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WWD News: Balmain Builds on Its Strengths, Dockers Aims to Revitalize Khakis, Streaming Louis Vuitton… Blue Clues…,Anthropologie on TV…

Balmain Builds on Its Strengths

by Katya Foreman

From WWD ISSUE 10/01/2009


Christophe Decarnin (Photo by Stephane Fuegere)

Take Balmain??™s Christophe Decarnin, whose trademark peaked jackets and fiercely sexy minidresses have catapulted him and the French label to new heights, with its show today one of the hottest of the week. 

Now, the privately held company is working behind the scenes to bring the business in line with the buzz around the name ??” what some have even dubbed ???Balmania.??? 

Next month, Balmain??™s two-story flagship on the Rue Fran?§ois 1er will be shuttered for two months for a top-to-bottom renovation. And chairman and chief executive Alain Hivelin is reviewing the Paris house??™s network of licenses, guiding certain partners in line with Decarnin??™s rock ??™n??™ roll aesthetic, and phasing out those who don??™t cut the mustard. 

The brand signed a women??™s footwear license with Giuseppe Zanotti, effective since the spring 2009 season, which grew out of a runway collaboration stretching back to Decarnin??™s first show in 2006. A men??™s shoe line could be added soon. New for next season is a capsule eyewear collection developed with Oliver Peoples. 

In total, Balmain has around 20 licenses in Asia and the Middle East, including scarves, small leather goods, ties and men??™s tailoring. In an interview, Hivelin, who became the house??™s main shareholder in July 2005, declined to give sales figures, but said Balmain has been profitable since 2005 and logged total annual sales growth of around 60 percent the last three years. 

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Dockers Aims to Revitalize Khakis


From WWD ISSUE 10/01/2009

The brand??™s new colored soft khaki program

The Levi Strauss & Co.-owned brand, whose classic chinos debuted in 1986 and became the unofficial pant of casual Fridays in the Nineties, is betting the renewed focus on its heritage business will not only stanch slumping sales but also redefine how male consumers wear and think about khakis. 

???The brand is going back to focusing on what we do best: khaki pants for men,??? said Jim Calhoun, president of Dockers. ???Our global team is working hard to make men love their khakis again. The task is big. We??™ve got to turn around a declining category ??” but as the leader, we??™re the only brand for the job.??? 

Dockers continues to be the top selling casual pants brand in the U.S. but receipts have slumped in recent years. Levi Strauss does not break out sales for the brand, but noted in company documents that its performance has been ???disappointing??? in recent years. Dockers products, which include men??™s and women??™s bottoms, tops and a range of licensed categories, accounted for 21 percent of Levi Strauss net sales in 2006 and only 18 percent of total net sales, or about $792 million, in 2008. 

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Streaming Louis Vuitton… Blue Clues…



by WWD Staff

From WWD ISSUE 10/01/2009

jeremy-scott-and-giled-deaconTHE ENGLISH ARE COMING: ???It was Worth, an Englishman, who created couture in France,???Pierre Berg?© declared Tuesday night in Paris, as he presented an award as president of France??™s National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts to Giles Deacon, the second British designer in a row to win the accolade. Thanks to a grant of 160,000 euros, or $233,470 at current exchange, Deacon is staging his spring fashion show in Paris on Oct. 8. ???It??™s a huge honor for me,??? said Deacon. ???Hopefully it??™s going to be a great season.??? Fellow Brit Gareth Pugh won the accolade in 2008. Jeremy Scott was among the guests at the 20th-anniversary award ceremony, before flying back to Los Angeles to work on his new Adidas collection. Scott said he has also designed a special edition bag for French luxury goods company Longchamp to celebrate the association??™s anniversary.

LIVE WIRE: Louis Vuitton is courting its online fans and giving them a virtual front-row seat at its next fashion show. The French luxury house said it would stream its women??™s ready-to-wear show on its Facebook page on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. CEST. Viewers will be able to comment on the show as it happens. Following the event, footage of the show will be available on demand for 24 hours. Vuitton, which created its Facebook account in July, claims to have been the first luxury brand to take to tweeting.

BLUE CLUES: Jeans on the Hussein Chalayan runway? What a concept. The London-based designer plans to carry on with his collaboration with J Brand for a second season and present styles on the runway at his show on Sunday. The expanded collection for spring includes stretch capri leggings, loose-fit chinos and city shorts.

WYCLEF??™s NEW SHOES: Timberland and Wyclef Jean are making music together. The apparel and footwear company partnered with the Grammy Award-winning musician and his Y?©le Haiti Foundation to inspire consumers to take action in protecting the environment. The pair collaborated on a 16-boot footwear collection for men, women and children, slated to launch in late November under the Timberland Earthkeepers line. For every pair sold, $2 will be donated to the Y?©le Haiti Foundation to support reforestation in Haiti. Jean will celebrate the collection tonight at WNYC??™s the Greene Space in New York.

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Memo Pad: Anthropologie on TV…

by WWD Staff

From WWD ISSUE 10/01/2009

IN THE HUNT: Inspiration first struck producerFenton Bailey walking past an Anthropologie store with his producing partner; the two casually remarked what a great basis it would make for a television show. The very next day, Bailey read a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer about Keith Johnson, the globetrotting buyer at large for the stores, and he knew he had his concept. 

The result was ???Man Shops Globe,??? an eight-episode series premiering on the Sundance Channel on Oct. 7, following Johnson??™s eye at flea markets and artisans in France, Turkey and South Africa, among others. At a launch party at Anthropologie??™s Rockefeller Plaza store Tuesday night, Glen Senk, chief executive officer of the retailer??™s parent, Urban Outfitters Inc., said getting there meant getting assurances the project wouldn??™t undermine the brand??™s integrity. ???We had been contacted many times,??? he said, ???but we had an instant connection with the team,??? including directorJeremy Simmons. Senk described Johnson, who is also his longtime companion, as ???shy ??” not a reality TV person. It was insightful for them to see what the show could be.??? 

Said Johnson, ???I??™ve been doing this for so long, it actually gave me a little bit more energy. I saw the world through Jeremy??™s eyes.??? 

???Man Shops Globe??? has already been picked up for another season, which begins filming shortly. 

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–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Oct 01 2009 in Uncategorized
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