This year marks a big milestone for AG Jeans. The Los Angeles-based brand was founded 20 years ago by Adriano Goldschmied and Yul Ku, and the company will spend the next several months commemorating its anniversary.
The celebration kicked off in January with the release of a 20-piece collection of rib knits for women and will be followed by a number of different capsules that will drop throughout the year, according to Johnathan Crocker, who recently rejoined the brand as vice president of global communications.
That will include an expanded collection of elevated basics, both in jersey for spring and french terry for fall, as well as a 20-piece denim selvedge collection. But perhaps the most important of the drops will be the Jean of Tomorrow, the brand’s first completely biodegradable jean for men and women that will be offered along with a unisex denim jacket. That will debut in April.
“We’ve done a lot of eco-friendly pieces and we’ve always embraced being a sustainable and eco-friendly brand, even before it was almost required in fashion,” Crocker said. “We understand we’re a fashion brand but we’re also looking to where we can be more conscious.”
AG uses technology to reduce chemical and water usage, recycles more than 100,000 gallons of water a day and aims to recycle more than 50 million gallons a year.
But on Tuesday, AG was in the throes of virtually showing its fall 2021 collection, which is being called “Return to the City.”
Sam Ku, senior vice president and creative director and son of founder Yul Ku, said that as a result of the pandemic, AG’s spring collection focused more on casualwear. “Sweatsuit consumption is at an all-time high,” he said. In addition, many urban residents scurried out of cities to the country as they sought to distance themselves from the pandemic.
But Ku and AG are anticipating a resurgence in the popularity of cities in the second half. He said that the public is weary of staying home and not seeing family and friends or going out to dinner, concerts or other events. “We’re all ready to shed the sweatsuits and get dressed up again,” Ku believes.
As a result, the fall collection has a more-tailored aesthetic for both men and women. And while denim continues to be the primary message, the color palette and silhouettes are unmistakably more-dressy in what the brand is calling a “casual sartorial sensibility, versatile layering and clean finishes.”
That translates into what Sandy Oh, head of men’s and women’s sportswear, said is AG’s version of the denim suit. For men, a chore jacket in a resin rinse is paired with jeans, while for women, a cropped jacket over wide-leg jeans with a higher rise, creased seams in the front and a wide waistband serves to modernizes the look.
Another key men’s and women’s look is based on utilitarian references such as barrel-fit cargos with a high rise topped with an oversize boyfriend trucker jacket for her, while for him, a matching jean and shacket in a performance stretch twill with a jogger bottom updates what could have been a perfunctory rehash.
Other key looks in women’s include a triple box-pleated cropped denim jacket with vintage thread colors and antique copper hardware; a trouser jeans that works well paired with a flowy silk shirt, and a slip dress in a watercolor floral print that is also featured on a cropped denim jacket and jeans. Wide-leg french terry pants, a leather moto jacket and classic T-shirts updated with a pintuck on the waist round out the offering. The pièce de résistance is a jumpsuit offered in either a silk and modal fabric or denim with a grommet belt to help provide waist definition.
Although the men’s collection doesn’t offer a jumpsuit, there were updates on the Henley and Aiden Classic shirts as well as a high-rise jean in a stretch fabric; a crosshatch cord; skinny trouser, and a tailored sweatpant in a heavy terry fabric. Distressed denim makes its appearance this season in double-dyed black denim paired with a vintage-inspired trucker jacket with pleat details on the front.
Crocker summed up the season this way: “We’re still a denim brand but we’ve reintroduced a sense of refinement.”