Budget-conscious teens who crave the styling of designer dungarees without the high cost will get their fix with Repaired.
Los Angeles-based premium line 575 Denim will launch Repaired this spring with capris, Bermuda shorts, gauchos, miniskirts and five-pocket jeans that have undergone the grinding, tacking and other treatments for which 575 Denim is known.
“Repaired is premium jeans for a cheaper price point,” said Frank Mechaly, a fourth-generation denim vendor who founded the company in August 2004 and designs both collections.
Wholesaling for $24 to $38, Repaired’s prices are significantly less than the $90 that 575 Denim charges for its premium line.
With Repaired, 575 joins other premium jeans manufacturers that have branched into the junior market with lower-priced offshoots promising similar quality and styling at about half the price of the flagship brands. For instance, Paige Premium Denim developed City of Angels, which launched last fall with an eight-piece collection retailing for around $88. Blue Cult, which was founded by Mechaly’s father, David, has spawned Blue 2.
Another difference between 575 Denim and Repaired is the fabric. Whereas 575 Denim exclusively uses Italian and Japanese textiles, Repaired opts for lower-cost denim from China to help keep prices down.
Repaired will offer six fits, ranging from baggy to skinny to curvy, and as many as four washes. It also will offer a neutral hue in stretch twill and white denim.
“We feel twill is going to be important going forward because of the saturation of blue denim [on the market],” said Henry Abeger, president of the Repaired brand.
Repaired also enables 575 Denim to increase sales without acquiring a company or adopting a licensing model in an unfamiliar category such as shoes.
“Most companies are looking to spread their business,” said Ilse Metchek, executive director of the California Fashion Association. “They stay very close to what they know in the manufacturing process, but they clearly look for another way to spread their knowledge.”
In addition to Repaired, 575 Denim will unveil a women’s contemporary brand this spring called House of Gypsy that will retail from $1,000 to $4,000. Next fall, it will launch a children’s jeans line, 575 Denim Kids, and an as-yet-unnamed knit label.
Mechaly declined to disclose first-year sale forecasts for Repaired or revenue for privately held 575 Denim, which employs 240 workers to make all its clothing in a 60,000-square-foot facility in Los Angeles.
Abeger said that while the majority of 575 Denim’s distribution is concentrated in specialty stores and boutiques, most of Repaired’s sales will come from department stores and chain retailers. Mechaly said Macy’s East, South and Northwest divisions have already ordered Repaired and that he expects Rampage, Buckle and Nordstrom to submit orders this month.