Stripping Off the Frills
Naked & Famous is not Paris Hilton's new label. Look past the pop art naked woman graphic and you'll find something remarkable: quality Japanese denim at eyepopping price points (more on that later).
The Canadian brand made its USA debut at the Blue show recently and I had a chance to meet the owner and see the goods. Brandon Svarc is quirky in an earnest-and-friendly way. The type who wouldn't shy from admitting to being a denim geek. His enthusiasm can be infectious with the right crowd. He talks excitedly about the denim he uses.
The collection is tight and concise. The jeans are wearable showcases for gorgeous denim fabric. There are no funky washes, prints, embroideries, or trims (but for the leather patch).
We begin by checking out the "Super-Thick Indigo Selvedge." It is Japanese-made, weighs in at 21 oz, and has a fat twill line.
Next up is the "Natural Indigo Organic Selvedge" that Svarc seems particularly proud of. They are working with their mill to weave the denim with a green selvage ID.
Three other notable jeans for both mens and women include the black stretch, vintage blue, and the silk denim.
The "Big Slub Indigo Selvedge" is something to behold. It is so flamy/streaky as to be recognizably Japanese denim. It weighs in at 18 oz beautiful.
With their basic selvage jean retailing at only $120.00 (indigo or black; 13 oz) Naked & Famous is an important player to watch. Already in place is a growing segment of the mens market ready for raw denim thanks to 1) the excessive use of the word Raw (ie G-Star) and 2) the constant reminder for consumers not to wash their jeans (ie everyone; read your care labels). Although the typical customer may not be attracted to the idea of breaking into a pair of jeans for months without washing them we also know that there is an existing customer base for this type of denim.
Throw in the fact that Naked & Famous is $20 less expensive than the retail price of APC and we have a compellng reason to believe that something important is happening. The price barrier to raw, selvage, Japanese denim is being broken. Granted these jeans are made in Canada and contain no frills (hidden rivets, back buckles, suspender buttons) but they are solidly built and the fabrics alone are beautiful enough to command even higher prices.