GOOD TASTE: As an increasing number of chefs climb to demigod status and their well-designed restaurants become Meccas for fans of the good life, it’s not surprising that consumers would want to dress like the culinary crew. To that end, on March 9 Citizens of Humanity is starting to sell the jackets it created for hip eatery Gjusta via online retailer The Dreslyn.
For its first attempt in designing product for another enterprise, even one that has had a long-standing relationship with it, the Huntington Park, Calif.-based denim brand took a different approach, said creative director Catherine Ryu. It wasn’t that far of a stretch, however. After all, she noted, denim started as a uniform for miners. “We took the idea of function rather than the thought of wearing a uniform,” she said.
For the boxy jackets crafted out of satin-back Supima cotton twill, Ryu found inspiration in the utility jackets that French workers wore in the Fifties. She modernized the fit but kept the trio of big pockets in the front. To complement the white and gray decor at Gjusta, which is an offshoot of the popular restaurant Gjelina, the men’s jackets come in off-white whereas the women’s styles feature an indigo that has been distressed to the subtlest shade of sky blue.
For each $228 jacket sold, Citizens and The Dreslyn are committed to donating 20 percent of the proceeds to the Gjelina Volunteer Program, the restaurant’s six-year-old charity that connects its staff with public schools in Venice Beach.
“Community building is an extension of our core values, an ethos we share with Citizens of Humanity and the team at Gjelina,” said Brooke Taylor Corcia, founder and chief executive officer of The Dreslyn.
Still, as with anything in fashion, the merits must rest on aesthetics. “Someone may buy the jacket and not know the story,” Ryu said. “It looks cool back to jeans.”
To prove her claim, Citizens plans to outfit the staffs of Gjusta and Gjelina’s restaurant’s in Los Angeles and New York in its jeans this fall.