Follow us on Twitter! Visit our Facebook Check out our list of all the hottest designers available at! Celeb Style and Star Style at Ambience. Check out what all the stars are wearing on the red carpet, to premieres, or out and about! From casual to drop dead gorgeous, we've got you covered with these star worthy fashions. Love Rihanna's jeans? Gotta have Paris Hilton's leggings? Drooling over Lindsay Lohan's top? Craving Kim Kardashian's dress? Keep up with the stars with all of our on-trend pieces. Take an additional 20% off of all sale items, use code extra20 at checkout Check out what's new! New arrivals come in daily, so check back often. Ambience hooks you up with the hottest trends first.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Blinded by Brights" J Brand Bright Skinnies in The NY Times

The other day, Frank Doroff called to say he had a winner. Mr. Doroff, an affable, quick-talking executive who answers his own telephone, loves when an item is selling. Well, naturally, every retailer does, but for Mr. Doroff the fact that something is moving — “flying out the door,” as they say — offers proof that desires and needs are being met, however mysterious the process actually is.

And knowing that I’m always intrigued by this kind of thing, he called and said: “Colored jeans. J Brand. It’s unbelievable.”

My disappointment seeped through the phone. A year ago, J Brand scored with the hot-selling Houlihan, a cargo-pant style that sold in the tens of thousands, and my first thought was, Isn’t there another company out there with some new ideas to offer?

Models walked the runway during the Max Mara Spring/Summer 2011 show in Milan.
The Max Mara spring/summer 2011 show in Milan.

Well, it was obvious what was happening. One look around the floor, which is for contemporary labels and denim, told the story. Nearly all of J Brand’s competitors in denim, and many of the trendy fashion labels in their vicinity, were stuck in neutral, literally. The fashion world took a giant leap into color this spring, and the denim makers were still offering vintage and classic washes, and a lot of other brands were displaying murky beiges and grays. Eww.

And here in the middle of everything were J Brand’s exploding fuchsia, purple, vivid turquoise, bright red and lemon yellow. The skinny jeans, in Japanese stretch twill, are $176. The Rag & Bone jeans ($165) come in similar colors but are a bit muted.

Jeff Rudes, the founder of J Brand, is as capable of ballyhoo as the next fashion chief, but I think he’s correct when he said, “Most people don’t get that we’re interpreting fashion through a jean, especially our competitors.”

The jeans business has evolved rapidly in the past six or seven years. For a couple of years consumers were obsessed — you might say sidetracked — by leggings. Then came military and cargo styles, followed this year with ’70s wide-leg and high-waist denim styles. Mr. Rudes was keen on color, though, and after seeing a Jil Sander fuchsia men’s suit on display at Jeffrey in early February, he ordered his team in California to speed up production.

Men's wear at Jil Sander Spring 2011.
Jil Sander
Men’s wear at Jil Sander’s spring 2011 show.

Since early March, J Brand has sold about 100,000 pairs of colored jeans, outpacing the Houlihan, Mr. Rudes said. And this October, his company will bring out even more vibrant jeans produced in collaboration with the designer Christopher Kane. The neon-hue jeans will be $250.

The message here might be: follow the fashion. Jil Sander’s spring collections for men and women signaled the move toward solid brights, as did Max Mara with its lemon yellow. And editors were wearing bright red and royal-blue boy trousers at the February shows.

Not surprisingly, other retailers report that color has been a strong seller in a dreary spring.

Shop J Brand!

No comments:

Post a Comment