Los Angeles-based denim and sportswear resource Liverpool Jeans Company, one of the fastest-growing under-$100 jeans brands offering premium styling, is expanding into men’s. The company, which was founded in 2012, currently sells in Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Von Maur and Dillard’s as well as online at Amazon, Zappos, Stitch Fix and LiverpoolJeans.com.
Available in slim straight, relaxed straight and skinny styles, and three inseam lengths (30-, 32- and 34-inch) for waist sizes 29 to 42, the jeans utilize Liverpool’s Advance Comfort Stretch denim with Coolmax technology, offering fits for a range of body types. The collection retails for $89 and will be shown at the upcoming Stitch Las Vegas, L.A. Men’s Market and by appointment at its New York showroom located at 530 Seventh Avenue.
Liverpool cofounder and president Ron Perilman, who had a line called City Girl and cofounded NYDJ, is a 30-year veteran of the denim industry along with wife Jill Perilman, who serves as design director.
“The market was missing a premium brand for under $100 and my wife said, ‘We can do it better,’” said Perilman. “This was before premium took a nosedive, though we thought it might.”
The Perilmans went to China and were surprised to find that Italian and Japanese denim could be replicated there. “The second problem was the wash, but we paid the L.A. wash houses to go to China and teach them how to do it there. So now we had price and fabric, and we needed to come up with consistent fit.”
Jill Perilman tried on every premium denim brand on the market, then cross-fit sizes 4, 6 and 8 on models to ensure that Liverpool sizing scaled properly from 0 to 16.
One of Liverpool’s first accounts was Stitch Fix, for which they still make exclusive styles. “We became their number-one bottoms and jacket resource, selling 1,700 to 2,000 units per month. They really helped us get out there,” said Ron Perilman. “Then we began spending money on social media and even more happened.”
The company has experienced 100 percent year-over-year growth for the last three years, and so far for 2017 it is up 59 percent over last year. A few months ago it began testing men’s on Stitch Fix and had the site’s highest sell-through ever for a new brand, 52 percent.
“We see a lot of opportunity in men’s because there was less of a selection. If you have a feel-good piece with a good wash, the reaction is there. And older men who were wearing premium can now buy three pairs for the price of one,” said Ron Perilman.
Currently Liverpool’s women’s line is 50 percent non-denim pieces such as jackets and trousers in ponte, linen blend and Tencel. The plan for men’s is to eventually offer twill pants, Tencel, knit joggers and jackets.
Ron Perilman thinks it will be a steep battle for premium denim to regain its footing in the market. “I think if they can figure out how to revolutionize the fabric there’s always that possibility, but probably there is nothing that new that can substantiate that price, so the educated consumer can’t see the difference,” he said.
With under-$100 retail, most consumers aren’t waiting for markdowns to buy. “If we don’t flood the market in places that have to put it on sale, then we have a clean brand,” he said. “In a marketplace that’s so highly promotional you don’t want to have to do that.”