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An Exclusive Q&A with Chloe Lonsdale of MiH Jeans

Made in Heaven was originally launched in England 1969, a brand which is now in it’s reincarnation, MiH Jeans (still remaining true to it’s British roots). From Farrah Fawcett to Jane Birkin in the 70’s to Claudia Schiffer and Sarah Jessica Parker today, the jeans are just as heavenly. That’s all due to the creative master behind it all, Chloe Lonsdale. Read on for our Exclusive Interview and learn more about the brand as well as Chloe’s favorite movies, a dream vacation, and the secret belongings in her handbag! And don’t forget to check out the MiH lookbook review.

mih fall 2011

DT: Lets start from the beginning. What inspired you to get this brand off the ground?

MiH: I grew up with my parents in the denim industry and I always knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps. My Mum had an amazing sense of style and was my muse and inspiration from day one.

DT: Are there other denim brands you consider your immediate competition? How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of popular denim brands afloat right now?

MiH: We compete with a variety of brands in the premium denim market from J Brand to Citizens of Humanity but we all have our different aesthetics and people come to us for our incredible fit and timeless jean jeans which set us apart.

DT: Do you have any pre-designing rituals?

MiH: Every design season always starts with a trip down the Portobello Road, which is right on the doorstep of where I live, and a selection of vintage garments that capture the mood of the season. I then attend the denim fabric fair in Paris because you can only really design a jean when you have picked the perfect denim for it.

DT: Describe the person who represents your ideal target customer—the customer you have in mind when you’re planning a collection.

MiH: We design for a free-spirited and independent woman who has an effortless sense of style and a personality in the way she wears her jeans.

DT: Can you give us hint about what’s next for following or upcoming season?

MiH: For Autumn-Winter 2011 we have a lot of rich mid-blues with a soft velvety hand feel which are available across all our core fits. We have also launched our MiH Collection, a range of key outerwear pieces for every occasion: the perfect tuxedo to wear with jeans, a battered leather jacket for everyday cool, a beautiful shearling wrapper and a Tibetan gilet for a touch of 70s styling.

DT: What would be your dream collaboration? Any plans of that in the future?

MiH: Designing jeans for Celine would be incredible. I absolutely love the aesthetic and it would show how the woman who buys into high fashion can combine it with denim for a more easy everyday look. No one dresses head to toe in one brand anymore and collaborating with a designer label is a great way of speaking to the customer about how she can bring a modern edge to her jeans.

DT: What are the most popular washes/fits in the line? What are your favorites, and how would you style them?

MiH: The most popular fits seem to change all the time. Our Marrakesh has definitely come to the fore in the last few seasons because it has the perfect kick flare, but for someone who wants something less dramatic the Sugarland has the most perfect boot cut. Our Kara Navy Blue wash is unique in the denim market, always a bestseller and available every season, but for AW11 we also have the beautiful Hutton wash – a rich deep indigo. The Bird wash is my favourite in both the Sugarland and slim-leg Boston. It has a lovely jeansy feel and a great point of difference.

DT: Do you have any favorite/least favorite denim trends right now?

MiH: Seeing the return of the wider leg is lovely as it is so much more flattering on a curvy figure, something most woman know something about! My least favourite denim trend is neon bright colours, but maybe that is just reflective of my age!

DT: Street style and style blogs are huge in the industry right now as a source of inspiration, influencing the high end labels rather than vice versa. How much does street style influence your designing?

MiH: Watching what people are wearing on the street is everything. When you are designing it is so important to keep your ideas relevant and always be looking to how people are wearing things from the simple way they turn up their hem, to maybe a jean or item of clothing they have had for 20 years and how it has aged. Colour combinations, layering… The list of little things you can pick up is endless. You never want to be one step behind.

DT: How many pairs of denim do YOU own?

MiH: Not as many as I you would think! I stay true to my old favourites, although each season I top them up with new washes. I live in my London jeans.

DT: Favorite celeb wearing your brand?

