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Denim Desires: Monday Manifesto!

Monday Monday, so good to me…if only I could wake up to a cup of hot coffee and a brand new Chanel Coco Cocoon quilted Bowler bag sent to me for free.  Oh, how nice that would be!

Well, my motto has always been “champagne wishes and caviar dreams”, nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it.  So, come-come my friends, take a look at a few denim related items that I adore that may tickle your fancy. 



Acne, “Ambition to Create Novel Expressions”, the fantastic Swedish denim company continues to create beautiful and contemporary collections season after season.  For their RTW SS2010 collection, featured are body-con jeans with futuristic metallic glam. Without a doubt, to be a bold statement and conversation piece. There are so many ways you can wear these jeans, but for a chic and well curated look, keeping things simple with neutral colors is the way to go. J’adore! 

Contact Acne for more information.

















Helmut Lang Skinny Leather Pants, $875.00


Super hot for this season are denim-inspired leather pants. Whether they are real leather or faux, the look is a mix of luxe and casual, downtown and uptown, in short, perfect in every way.

Buy Helmut Lang at Intermix










Alexander Wang Coco Duffel (Exclusive to shopbop), $850.00

2alexander-wang-coco-duffel-in-denim-leatheralexander-wang-coco-duffel-in-denim-leatherThis super-soft distressed leather bag has the look of denim.  A nice big size to fit all of my daily needs of makeup, gadgets, phone, etc. with an added hip feature, metal studs at bottom. 

Buy Alexander Wang at shopbop





–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Oct 26 2009 in Denim News » Trend Alert

WWD News: Olsens to Launch Junior Brand for Penney’s, Asics’ First Retail Push…Vans Goes Pop

The Olsen twins continue their world domination in the fashion world with a line for J.C. Penney Co. called Olsenboye, which will include denim, bottoms, tops, dresses, skirts, shorts, jackets, handbags and shoes.  And for a pretty cheap penny, items will retail from $20-$50!

Kicking it on 42nd Street is Asics’, first time ever in the U.S., New York flagship store. The store opened its’ doors last Thursday, just in time for last minute shopping for the New York Marathon this weekend.

Read the WWD articles below.

–Nikki Cho Russo

Olsens to Launch Junior Brand for Penney??™s



olsen-twinsMary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are expanding their fashion reach.

The sisters, entertainers and marketers almost since their infancy who last week became members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, have signed a deal with J.C. Penney Co. Inc. to launch Olsenboye, a junior brand that will be exclusive to the chain.

The collection will have a major rollout, set for 600 Penney??™s stores in February. But the company aims to generate curiosity among teens well before the launch with what amounts to a new marketing approach for the retailer built around previews, limited offerings and digital, guerrilla and viral marketing tactics.

The effort kicks off Monday with an Olsenboye truck cruising around New York selling merchandise and giving out cupcakes, balloons and pins, and empty racks in 50 high-profile stores will be covered in Olsenboye shrouds. Beginning Nov. 6, Olsenboye will be available on and in those 50 stores, including the Manhattan flagship, for a limited time.

There also will be a teaser video for the preview collection on featuring teen characters. 

olsen-twins2For the full launch in the spring, there will be broadcast spots, magazine print ads and direct-mail pieces. There also will be an interactive digital campaign on, Penney??™s teen Facebook page and Twitter. 

For the last several seasons, Penney??™s has been unleashing new labels and designer exclusives while culling out brands that have lost relevance, striving to modernize its image, catering to more of a teen and contemporary crowd and offering something different. 

Among its consumer base, ???the propensity for trying and adapting new brands is terrific,??? said Liz Sweney, Penney??™s executive vice president and general merchandise manager of women??™s. ???We are stepping up our style to attract a younger customer??? with such recent launches as Bisou Bisou, I [Heart] Ronson, Allen B., Oxford & Regent and Twelfth of Eleven, all contemporary lines done in collaboration with designers and brands. Last month, Penney??™s olsen-twins3launched its first contemporary label, called she said, created by its own design team. Arizona and Decree are among the key junior brands at the store, but the retailer also still sells more traditional lines geared to a more mature crowd, such as Worthington, and has just signed a deal with Liz Claiborne Inc. to be the exclusive retailer for the Liz Claiborne line. ???We love our older customer, as well,??? Sweney noted. 

