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Denim News: YMI for Kids


According today’s WWD, YMI, a Los Angeles based denim company best known for their affordable jeans with bling’d out back pockets, will be producing a YMI kids’ and girls’ collection.  Denim, nondenim bottoms, swimwear, sleepwear, and outerwear will be available in sizes 0 – 16 all retailing under $50.  So get ready mammas and pappas, the line is expected to hit stores in the summer!

–Nikki Cho Russo


Posted Jan 22 2010 in Uncategorized

Denim Finds: Stylish Affordable Denim Pieces

Get an early start with your spring wardrobe with some great denim pieces.  In the mix are great light washes, edgy jackets and vests, a continuing nod to the 80s and even a pair of denim brogues that just make me want to raise my arms and sing “Come on Eileen”…too-rye-HOOR-ay!

Topshop Denim Waterfall Zip Waistcoat

TopShop Waterfall Zip Waiscoat, $80.00

Minimalist, edgy with clean lines, this vest is a fresh addition to any wardrobe.

Shop TopShop

Gap Washed Denim Moto Jacket

Gap Washed denim motorcycle jacket, $59.99

A cropped motorcycle denim jacket that can be worn casual or dressed up.

Shop Gap

Mango Dress Petrol

Mango Petrol Dress, $79.90

A sexy little number that Dolce & Gabbana would give a wink to.

Shop Mango

Charlotte Russe Denim Shirt Dress

Denim Shirt Dress, $14.99

Perfectly paired with boots or platforms, this Denim Shirt Dress is flirty and fun.

Shop Charlotte Russe

Gap Denim Pencil Skirt

Gap Denim pencil skirt, $54.50

A chic, tailored silhouette sharp enough for work, yet cool enough for happy hour.

Shop Gap

Forever21 80s Acid Wash Denim Skirt

Forever21 80s Acid Wash Denim Skirt, $19.90

A throwback to the 80s, this acid wash denim skirt is sexy and bad-ass!

Shop Forever21

Topshop Denim Brogues

TopShop Kisco2 Denim Brogues, $90.00

Washed denim lace-up brogues, a modern classic.  Perfect boyfriend shoes.

Shop TopShop

–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Jan 21 2010 in Buys Under $100 » Denim Buys

Denim News: G-Star Sets Sights on U.S. Expansion

Live Tyler2

Liv Tyler in the SS2010 ad campaign: Photo by Courtesy Photo

G-Star, a Dutch denim brand was founded in 1989.  According to G-Star Export Manager Patrick Kraaijeveld,

‘Dutch designers are very gutsy. Our designs are more frivolous than, say, those by the six Belgian designers known as the “Antwerp Six”. When it comes to jeans, the Dutch designers are even trendsetters. Of course, G-Star’s design team is made up largely of Dutch people, although head designer Pierre Morisset is French, but there are also a great many Dutch designers working for other denim companies.’

The company now has 4900 sales outlets worldwide, of which almost 100 are G-Star Mono Brand Stores. G-Star put on their first show at New York Fashion Week in 2007 and continues to captivate their denim loving audiences with their fashion forward denim collection.

With an aggressive plan to expand their US retail posts in franchising, G-Star is launching a new ad campaign featuring Liv Tyler for the next two seasons.  Now more Americans will be able to easily buy the edgy denim brand.


A look from the Raw Collection: Photo by Courtesy Photo

The store campaign will be supported by global efforts to emphasize G-Star??™s origins as a brand rooted in a distinctly modern-industrial take on denim. The centerpiece of the denim effort will be the fall launch of the Raw Essentials collection, a global offering Ray acknowledges will appeal to the denim fanatic. Raw Essentials will be a full collection of items including jeans, tops, jackets and sweatpants ranging in price from $300 to $600. The line will feature high-end styling and details like leather waistbands, tailored looks and repairs. (WWD)

Read WWD’s full article

–Nikki Cho Russo


Posted Jan 21 2010 in Uncategorized

Denim News: Alexa Chung For Madewell; Ecommerce Site Launches This Spring

Alexa Chung. Photo by Thomas Giddings.

Alexa Chung. Photo by Thomas Giddings.