MiH: Claudia Schiffer wears them so well, or else Gwyneth Paltrow. A new convert to MiH!

DT: When it’s time to chill out and have a drink, what’s your poison?

MiH: Since it’s English summertime, it has to be Pimms or a glass of rose wine.

DT: Any dream-vacation destinations (this summer)?

MiH: I’m going to Umbria with my husband, two little boys and our extended family. Some relaxation would be nice but I imagine it will be quite busy!

DT: What are your favorite classic flicks for great fashion?

MiH: There are so many for different reasons. I love movies like Breathless for the beautiful, classic 70s French styling, and I recently watched I Am Love with Tilda Swinton and was really inspired by the colours and silhouettes.

DT: What are three things you always carry with you during the day?

MiH: Unfortunately my answer to this is quite boring! My Blackberry, keys and my passport, as I never know when I’ll be getting on a plane.

You can visit their website to shop and “like” them on Facebook as much as we do.


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—Jackie Racer

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Posted Jul 01 2011 in Denim News » Interviews

WWD News: Stewart + Brown Puts Eco Stamp on Denim, Hot Fall Items Emerge in ContemporaryFashion’s Night Out to Be Repeated in 2010, Men’s Sets the Pace for Prada in Asia, Val’s Pals at VBH Boutique, Appreciating Lady Gaga… Prince Charles Visiting Burberry…

Stewart  + Brown, the label founded by husband and wife team Karen Stewart and Howard Brown, adds organic cotton denim to their brand.

Hot fall trends include leggings, jeggings, leather (get that Alexander Wang Coco Duffel that I posted the other day…a hot hot item ladies!) pants (Helmut Lang rules!), vests, jackets and bags.  Great investments that will last season after season.

Read all the WWD articles below.

–Nikki Cho Russo


Stewart + Brown Puts Eco Stamp on Denim



Denim look from Stewart + Brown. Photo by Courtesy Photo

Karen Stewart and Howard Brown, the husband-and-wife team who founded the label in 2002, recognized they were missing a sizable market and an opportunity to expand and diversify their line without denim in its product offering. 
???We felt like we needed to offer denim to round out the collection and offer more woven bottoms,??? said Stewart, who noted the line??™s assortment has traditionally been focused on cut-and-sew knits and tops. 

They also believed there was an opportunity in the market for a higher-end take on denim with a socially conscious message. 

???We took styling cues from [traditional] denim, but it has a more refined and sophisticated appearance,??? said Stewart. Details such as heavy contrast stitching, zippers and brass have been lifted from the traditional denim world and incorporated into more refined designs. ???We wanted to take it a little more dressed up rather than the casual perspective on denim,??? she said. 

One of the keys to achieving that upscale look has been the choice of a lightweight fabric they are referring to as a ???platinum twill.??? The 7-ounce Japanese fabric is made from 100 percent organic stewart-denim2cotton the designers had been working with over the years for other items. The fabric??™s manufacturing process allows the fiber used to pick up all the dye, which results in clean water after the dyeing process. 

stewart-denim3The line??™s denim offerings will consist of trousers, shorts, skirts, dresses and jackets. Wholesale prices will range from $82 to $138. 

Stewart + Brown targets high-end women??™s specialty boutiques, and has felt the pangs of the recession as their customers struggled to survive. Many didn??™t. Stewart said that prior to the global financial crisis, the line shipped to 350 stores in the U.S. as well as to stores in Europe and Asia. Today, the line is down to 200 doors in the U.S. However, an online store launched two years ago is growing and customers did not flee entirely from the premium prices generally associated with green products. 

Click here to read the full article


Hot Fall Items Emerge in Contemporary



VinTage leggings at Intermix. Photo by Courtesy Photo

From the East to the West Coast, retailers said contemporary shoppers have been on the prowl for high-quality pieces that also provide great value. While they are pickier than ever about what they choose to spend their money on, they aren??™t exactly price-sensitive: If they have to have it, they will buy it. 