When it comes to price, however, Penney??™s has maintained its moderate, value-driven, promotional posture. Olsenboye, which is the Olsens??™ ancestral name, will fall into Penney??™s good and better price tiers. Olsenboye is a casual sportswear and accessories collection that includes denim, bottoms, tops, dresses, skirts, shorts, jackets, handbags and shoes. The line will retail from $20 to $50 and is being designed to be mixed to create different looks. The brand also will periodically flow in travel-inspired mini collections, each reflecting the looks and trends of different cities. 

Click here for the full story


Shop Talk: Asics’ First Retail Push…Vans Goes Pop


Asics??™ First Retail Run

asicsAsics opened its first U.S. flagship in New York last Thursday near Bryant Park on 42nd Street. 

The 1,100-sq.-ft. shop stocks men??™s and women??™s running footwear, apparel and accessories, as well as official apparel for the ING New York City Marathon. The store also houses a Foot ID 3D Scan machine, which uses both lasers and cameras to measure and analyze feet. 

Asics Chairman Kiyomi Wada told Footwear News the company decided to bow in New York because of the city??™s large running population.

He added that in spite of the current economy, he was bullish about the debut. ???This is a chance for us to show that our business is strong,??? he said, speaking through a translator. 

U.S. President and CFO Rich Bourne said this location will act as a testing ground and that there are no immediate plans for another unit. Looking down the line, though, Wada noted that other U.S. cities of interest would include Chicago and Los Angeles.

Asics??™ business has been growing steadily in the U.S., said Bourne, with stateside sales making up about 22 percent of the company??™s total business. ???We had double-digit growth last year, and we??™re determined to keep growing this year,??? he said. Bourne also cited the firm??™s marketing campaigns around big events like the Olympics and the New York marathon as drivers in helping to elevate its U.S. presence. 

Vans Goes Pop

Vans, the skate-and-surf lifestyle brand, opened its Vault Shop pop-up last Friday at the Conveyor in Fred Segal in Santa Monica, Calif. The shop has taken over the entire Conveyor space and will house all limited-edition Vault by Vans products and Vans by Conveyor exclusives under one roof, as well as brand favorites and classics. 

Also hitting shelves are special sneaker designs by artist Taka Hayashi. The Vault shop has created a gallery-like layout, with Hayashi??™s own artwork and inspirations for his shoe designs displayed until the end of October. The following months will introduce a new visual space and a completely new round of merchandise for consumers. 

???What we??™re looking for is an opportunity to showcase the brand,??? said marketing and PR rep Chris Overholser. ???The best way for us to do that is in an environment where we can show our best product, and we can effectively tell the stories behind that product.???

If the shop exceeds sales expectations, more Vans pop-ups could roll out, said Overholser. 

Click here for the full story

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Posted Oct 26 2009 in Uncategorized

Denim Deals: Acne Jeans For $75


Who knows how long this Acne Jeans sale will last, but I sense it will close soon because sizes are pretty scarce! Found at REVERSE, the newest online boutique spun off by REVOLVE CLOTHING, this jeans sale event boasts Acne Jeans slashed down from $39 to $75. There are several other pieces of Acne apparel also on sale.



Kathy Ng Hassan



Posted Oct 25 2009 in Uncategorized

Denim Desires: Yigal Azrouel Stretch Denim















Now here’s a name you won’t often hear, when it comes to every day discussions about jeans — Yigal Azrouel.  Respected in lovers of high fashion circles, Azrouel brings us something chic, sleek and neat.  These stretch jeans I spotted on FORWARD, are all business in the front, and party in the back.  In a time when motorcycle jeans are such the focus, it’s refreshing to see the detailing and stitching work in the area behind the knees.  Any girl who can stuff herself into these, with the right shoes, can surely rock ’em all around, day and night.


Kathy Ng Hassan


Posted Oct 25 2009 in Denim Fashion » Reviews: Product

Denim Deals: Jeans for Under $100 At The Outnet


Net-a-Porter’s spinoff site, The Outnet, is having their “we love denim” sale by offering a slew of premium designer jeans for under $100.  Designer, my foot, you might say.  How does $53 for Sass & Bide jeans sound to you?  A variety of designer jeans to choose from.  You’ll find distressed, wide leg, skinny, slouch, high-waisted, and cropped jeans.  Save 50 – 85% off!

Denim Sale Highlights
$81 for Acne

$96 for Current/Elliott

$84 for J Brand

$68 for Notify

$53 for Sass & Bide

$86 for Superfine


Kathy Ng Hassan

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Posted Oct 23 2009 in Uncategorized

Denim Desires: Alexander McQueen’s Wet-Look Denim

English designer, Alexander McQueen, is best known for his controversial and complex mixtures of patterns, colors and rebellious runway shows.  His denim pieces on the other hand are more restrained, but always with edgy silhouettes that can easily blend into your wardrobe to up the antee on any ensemble.  