Forget about the “triple threat” reference.  What do they call someone who does it all?  Alexa Chung is one of my fave style icons, and I’ve been following her since well before her current MTV stint.  This girl is one of the rare gems who actually styles herself, without the help of a celeb stylist to get her started.  That’s why she doesn’t look like everybody else in the pages of People Magazine.  And, that is why I’m excited that she is going to design a collection for Madewell!  Read the press release for the deets…

Alexa Chung for Madewell

Celebrated TV personality, model and style muse to design exclusive collection for Madewell

January 20, 2010 ??” Alexa Chung is many things: TV personality, model, DJ, writer, photographer, downtown-cool style icon, best-dressed-list mainstay . . . and now she can add fashion designer to the list. She??™s is partnering with Madewell, the heritage denim label that??™s part of J.Crew Group, to create an exclusive collection??”her first-ever collaboration with any label??”due to debut fall 2010.  Chung will translate her widely admired aesthetic and irreverently sexy tomboy look to this limited-edition Alexa Chung for Madewell collection, which will include covetable jeans and a tightly-edited group of key pieces to wear with them.  The collection will be sold through – which will also be launching ecommerce this spring – and in Madewell stores nationwide.  Chung will also be the creative muse and face of the collection for a planned fall ad campaign.

???I??™m very excited for my first collaboration and thrilled that it??™s with Madewell,??? says British-bred Chung. ???This partnership came together organically and is a great fit as the brand is so classic and really encompasses my style. I??™ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the team and I can??™t wait for my friends to wear it!???

The evolution of the relationship between Madewell and Chung was a natural one: When the Madewell team, already inspired by Chung??™s innate style, learned that Chung, in turn, was a Madewell fan (and a regular at Madewell??™s Soho store), they knew their mutual admiration could be spun into a partnership fusing their creative sensibilities.

???Alexa??™s style is inspiring and inventive, yet unbelievably approachable and down-to-earth,??? says Madewell design director Kin Ying Lee. ???The way she puts everything together is so spot-on??”and so perfectly Madewell. What excited us the most about Alexa is that she has such a clear point of view, and she enthusiastically brings that to the collection.???

In the lead up to the collection??™s launch, the latest developments about the collection will be tweeted by Chung at, and additional updates will be posted on

About Madewell

Originally founded in 1937 in New Bedford, Massachusetts as a traditional work wear label, Madewell was reinvented and relaunched in 2006 as a modern-day heritage denim purveyor under the J.Crew Group (NYSE: JCG) by J.Crew Group Chairman and CEO Millard “Mickey” Drexler. The vintage-meets-modern influence of the line draws from Madewell??™s historic roots. In addition to denim, a full range of downtown-cool clothing and accessories is also on offer. Each Madewell piece has an easygoing feel and is designed to pair back to denim to create an individual, inspired look. Madewell currently has 17 stores across the U.S., including a flagship in New York City’s Soho. Madewell’s website,, will be launching ecommerce in mid-2010.

About Alexa
Born in central England, 26-year-old television personality, writer, model and style icon Chung started her career in London after attending art school. She moved to New York City in 2009 to launch her widely acclaimed live daily MTV talk show It’s On with Alexa Chung, and was quickly lauded for her inspirational style in the pages of Vogue. In her free time, Alexa serves as a contributing editor to British Vogue, enjoys scouring for vintage, taking photos, watching MAD MEN and singing bad Karaoke.


— Kathy Ng Hassan

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Posted Jan 20 2010 in Uncategorized

Dudes in Skinny Jeans: If You’re not a Rolling Stone The Only Stone You’ll Get is The One Thrown at You

pic2Cheap Mondays

Recently, I was asked what my prediction was for skinny jeans and when the trend will fizzle out. My answer was, not for a long time.  As a die-hard fan myself, skinny jeans are both slimming and versatile, when worn appropriately.

Jonas BrosThe big question is, are they appropriate for dudes? In broad strokes, I would normally say it’s all about your attitude and self confidence, go for it!  But let’s be realistic, skinny jeans are not for everyone.  Sure, if you are a child, a young twenty-something hipster, in a rock band – in which case age has no boundaries (think Aerosmith, Rolling Stones, ACDC), even a cougar with fierce attitude and discerning taste can pull it off, but the average joe is going to be ridiculed and stoned by his friends.

Gentlemen, if you have any self pride and dignity, unless you fit into any of the above mentioned categories, in addition to having a long and lean body type, I would steer clear of skinny jeans. It’s hard enough for men to stay on top of their game (and I am talking both literally and figuratively), but to put your twig and berries at a suffocating infertile risk is just sheer shenanigans.  Leave the skinny jeans to the EMO loving club kids.  Why put your health and reputation at risk?  Wouldn’t a pair of leggings be more comfortable than a pair of skin tight denim jeans anyway?  In any case, they both look ridiculous on men, that is, if you’re straight.  If you want to be taken seriously and look amazing at the same time, stick to a slim fitting straight leg jean for a sleeker and refined look.