At Saks Fifth Avenue, fashion market director Colleen Sherin said overall she is pleased with fall sales so far, with some of the highest-priced items on the floor selling out quickly. Sherin said this season at Saks, buyers were choosier than ever about their buys, which has been good for sales. Sometimes, she said, they only purchased one or two items from a particular brand. It??™s those items she is seeing sell out fast. 

???The key categories have really become clear, and it??™s those multiuse items which can be dressed up or down that are really doing well,??? she said. ???Leggings are selling quickly and vests are selling really well, whether they are embellished, are made of fur, leather.??¦They are seen as a layering piece, almost like an accessory.??? 


Alexander Wang RTW Fall 09. Photo by Courtesy Photo

Leather items, Sherin said, are performing well across the board, which she said has a lot to do with the value and longevity factor. 

???Leather is seen as an investment; it only gets better with age,??? she said. ???And at $295 to $1,900 retail for these items, we haven??™t seen much price resistance.??? 

Sherin said Saks is also noticing a great deal of cross shopping, with more traditional designer customers heading to the contemporary floor to buy some of the higher-end lines there. She noted brands like Elizabeth and James, Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone are top performers, while casual items from Joie have been selling as well. 

???Casual shirts, cargo pants??¦it??™s those effortless, easy pieces which have also been amazing,??? she said. 

Sari Sloane, fashion merchandiser and director at Intermix, said shoppers have begun gravitating toward easy-to-layer separates ??” denim, knits and leather in particular. 


Elizabeth & James Blazer. Photo by Courtesy Photo

???The shopper wants value for her dollar, but she also wants to update her wardrobe,??? she said. ???So [we] offer high-low price points so they will spend more for an investment piece that can carry through seasons, as well as with some pieces that are more trend-oriented.??? 

Like Saks, Sloane said Intermix is doing well with Helmut Lang leggings and Rag & Bone jackets. 

???Leggings and leather pants and leather jackets are doing well because they can be dressed up or down and fall into trend categories but are also transitional pieces,??? she said. ???Almost every collection has offered variations on them. Also, we really edit the collections we buy to ensure that we get a very special assortment and create exclusive collaborations with our designers. This way, the consumer can find items with Intermix that are not available anywhere else.??? 

At Canadian retailer Holt Renfrew, fashion director Barbara Atkin said the store is seeing strong demand in the advanced contemporary area, with customers buying heavily into brands like Elizabeth and James, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang and Kimberly Ovitz.

Click here to read the full article


Fashion’s Night Out to Be Repeated in 2010


fashions-night-outNEW YORK ??” Fashion??™s Night Out, the global shopping event that gave retail a much-needed kick last month, is due for an encore in 2010. 

Today, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Vogue magazine, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and NYC & Co. will unveil the return of the event on Sept. 9 ??” and the plan is to make the second one bigger and better than the first. 

???The numbers are in, and it??™s clear that Fashion??™s Night Out was a tremendous success,??? Bloomberg said. ???Thousands of New Yorkers attended the events in all five boroughs, supporting the city??™s retail and fashion industries, and helping a worthwhile cause. It??™s sure to be an even bigger event in 2010.??? 

The first event, which took place Sept. 10, was widely considered a success. In New York alone, more than 700 retailers remained open until 11 p.m., and designers planned special personal appearances or events, with various spots around the city turning into major block parties. 

???We were absolutely bowled over by the response to Fashion??™s Night Out,??? said Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour. ???It was only 15 minutes after the event began, and we were getting reports about lines around the block at stores throughout the city. It was wonderful to see people embrace this initiative, and we are thrilled that they wish it to return.??? 

fashions-night-out2CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg added, ???To have designers in stores to celebrate and start a shopping season is the best idea for everybody. It creates excitement and lots of business.??? 

According to an independent study by ShopperTrak, foot traffic in stores jumped by 50 percent that night. Meanwhile, NYC & Co., the marketing, tourism and partnerships organization of the city, conducted a survey of 1,300 shoppers and concluded that 75 percent of them bought something that night. The survey also found two-thirds of those consumers visited stores they have never been to before, and 61 percent ventured out of their comfort zones, going to neighborhoods outside of their work and living areas. 

