Following up on its Tailorless line of flared women’s jeans for fall and holiday, Seven For All Mankind thinks it’s got something for spring to address men’s current passion for high-performance jeans.
Dubbed Foolproof and constructed from a proprietary denim weave exclusive to Seven and made from 89 percent cotton and 11 percent stretch fibers, the company aimed to develop a product “that had close to zero growth in the wearing and zero shrinkage in the home wash, that would never change no matter how you wear it or how you wash it. We were pretty much trying to make the most stable denim fabric in the world,” according to Steve Romero, men’s denim designer.
The company declined to identify the mills responsible for the fabric’s development and manufacturing.
Barry Miguel, president of Seven, part of VF Corp.’s Contemporary Brands coalition, noted, “We’ve tried and it seems no matter what you do, you really can’t mess these up.”
Miguel spoke to WWD from Project, where the new assortment is being introduced. It is available in three fits — Paxtyn, Slimmy and The Straight — and three finishes of descending darkness — Classic Indigo, Alpha and Tribute — and will be priced between $198 and $218.
Miguel characterized the product as one that addresses the growing breadth of the male denim customer, a principal reason that, unlike women’s jeans, denim for men has in the past year has been able to resume a modest degree of sales growth.
“You have men who like to line-dry their jeans after a wash and men who just want to throw them in the dryer,” he told WWD. “When they throw them in the dryer, they don’t want to have to worry that they’re going to be lighter in color when they take them out.”
Because the improved shape retention is derived from the construction of the denim itself, rather than one of the “pre-shrunk” finishes often employed in production, it is being classified as “Intelligent Luxury Denim.” Seven introduced Luxe Performance denim to the premium market in 2013.
The Los Angeles-based brand has been receptive to collaborative efforts in the past, working with French mill Malhia Kent on a capsule tweed collection in 2013, as it expanded it Slim Illusion program, and on other programs with mills — the identities of which generally haven’t been disclosed — throughout much of its 15-year history.
“Most of our programs are proprietary so we can only share so much,” Miguel said. “We strive for innovation in every collection, just as our parent company does. Our design team is out with the best mills in the world, constantly challenging them. I guess you could say we’re instigators.”
In the three months ended July 4, VF’s Contemporary Coalition, which includes Ella Moss and Splendid as well as the larger Seven unit, operating profit fell 87.1 percent, to $1.1 million, while revenues were off 9.7 percent to $86.9 million. At neutral currency, the group is expected to see a midsingle-digit decrease in 2015, down from the previously forecast for a nearly neutral constant-currency change in revenues for the year.