Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Skinny on Skinny Jeans

So the verdict is in. The WWD is reporting what I have been observing and posting about for some time: skinny jeans are leading the trend, particularly in women's fashion. On the retail (specialty boutiques) side WWD's interviews conclude that the clean, skinny jeans in black and grey washes are moving the quickest while the ultra distressed look that was so popular just last season seems to be stuck in sand. This is of course great news for denim makers since processing distress naturally increases costs. Skinnier cuts also require less fabric. By selling a clean looking pair of jeans for the same price points more dollars can go into design, fabric, marketing, and of course margin.

But note that these observations are predictions of a trend that may turn out to be a fad that won't even last a season (which I doubt is the case). Mainstream retailers note that their customers are taking their time getting used to tighter garments. When the skinny jean reaches critical mass I predict that the boutique crowd will react by pushing a different trend. My question is can everyone pull off the skinny? I think not...

Some key quotes:

"Ripped and distressed is completely done. Women want a clean going-out jean." Megan Johnson, owner of NYC boutique Addict.

"Embellishment is over. It is definitely out." -Jane Arrendale Sims, co-owner of Atlanta denim boutique Blue Genes.

"The overwhelming aesthetic is dark, clean, and basic." Brian Kaneda, denim buyer for Ron Herman's California stores.

"If they do something cute on a pocket, it'll still sell. But that is as far as the embellishment can go. If [the customers] like a detail, it's more subtle." -Melissa Murdock, owner of Sandpiper in Atlanta.

WWD Article (Subscription Required)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dark, clean and basic - Great. Love it. I'm down with that.

Skinny - Nooooooooooooooooo!

Like you say, half the population can't pull off skinny jeans which makes it really difficult for it to become a huge trend. Personally, I just can't see it lasting.

4/03/2006 03:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the smartest trends on the rise. Most importantly because less of the Indigo Blue colored water and bleaching agents will be spilled back into the ocean.

4/20/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Henry!
I own a store in the East Village in Manhattan called The Denim Hub so if you ever want my (or my managers) opinion on the denim market please email us at
We sell over 30 different brands including Ranahan, Del Forte, Hudsons, Tag, Paper Denim and various others a well as denim skirts, capris and gauchos. We have a massive sale starting August 1st, Jo 646 295 8989

7/12/2006 02:08:00 PM  
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8/18/2007 07:40:00 AM  
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8/18/2007 01:23:00 PM  
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9/10/2007 03:48:00 AM  
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