???I think that when the partners planned the first one, it was pretty clear that it was going to be successful, but until we hit the streets that night, I don??™t think we knew the extent of the success,??? CFDA executive director Steven Kolb said. ???As it went into the nights and days after, during fashion week, we talked to all the participants, and there wasn??™t one person who didn??™t immediately ask when we were going to do this again.??? 

In the weeks since Fashion??™s Night Out, top retailers have been meeting with the mayor and city officials, seeking a repeat of the event and trying to devise strategies to spur shopping and tourism in the city year-round. Specifically for Fashion??™s Night Out, some retailers are pressing to make Sept. 9 free of sales tax. There is also a proposal to stage a fashion show for consumers at Lincoln Center, where New York Fashion Week will be held for the spring 2011 designer collections for the first time, instead of at Bryant Park. The show would promote merchandise in the stores, not the next season??™s. 

Click here to read the full article


Men’s Sets the Pace for Prada in Asia



The Prada flagship in Singapore??™s Ion Orchard mall.

???Asia has been fantastic,??? Suhl said. ???It has offset some of the softer markets.??? 

Asia was Prada??™s largest business in the first half of 2009, representing 25 percent of global sales, and according to a recent study by Bain, the region is set to grow 10 percent this year. 

Prada on Wednesday unveiled a new 13,000-square-foot unit in Singapore??™s Ion Orchard mall, its largest flagship in Asia-Pacific to date. The company plans five more stores in the region before the end of the year for a total of 17 new units in 2009. 

Suhl explained Prada has seen very strong comps across the region, with men??™s wear, which accounts for 30 percent of global Prada sales and more than 30 percent in Asia, leading the way. 

???We have been seeing some very positive trends in men??™s wear, and overall much more positive trends than women??™s globally,??? Suhl said. 

prada-mens2China has been ???remarkable,??? while South Korea, which is Prada??™s fastest-growing market in Asia year-to-date, has done ???extremely well??? for men and women, he added. 

Prada is also looking at new territories such as Mongolia, although ???it??™s still very nascent,??? Suhl said, adding that second-tier cities in China like Xi??™An would remain the focus for the time being. ???Xi??™An is a city of eight million people, but by Chinese standards, it??™s almost like a village. The sales we are generating there in a relatively small store are comparable to key European cities,??? he said. 

Even markets like Australia are starting to show big numbers, according to Suhl. 

To further penetrate the market, Prada, which also operates the Miu Miu, Car Shoe and Church??™s brands, plans to open its first Car Shoe retail footwear store next year in Hong Kong??™s Elements Mall and in Singapore??™s Ion Orchard. Meanwhile, Church??™s, which already counts three stores in Hong Kong, will also open a store in Ion Orchard. 

Click here to read the full article


Val’s Pals at VBH Boutique

by WWD Staff


Valentino & Gwyneth Paltrow. Photo by Steve Eichner

Valentino & Gwyneth Paltrow. Photo by Steve Eichner

Valentino may have retired two years ago, but one wouldn??™t know it from the press whirlwind he??™s been on the last few months. Case in point: the VBH boutique on Tuesday night, where the designer joined Giancarlo Giammetti and Gwyneth Paltrow for a DVD signing of ???Valentino: The Last Emperor,??? Matt Tyrnauer??™s hit documentary about Valentino??™s last year in the fashion business. Alek Wek, Harley Viera-Newton, Gigi Mortimer and Molly Sims were on hand for the fete, from which proceeds benefitted The Robin Hood Foundation.

 Paltrow didn??™t seem ready to brave the cameras for a full-blown feature on her life. ???I don??™t think I would be an interesting enough subject,??? said the actress. ???There would be a lot of school runs, a lot of cooking, a lot of talking on the phone, a lot of e-mailing. Not six dogs and ski chalets, sadly,??? she said, referencing some of the aspects of Valentino??™s life showcased in the film.

