I know I’ve written briefly about 7fAM before, but I felt like it’s worth giving it another go… and really delving deep into what the brand seems to imply.
Basic is, in my mind, beautiful… and this is something that, while they don’t focus on it, the designers and creators (most notable, Jerome Dahan) have achieved.
A little background (from their main website):
The story of premium denim is one that is intricately intertwined with the launch of 7 For All Mankind in Los Angeles, California in the Fall of 2000. 7 For All Mankind was the first company to truly bring premium denim to scale, marking Los Angeles, California as denims’ venerable center for research and development worldwide changing the landscape of denim forever.
7 For All Mankind’s premium jeans literally exploded onto the scene, quickly earning critical acclaim and an immediate following for its innovative use of fits, fabrics, and finishes in denim. Sales for the first year reached a staggering $13 million, an unheard of figure in the denim market, and have continued to show exponential growth year after year. In the past seven years 7 For All Mankind has become both an established modern classic for its sophisticated fits as well as a leading trendsetter for its newest fashion forward washes and designs.
The brand, famously dubbed “Sevens” by fashion editors and stylists, grew to fame in no small part because it became an instant favorite among Hollywood’s elite. 7 For All Mankind jeans continue to rank as a preferred jean among Hollywood’s leading ladies such as Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Garner and Liv Tyler. Male celebrities such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Affleck, and Ryan Reynolds became fans of the brand shortly after the launch of the 7 For All Mankind’s men’s collection in 2002.
7 for all Mankind, as a brand, was (and still, in large respects) highly coveted… but has kind of dropped off in popularity. I can’t give you any absolute reasons why, but here are a few ideas.
The company is now owned by the VF Corporation.
Yep, the same VF corporation that owns Lee Jeans, Wrangler, Jansport, The North Face and Nautica, to name a few.
Original designer, Jerome Dahan, has left the company.
Supposedly, there was a rift between Dahan and another owner of Seven, and they couldn’t work it out. Dahan left his position as co-founder and original designer to start Citizens of Humanity (bet those names are sounding more alike the more you think about it).
The brand is predictably recognizable
While this isn’t a testament, positive or negative, to the quality of the goods by any means necessary, it does tend to brush some people back a bit. I know girls who, while they own the brand, don’t wear it because of perceived connotations that they feel.
In my personal opinion, the quality, fit and styling has gone down a bit since Dahan’s departure. I own a pair from the Dahan days that still look great (albeit they have a bit of wear and tear going on… they are six years old!) while the newer ones that I own tend to hang out in my closet more. They’ve gotten a bit looser with their cuts (read: larger) so that the sizing is less true to size and instead leans toward being a half size to whole size large.
I have nothing personally against 7fAM, and I think that with some tweaking, the company could return to its former glory. But, one of the biggest issues of peaking so soon? The hangover. They were always the one big brand… the most recognizable, worn by all the celebs… hell, Paige Adams-Geller (of Paige Premium Denim fame) made her name by being Dahan’s fit model.
But, with so many brands to choose from, does 7 for All Mankind make your cut?
PS: A good friend of mine, J., brought one more note as to why 7fAM has seemed to fall out of favor: the perpetual counterfeiting. 7fAM is at the fore-front of the wave to stop counterfeiting, but there are still a million pairs that look just like them (take, for instance, Seven7 Jeans). While they don’t look the same (or even of the same quality), they make the brand feel more commonplace. And, to quote J., “Name recognition is important, and I think too many of the masses assumed that the two brands were sister companies. When you’re not sure if that’s the brand you saw at Dillards or some such nonsense, why would you pay $150 for a pair?” Food for thought.