having to add sneakers and sweatshirts to their collections,” says Maurice Ohayon, designer of the Paris-based label Notify.

So Ohayon chose a dressier route, adding cashmere sweaters, blouses and tailored wool jackets to his fall collection. Taking inspiration from men’s suits, Ohayon’s collection boasts details such as adjustable seams, intricate stitching and engraved buttons. And retailers are taking notice. Paris’ chic Le Bon Marche department store, for example, plans to showcase Notify’s new offerings on its designer floor this fall.

The New York-based denim label Rogan is also partial to the tailored look. In fact, the label plans to launch a tailored line this fall called A Litl Betr, featuring suits for women made from high-end fabrics such as silk and handmade Japanese denim. Rogan is also adding cashmere sweaters, blouses and accessories. While the collection will be sold at several locations worldwide, such as Ron Herman in Los Angeles and Harrods in London, Barneys New York will take the tailored idea a step further and offer final adjustments for a perfect fit.

Meanwhile, high-end denim label Atelier la Durance, based in the South of France, has designed fitted jackets paired with form-fitting skirts, while brands like Levi’s and Blue Blood’s Avelon are also offering dressy denim looks for the fall.

This story first appeared in the May 12, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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