Denim in the New York Times: Designer Denim, Preshrunk Prices

by Jaime on November 3, 2009

This article produced my new quote du jour:

“It’s been too many years that we’ve just looked at wash, and the time is now to make an evolution,” Mr. Rosso said. “Denim is the only fabric you really can transform.”

- Renzo Rosso, Diesel

Featuring a TON of the biggest brands out there (and their need to change prices), this article by Eric Wilson was not only interesting… it was informative. Yes, even for a Denim Debutante like me. Read the excerpt below.

“It was all just a fad,” said Jeff Rudes, a founder of the hot-denim-label-du-jour J Brand Jeans and an astute observer of the suspiciously inflated prices of fashion’s most eternally reinvented staple. Like any commodity that becomes overpriced, there eventually comes a market correction. And denim’s day of reckoning was long overdue.

“The floors at most of the major stores were so overassorted that they almost looked like Loehmann’s,” Mr. Rudes said. “They were just cramming jeans onto the racks.”

The introduction of $300 jeans — perhaps even more than $1,000 coin purses and $500 plastic sunglasses — marked the moment when customers really began to question the prices they were seeing in department stores. Cotton dungarees for the price of an iPod was a stretch so extreme that retailers had to come up with a whole new term to suggest that the new jeans were different from the $100 jeans they used to sell in the 1990s.

So, early in the decade designer jeans became “premium” jeans — as in, you had to pay a premium to wear them: $340 for Acne jeans, $350 for Ksubi jeans, $359 for True Religion jeans, $395 for Notify jeans, $580 for Dior jeans and so on. Before the recession, premium denim was one of the fastest growing categories of the apparel business, and there seemed to be no limit to what customers would pay for the latest label, fit, finish, wash or whatever Paris Hilton wore.

Want to read the rest? Check out the original article here. I do have to say, I got a little sad being reminded about the demise of Blue Cult and Paper Denim & Cloth.

How do you feel about the new price changes being implemented in the world of denim?


PS: As a sidenote, I finally tried on Gap’s new jeans. All I have to say on the matter is that I’m not a big fan. I’ll leave it at that.

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