Levi’s Brain Dead Jeans…Comme des Garcons and Converse, Again
From WWD ISSUE 08/17/2009
The Levi??™s Vintage display at the SoHo J. Crew store. Photo By Steve Eichner
GET THEM WHILE THEY LAST: Dying for a pair of Levi??™s Brain Dead jeans? Well, J. Crew men??™s stores in lower Manhattan recently snapped up the last of Levi??™s Vintage Clothing stock and are selling the jeans (and one style of sack coat) exclusively at its new shop at 484 Broadway as well as the Liquor Store unit on West Broadway. The selection ??” which is limited edition and re-created using the original techniques from 1873 ??” include the Dead Stock from 1967, the Brain Dead from 1947 and the Barren Land from 1937. They retail from $195 to $395. The Sack Coat is from the Twenties and sells for $298. Frank Muytjens, J. Crew??™s vice president of men??™s design, said the iconic pieces ???replicate the fabric and wash??? of the originals and are even ???woven on the original looms.??? As of Thursday, there were between 40 and 110 pieces of each style, Muytjens said, ???and when they??™re gone, they??™re gone.???
A Comme des Gar?§ons-Converse collaboration. Photo by Courtesy Photo
COMME DOES CONVERSE, AGAIN: After the successful launch of its shoe collaboration in Japan, Comme des Gar?§ons and Converse are dashing into a wider market ??” this time with four styles (two high-top, two oxford). The shoes will be sold at the end of August in Comme des Gar?§ons stores in New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Seoul, including select retailers that sell Comme des Gar?§ons Play, and in October, distribution will grow with a second launch in the same Comme des Gar?§ons stores as well as top Converse retailers in the U.S., Canada and China (the collaboration will be known as Comme des Gar?§ons Play for Converse). According to a spokesperson, ???Converse has a long history of being on the feet of those who have chosen to disrupt the status quo???; the collaboration was born out of Rei Kawakubo??™s affection for a particular Chuck Taylor All Star model from the Converse archives that was originally produced in the Fifties for the U.S. Army. Using details from that model, Converse and Kawakubo came up with the four prototypes, which will retail for $100 each. Comme des Gar?§ons isn??™t the only high-fashion brand with which Converse is aligning itself: The company plans collaborations with Missoni and (N)umber (N)ine later this fall.
Legging, Vintage Styles Drive Kingpins Show
From WWD ISSUE 08/18/2009
Kingpins featured 20 exhibitors. Photo by Stefanie Keenan
LOS ANGELES ??” Legging jeans and vintage styles topped the list of fall trends for premium denim designers who scouted the Kingpins textile show for the newest stretch materials and durable fabrics.
The West Coast edition of Kingpins, which ran here Aug. 11 and 12, featured fall offerings from 20 exhibitors, ranging from mills and laundries to trim suppliers and factories in Turkey and China. Among the attendees were GoldSign founder and denim industry icon Adriano Goldschmied, Seven For All Mankind creative director Tim Kaeding, Vintage Laundry??™s Alex Caugant, Agave chief executive officer and designer Jeff Shafer, Genetic Denim creative director Ali Fatourechi, Oligo Tissew founder Christopher Enuke, and designers from Levi??™s, Tommy Bahama and BCBG Max Azria Group.
While price remained a priority, attendees and exhibitors said business has been improving over the past six months. Underscoring the vibrancy of the denim market, Kingpins will host its first show in Hong Kong on Oct. 7 and 8.
???There??™s definitely a renewed energy and excitement in the marketplace,??? said Agave??™s Shafer.
However, attendees acknowledged the challenge of appealing to consumers who have grown accustomed to receiving incentives to buy, whether it??™s the U.S. government??™s Cash for Clunkers auto program or discounts at stores.
???The consumer is quite spoiled right now,??? Shafer said. ???Price is a major issue.???
Vendors appeared willing to do as much as they can to help designers stay on budget.
Turkish manufacturer Denim Village said although its prices sit between its competitors in Italy and China, it can produce vintage-inspired looks with 3-D whiskers, pigment spots and cotton and leather patches. China??™s Zhonghe Marketing Co. Ltd. sought to attract customers as a one-stop shop, which can spin cotton and blends mixed with Tencel or wool, dye the material and sew the garments. Japan??™s Amhot International Inc. said it can produce its yarn-dyed cotton and other fabrics in China, where costs would be half as much as in Japan.
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–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: Comme des GarÃ§ons, Converse, Kingpins, Legging Jeans, Levi's