Get the Wet-Look denim jacket and skinny jeans for a full denim outfit or wear them separately to dress up  or dress down key fall and winter pieces that will spice things up at the office or out on the town.



Wet-look denim jacket, $1,485

Alexander McQueen redefines your working wardrobe with this zip embellished black denim jacket. 


alexander-mcqueen-wet-look-denimskinny-jeansWet-look skinny jeans, $895

Alexander McQueen’s black wet-look skinny jeans are a sleek alternative to leather trousers and form the basis of a seriously cool silhouette. 










My LUST accessory by McQueen!

alexander-mcqueen-clutchAlexander McQueen Knuckle Duster clutch, $1,595

Alexander McQueen’s Swarovski crystal-embellished petrol knuckle duster clutch is dark and deliciously fabulous that will add instant punch to your evening outfit!

Buy Alexander McQueen at





–Nikki Cho Russo


Posted Oct 23 2009 in Uncategorized

Active Endeavors 30% off sale on Citizen’s of Humanity and more!



Active Endeavors
430 Chapala
Santa Barbara, CA 93101


–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Oct 23 2009 in Uncategorized

WWD News: Gucci Spotlights Mary J Blige Charity and Pop-Up Shop, Unity Rules at CFDA New Members Bash, Crew Spring Presentation: Opposites Attract, Stefanel Unveils New Store Concept, The Fashion Scoops

Gucci opens a pop-up shop on Crosby Street in Soho. Doors open on Saturday displaying the Gucci and DJ Mark Ronson collaboration sneakers that are sold out.  

J. Crew’s Jenna Lyons for women’s and Frank Muytjens??™ men??™s spring presentation mixed dressy and utilitarian.  This is my go-to store for great classically, well-made, affordable pieces that you can mix with jeans and more edgier pieces for a great updated look that will take you from day to evening for both women and men.  

Read today’s highlights from WWD below.

–Nikki Cho Russo


Gucci Spotlights Mary J Blige Charity and Pop-Up Shop


maryj-blidgeGucci was at both ends of greater New York on Thursday, feting a new partnership with Mary J. Blige??™s charity in nearby Yonkers, N.Y., while preparing to open its Gucci-Icon Temporary pop-up store in SoHo.

Creative director Frida Giannini, Blige and branding impresario Steve Stoute gathered in Yonkers to open the new Mary J. Blige Center for Women, a partnership between The Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN) ??” the charity that Blige and Stoute cofounded in 2007 ??” and Westchester Jewish Community Services (WCJS). 

The center has three central goals: to educate, empower and encourage women, noted Blige. 

???As a child, I never saw a confident woman ??” I only saw women being abused,??? said the singer, who grew up in Yonkers. ???There was so much pain growing up ??” it would have been in vain if I didn??™t put myself out there. That??™s why I am here; that??™s why FFAWN exists. I want every girl and woman who walks through this door to know that she is loved ??” no matter who is telling her she isn??™t loved.???

guccishoesBlige emphasized domestic abuse and low self-esteem know no socioeconomic boundaries. ???I??™m not just talking about helping women in the poverty-stricken areas ??” I am also talking about the broken homes of the wealthy where the child is watching mom and dad arguing, and she grows up being abused by some man, as well,??? she said. 

???Mary is an inspiration for us all,??? said Giannini, who is also a board member of the PPR Foundation for Women??™s Dignity and Rights. ???She is a woman who really talks from her heart and from her own experiences, and she is a living example for all women in the world. And at the same time, Gucci is a very powerful brand that can communicate in a very strong way. I thought that, together, we could make something very impressive. I think it??™s important to show that fashion isn??™t just about clothes and accessories ??” it??™s about being involved with initiatives like this one and social responsibility.??? 

Giannini has designed a limited edition, stainless-steel women??™s Twirl watch, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit FFAWN. The watch, which retails for $1,895, is available at Gucci stores, and select department stores. 

The charity had its roots in a conversation Blige and Stoute had at the 2007 Grammys, noted Stoute. ???I asked her, ???In your highest of highs, what are you most passionate about???™ And she said, ???Giving back and helping women. I??™ve had support systems that have come into my life and helped me become who I am, and I want to be able to provide that foundation to as many women as I can.??™??? 

gucci-chaufferNext, Stoute and Blige plan to expand FFAWN workshop programming throughout the five boroughs of New York City, and in 2010 will implement scholarship programs which fund tuition for educational degrees and vocational training programs, as well as implement a grant program that suppor

ts women??™s organizations. Eventually, Stoute and Blige hope to take FFAWN??™s work global. 