–Nikki Cho Russo

Posted Jan 20 2010 in Denim Fashion » How to Wear It

Denim Sales: Karmel & Alden Denim Sale at TheTopSecret

Karmel & Alden, founded in 2006 by denim industry veteran Pat Ramos.  Karmel & Alden is dedicated to continuing the American love of denim.  Shop must-have trends including colored denim, cut-off shorts, and trouser styles.  Celeb clientele includes Jessica Alba, Audrina Patridge, and Brooke Burke.

Universally flattering Virginia Jean will be a great addition to your denim collection.  For ladies who like a slimmer cut, but not a skinny, the Virginia St Jean is a great alternative.  Get a pair or two now at more than 50% off the original price!  Join TheTopSecret today to take advantage of their great rock bottom sales.

Karmel & Alden

Karmel & Alden @ TheTopSecret

–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Jan 20 2010 in Uncategorized

Gloria Vanderbilt Relaunched

Gloria Vanderbilt

In the 80’s, little girls, teenagers and women all pranced around in their coveted stretch Gloria Vanderbilt jeans with the signature swan stitching on the back pocket.  Mine were a pair of purple stretch corduroy that I wore to death.  Now you can own them too with the re-launch of this iconic denim brand.

The new “made to fit” premium collection has the same aesthetic as the Eighties range but panels of hi-tech stretch denim reach have been added for the Noughties – across the hips, waist and bottom – to create a smoother silhouette. The range includes slim, skinny and boot cut fits and comes in sizes 10 – 20. (Vogue UK) Note: the US size conversion is 6 – 16.

Available online and in stores nationwide.

–Nikki Cho Russo


Posted Jan 19 2010 in Uncategorized

J Brand X Duarte Jeans

Are you ready to rock ‘n’ roll?  That’s exactly what you’ll want to do when you put on a pair of J Brand x Duarte Jeans.  This is truly a high voltage collision between street style and bespoke denim.  We are all familiar with the premium denim label, JBrand, coveted by many of you denim enthusiasts and for the rock ‘n’ roll royalty, Henry Duarte is the king of rock star clothing and denim.

Adored by such celebrity followers as Sheryl Crow, Stephen Tyler of Aerosmith and Gina Gershon, to name a few, Duarte most well known for his customized pants has partnered up with JBrand on a capsule collection inspired by Ziggy Stardust.  The collection features three skinny styles: the Ziggy (exposed zipper and hardware, my fave), the Suffragette (with Duarte’s signature lace-ups) and the Raygun (moto touches).  Currently available at JBrand and in various specialty stores Henry Bendel, Holt Renfrew and Ron Herman, prices range from $209 – $284.

In addition, Henry Duarte has a clothing collection called Duarte Q65 and will be releasing his new denim collection called Henry Duarte Denim.  His denim line will feature seven styles, which include dark rinse indigo and grey jeans with his signature elaborate details such as zippers, lace-ups and 70’s style bell bottoms.  The denim collection will range from $168 – $250.


Ziggy Jean


Suffragette Jean


Raygun Jean

–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Jan 19 2010 in Denim Fashion » Reviews: Product

Denim Brand: Closed Jeans


Closed Denim, is a denim label founded in Italy and originally created for Postal workers in Germany. This vintage inspired denim brand with an undercurrent vibe of working class origins is self described as “sophisticated casualwear”.  With a multitude of washes, colors and fabrics and a Creative Director formerly from Jil Sander, designer Sophie Lewis, Closed may just have staying power amongst the growing factions of denim brands.

Catching the interest of celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, Katie Holmes and Drew Barrymore, to name a few, Closed is sure to catch on fire for the masses stateside.

In addition to men’s and women’s, Closed also offers a kid’s collection for your stylish little ones.

Here are some of my favorite denim looks:

Men’s Jasper Soho Creased Jean

Jasper Soho CreasedJasper Soho Creased2

Men’s Linden Hurricane Wash Jean

Men's Linden Hurricane WashMen's Linden Hurricane Wash2

Women’s Pistol Bootleg Flat Dark Wash Jean

Pistol Bootleg Flat Dark Wash

Pistol Bootleg Flat Dark Wash2

Shop Closed

–Nikki Cho Russo


Posted Jan 18 2010 in Uncategorized

Denim Deals: Diesel, Ksubi, Rich & Skinny, Sass & Bide, Siwy (1/21)

GILT GROUPE Designer Denim Blowout

Add some variety to your denim closet from this one sale.  Thursday on Gilt Groupe: bootcuts by Diesel, skinnies by Ksubi, boyfriends by Rich and Skinny, high-waisted by Sass & Bide and flares by Siwy. 


— Kathy Ng Hassan





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Posted Jan 17 2010 in Uncategorized
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