Click here to view the slideshow


Appreciating Lady Gaga… Prince Charles Visiting Burberry…

by WWD Staff


Lady Gaga Photo By Dominique Maitre


CHARLES??™ CHECK: Burberry??™s newly minted global headquarters in London will get the royal seal of approval this week. Today, Prince Charles is set to make a visit to Horseferry House, the company??™s 160,000-square-foot base near London??™s River Thames, to officially open the sleek building. Angela Ahrendts, Burberry??™s chief executive officer, and Christopher Bailey, the label??™s creative director, will greet the prince, who will then view Burberry??™s archives and meet members of the company??™s 850 staff ??” who have been based at the building since January ??” during a tour of Burberry??™s design studio and offices. And since Burberry has held one of the Prince of Wales??™ royal warrants since 1990, it??™s likely Charles will be well enough acquainted with the 153-year-old label to happily talk trench coats with Ahrendts and Bailey.



Georgina Chapman, Mischa Barton and Stephen Webster at Garrard. Photo by MAX RAPP/

BAUBLES AND BUBBLY: Fine jewelry design was feted all over Manhattan on Tuesday night. Uptown, Annie Churchill, Kara Ross and Gilles Mendel came to congratulate Ward andNico Landrigan, the father-son owners of Verdura, on the firm??™s 70th anniversary. Meanwhile, it was a family affair for Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman at the Garrard salon in SoHo. Chapman??™s mother, Caroline Wonfor, brother Edward (who is president of Marchesa), mother-in-law Miriam Weinstein and husband Harvey Weinstein were in attendance to celebrate her collaboration with Garrard creative director Stephen Webster on a capsule collection for the English jewelry firm. ???They better be here if they want to stay family,??? said Chapman, outfitted in a royal blue number from her collection, as well as her first fine jewelry designs. Nonrelatives of Chapman??™s included Helena Christensen, Becki Newton, Mischa Barton and Tinsley Mortimer, who had a camera crew in tow filming her new reality show.

OPENING PAIR: The collaborations at Opening Ceremony continue apace: the latest is with shoe designer Robert Clergerie, who has taken his classic espadrille style (which he introduced in 1990) and created four exclusive designs for the retailer to debut in late February. The designs, featuring fabrics including indigo-dyed linen, classic polkadots on linen, and a special hand-painted floral print, will retail for $460 at the store.

MUMMY DEAREST: Tamara Mellon will take the stand in a Channel Islands courtroom next month as part of a 6 million pound, or $9.5 million, lawsuit against her mother, Ann Yeardye. Mellon is suing her mother for breach of contract in the sale of Jimmy Choo to Lion Capital in 2004. A source close to Mellon said Yeardye also planned to give evidence at the civil hearing, which is scheduled for mid-November at the Royal Court of Jersey, Channel Islands. Meanwhile, a similar lawsuit in Los Angeles that Mellon filed in January 2008 has been dropped due to jurisdiction issues. Mellon and Yeardye held stakes in Jimmy Choo through family trusts and, at the time of the sale to Lion Capital, money was paid to the family in cash and stock of the new owner. Mother and daughter reached an agreement partly verbally and partly in writing that Yeardye would receive her share in cash only, and Mellon would take her share solely in stock.

The lawsuit alleges Yeardye mistakenly received some of the stock that was supposed to go to Mellon, and refused to return it when the error was discovered. The 4 million pounds, or $6.3 million, in disputed stock was later liquidated after Jimmy Choo was sold once again in 2007, and is sitting in a frozen bank account. In 2004, Lion Capital acquired a majority stake in Jimmy Choo in a deal that valued the company at 101 million pounds, or $187 million, at the time of sale. In 2007, Lion Capital sold Jimmy Choo to TowerBrook Capital Partners LP in a deal valuing the London-based accessories company at 185 million pounds, or $364.5 million, at the time of sale.

Click here to read all of today’s Fashion Scoops


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Posted Oct 29 2009 in Uncategorized
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