Meanwhile, Gucci??™s pop-up store on Crosby Street in Manhattan will open to the public Saturday morning, yet the company is hoping to close the space even before its two-week run is over. The boutique, its white-washed walls covered in the signature Gucci evergreen and red stripes, will pack up as soon as its wares ??” which include the Gucci Ronson sneaker, a collaboration with celebrity DJ Mark Ronson ??” are sold out.

Click here to read the full article


Unity Rules at CFDA New Members Bash



Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen
Photo by Kristen Somody Whalen



Jason Wu and Guest. Photo by Kristen Somody Whalen

NEW YORK ??” No one needs reminding that the economy is in tatters, so the CFDA??™s new members party Wednesday provided reason to present a united front. 

???This is the Kiwanis Club of our business and it is good to be in it, especially in a time like this,??? said David Rees, co-founder of Ten Thousand Things, who was welcoming newbie Lorraine Schwartz to the fold. 

Despite the ongoing catch-as-catch-can retail scene, a few of the rookies at the Four Seasons restaurant said they are more interested in seeing what they can give rather than what they can glean from others. 

Olsen, who has been inducted with her sister, Ashley, said, ???Diane [von Furstenberg] said it best: ???It really feels like you are part of a family.??™???


Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. Photo by Kristen Somody Whalen

After a few years on the designer circuit, the pair is committed purely for professional reasons, not publicity ones. Asked if she felt more at ease with the fashion crowd than the Hollywood one, Mary-Kate Olsen said, ???I don??™t really know the Hollywood scene. This is my day job. This is what I do every day. The clothes speak for themselves. The clothing is all made in the U.S., and there??™s a certain integrity to that.??? 

Having just been brought up to speed about the Save the Garment Center campaign, Olsen, who can routinely be found at her West 39th Street factory, said she was keen to pitch in. ???We need it, as well. I hope we can save it,??? she said. 

Jason Wu said he was also on board. ???It??™s not so much what I can gain as it is what I can contribute. I produce 90 percent of my collection in New York, and I would love to preserve the garment center,??? he said. ???The CFDA has been really important in bringing American fashion to the forefront.??? 

Another inductee, Chris Benz, soon will be making his presence in the neighborhood better known. Next week he will relocate his showroom to 247 West 37th Street, where the space is twice as large as his current one around the corner. While packing was pressing on his mind, none of the more seasoned CFDA-ers had offered any pointers about business. ???Not yet, but the night is still young,??? he said. 

Click here for the full article


J. Crew Spring Presentation: Opposites Attract

by WWD Staff


In an upbeat presentation, J. Crew??™s Jenna Lyons started with a Hockney-inspired palette of neutrals with pops of neons. She applied this to looks rooted in counterpoint: whimsically ruffled and otherwise embellished pieces juxtaposed with boyish military-inspired outerwear. For the most part, the contradiction worked like a charm, even if one or two looks felt overstyled.


Frank Muytjens??™ men??™s lineup offered classic pieces in unexpected combinations. A dinner jacket with satin lapels, for example, was shown with distressed jeans, and an oilcloth fireman??™s jacket was paired with white jeans and a skinny tie. ???We??™re mixing dressy with utilitarian,??? said Muytjens, J. Crew??™s vice president of men??™s design. ???The inspirations are familiar but in a different context.??? 

On the financial front, J. Crew said Thursday its third-quarter profits would rise to 54 cents to 59 cents a diluted share, ahead of the 30 cents to 33 cents previously projected. The update drove J. Crew??™s stock up 15.2 percent to $43.49 Thursday.


Click here to view the full slideshow


Stefanel Unveils New Store Concept


stefanel-storeMILAN ??” After boosting the design, quality and image, Stefanel has unveiled the last step in its repositioning plan ??” a new store concept. 

The blueprint was revealed last week during the opening of a new outpost in Frankfurt. 

???Stefanel is going through a real and proper revolution aimed at repositioning the brand in the ???simple luxury??™ segment,??? said Giuseppe Stefanel, chairman of the brand. ???We feel we have intervened heavily on multiple fronts but always in the respect of a brand that has a 50-year-old heritage.??? 

Knitwear, the company??™s core business, now offers snazzier designs, partially thanks to capsule collections codesigned with young talents such as the British duo Cooperative Designs. More high-quality yarns, including cashmere, are being used, and 90 percent of Stefanel??™s production is done in Italy. 

