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WWD News: Gap, Seven For All Mankind Open Pop-Ups, Denim Brands Warm to E-Commerce

Gap, Seven For All Mankind Open Pop-Ups


From WWD ISSUE 08/06/2009


A rendering of Seven's Wash House concept in Boston

A rendering of Seven's Wash House concept in Boston (photo by Courtesy Photo)

Seven For All Mankind and Gap Inc. are taking advantage of the wealth of empty storefronts around the country to open denim pop-up shops. 

Gap will open a pop-up store on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles on Friday featuring its 1969 selvage denim collection, while Seven For All Mankind unveils its Wash House temporary-shop concept on Boston??™s Newbury Street on Aug. 14. 

Gap??™s 1969 collection was relaunched this year for the company??™s 40th anniversary with medium-weight denim and contemporary cuts, including skinny, straight-leg and boyfriend styles, and a $70 price point. The denim push is part of the two-year effort of Patrick Robinson, Gap??™s executive vice president of design, to reinvigorate the brand and reclaim the retailer??™s position as a denim authority. 

???L.A. has always been the epicenter for the latest trends in premium denim,??? Robinson said. ???It??™s the city people look to to find out what??™s new and cool. That??™s why we??™re bringing our 1969 jeans pop-up shop to Robertson Boulevard.??? 

The store will host a launch party tonight, with Joel Madden, lead singer of Good Charlotte, as DJ. 

The company is paying $40,000 a month for two months for the long-vacant, 2,000-square-foot space through the end of September. 

The street has seen a number of tenants relocate away from the area over the last year, such as Madison, Diavolina, Peter Alexander and American Apparel. New tenants that have or will soon debut along the several-block shopping stretch include Moods of Norway, All Saints and Beach Bunny swimwear. 

There are no plans to open additional pop-up stores, although a similar concept will open in Gap??™s ???white space??? in Manhattan on Aug. 13. The store space, which houses Gap promotional and artistic design concepts on a rotating basis, is adjacent to the Gap store on Fifth Avenue. The brand will highlight its denim line in New York City with an initiative dubbed ???Born to Fit,??? which integrates customers??™ stories about what they were ???born??? to do. 

Meanwhile, Seven is developing the Wash House concept as a way to test new markets while seeding the ground for permanent stores. The 2,000-square-foot Newbury Street store will be its first in Boston and will be open for six months. 

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Denim Brands Warm to E-Commerce

by Ellen Groves    

From WWD ISSUE 08/06/2009

A My Lovely Jeans look

A look by My Lovely Jeans (photo by Courtesy Photo)



PARIS ??” The once reluctant and skeptical denim industry is beginning to give its e-commerce operations a fuller embrace. 

Denim players such as Replay, Guess, My Lovely Jean and Le Temps des Cerises are expanding their online operations in a bid to capture a significant consumer segment that has fled the real-world retail environment for the virtual one. 

While overall economic conditions remain challenging, a recent report from Forrester Research shows e-tailers are benefiting from a steady migration to online shopping. Online apparel sales in Western Europe are forecast to grow from 13.14 billion euros, or $18.92 billion at current exchange, this year to 19.88 billion euros, or $28.63 billion, in 2014. That hasn??™t gone unnoticed by denim labels. 

???Following the success of e-commerce in France and given the growing numbers of online customers, we decided to develop this axis,??? said a spokesman for Le Temps des Cerises, whose Web store opened for business last month. 

As they join the online party, denim brands admit they were among the biggest skeptics. When My Lovely Jean founders David, Gregory and Gary Pariente established their first brand, American Retro, seven years ago, they were doubtful online shopping for clothing would succeed. 

???So many things are hard to shop online for the first time because, for sure, women need to try, to touch, the fabric,??? said David Pariente, the company??™s president. ???After, when a woman has had a great experience, she??™s bought something she liked, received it, the fit is perfect, then you realize, it??™s like heaven. You don??™t need to go on to a busy street, to get on the [subway], to get a parking penalty.??? 

Pariente, whose father founded French fashion chain Naf Naf, added that not opening an online store at this point ???would have been last century. It??™s become a way of consuming for everything ??” for travel, for food, for clothes.??? 

The online environment is also expected to weather the downturn better than other retail formats as consumers change their shopping habits. 

???The global recession will hit online sales less hard than other channels as increasing numbers of consumers shop online to find better prices and save on overall costs,??? said analyst Victoria Bracewell Lewis in the Forrester report, titled ???Western European Online Retail and Travel Forecast, 2008 to 2014.??? The report also found online shoppers are less adverse to economic conditions because they tend to be better educated with slightly higher incomes. 

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–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Aug 06 2009 in Uncategorized
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