The ad campaigns are now in the hands of Mario Testino, who will photograph Daria Werbowy for the spring ads. 



by WWD Staff

ROCKING FASHION: In New York, style hounds with a passion for music and fashion can head to Openhouse Gallery in NoLIta for Rock N Shop. Beginning tonight with a VIP party and continuing Saturday and Sunday, when the event is open to the public, Rock N Shop offers emerging bands alongside brands that are anything but mainstream. The event is like a concert crossed with a sample sale held in a pop-up shop. Indie bands such as Audio Fiction, A Fragile Tomorrow, Lead Pipe Cinch, Nikki Kelly and Paperdoll will perform as consumers scour racks of Antik Batik, By Malene Birger, Elizabeth & James, Gryphon, Haute Hippie, Lewis Cho, Mike & Chris, Notify Denim, Pink Tartan and Yumi Kim. Rock N Shop is produced by Brand, a pop-up event marketer founded by Nancy Berger, who spent 20 years in the fashion industry working for Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino. A portion of the proceeds of Rock N Shop will be donated to VH1 Save The Music.

CHAMPAGNE WISHES: Christian Louboutin made a brief stop Thursday at New York??™s Plaza Hotel to show off his latest collaboration. The accessories designer teamed with French Champagne house Piper-Heidsieck on Le Rituel ??” a special holiday package containing a bottle of bubbly and a crystal flute in the shape of a Louboutin heel, designed by the stiletto maestro himself. The partnership was inspired by an old ritual dating back to Belle Epoque Paris, when cabaret dancers would fill their shoes with Champagne to pass around for all of their male idlers to sip. Retailing for $500, Le Rituel is available at Colette in Paris, and hits select Neiman Marcus stores in November. Louboutin will celebrate the launch in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, beginning in Hollywood on Nov. 5. He also directed a 3-minute film on the concept, airing online at

Click here to read all of today’s Fashion Scoops

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Posted Oct 23 2009 in Uncategorized

Denim for Dudes: Chronicles of Never

Chronicles of Never is the label founded by Gareth Moody, formerly one of the founding members of Tsubi, now Ksubi.  He branched off to go solo in 2005 to launch Chronicles of Never, a minimalist and androgynous collection comprised of apparel, footwear and accessories.

The Cubism Jean is the answer to the slouchy skinny for men.  A five pocket jean, simple and free of embellishments in a light weight denim. Gentlemen, rock these jeans with a Chronicle’s buttery soft 2nd Skin Leather Jacket and kick-ass Stab in the Dark Boots and you will be so bad-ass stylin’!



Cubism Jeans


Cubism Jean back view


Wax Jeans

Cubism Wax Jeans

Cubism Wax Jean back view

Cubism Wax Jean back view

























Cubism Jean in Washed out Dark Grey Skinny, $365.67 and Cubism Jean in Lightly Waxed Black Skinny, $316.92.


2nd Skin Leather Jacket, $1607.36

Supple washed leather jacket in a loose, unstructured cut. Jacket doesn??™t fasten and edges are left raw for an organic, simple silhouette.



Stab in the Dark Boot, $349.42

Paneled black leather ankle boot with a wide ankle and an upward curving toe. Soled in leather, these will age magnificently.

Buy Chronicles of Never at oki-ni



–Nikki Cho Russo





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Posted Oct 22 2009 in Uncategorized

Hot Denims: Twiggy Legging Jeans by James Jeans

These sleek and sexy legging jeans (aka jeggings) are a nice alternative to skinny jeans with a stretchier softer feel. They are slimming, super soft and comfortable.  Twiggy legging jeans are available in 10 different washes and a favorite of Hollywood celebrities such as Charlize Theron, Halle Berry and Marcia Cross.  


James Jeans – Dry Aged Denim

twiggy-legging-jeans-in-acidTwiggy Legging Jeans with Zipper in tie-dye, $172.00

These tie-dye ankle skinny jeans feature 5.5″ ankle zippers. 5-pocket styling and single-button closure. Darting at back pockets. 10″ leg opening.

Buy James Jeans @ Shopbop









twiggy-legging-jeansTwiggy Legging Jeans in washed black, $114.00

A comfier version of painted-on skinnies, these soft skinny jeans feature 5-pocket styling and a single-button closure. Darting at back pockets. 11″ leg opening.

Buy James Jeans @ Shopbop






–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Oct 21 2009 in Uncategorized
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