Thursday, April 27, 2006

RRL New York store

Too large for me but nice.

Posted by ShoZu

Originally uploaded by denimnews.

ENK Needs Little Help for Growth

According to Dan Primack who writes and edits the awesome PE Week Wire:
"ENK International, a New York-based tradeshow organization for the fashion industry, has agreed to receive a 'substantial investment' from Forstmann Little & Co. The deal is scheduled to close in May, with Berkery, Noyes & Co. serving as exclusive financial advisor to ENK."

ENK is responsible for fashion trade shows like The Collective and Blue, which compete with the Project show.

Elyse Kroll will remain ENK's CEO and major shareholder.

Yahoo Biz profiles Frostmann Little like this: "The company, which specializes in telecommunications, technology, education, and health care investments, counts among its former advisory board members Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, George Shultz, and Henry Kissinger. Since its founding in 1978, Forstmann Little has invested more than $10 billion in about 30 companies, including former holdings Gulfstream Aerospace, The Topps Company, General Instrument, Revlon, and Dr. Pepper; current holdings include Citadel Broadcasting and IMG."

Of course IMG owns and runs Olympus Fashion Week in New York along with other fashion events around the globe.

Although I don't have the details of the deal in front of me I think this is great news for ENK's growth.
True Religion Entering China

Who is Bright Unity International Ltd.? They're the guys bringing True Religion to China, of course. They happen to also represent Dolce & Gabbana, Just Cavalli, Giafranco Ferre GF and C'N'C Costume National. And we're not just talking about China. Bright Unity is to be the exclusive distributor for True Religion in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

From True Religion's press release:

True Religion Apparel Broadens International Distribution with Appointment of Chinese Distributor

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 27, 2006--True Religion Apparel Inc. (Nasdaq: TRLG) today announced that it has increased its international distribution with the appointment of a distributor for Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. Bright Unity International Ltd., a private company based in Hong Kong, has been selected to be the Company's exclusive distributor for that territory. The Company was established in 1996 to oversee the wholesale and retail development of imported fashion brands in the Chinese region. The company provides a total market solution to its foreign brand business partners in the areas of market development, retail operations and human resources support. Bright Unity represents a variety of upscale designers and brands in China including Dolce & Gabbana, Just Cavalli, Giafranco Ferre GF and C'N'C Costume National. The Company has offices in Hong Kong and Wuhan, China and has a large network of sales agents throughout the country.

"We believe China can be a key market for True Religion as we continue to expand the international awareness and broaden the footprint of our brand," commented Jeffrey Lubell, Chairman and CEO. "We believe the Bright Unity team has the ability to maximize our brand and maximize its full market potential in China. They have strong experience both as a wholesale distributor and retail store operator for upscale, imported fashion brands, which was attractive to us. They have an impressive list of high-profile apparel brands and have a proven track record of building extraordinary brand awareness within the finest Chinese retail shopping locations. We fully intend to maximize this opportunity with our newest distributor to achieve our full market potential in the China region."

Bright Unity International is headed by Mr. Micky Lee, Managing Director. Mr. Lee has been at Bright Unity since its inception in 1996. Mr. Lee graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Andrew University in Michigan, USA in 1986.

True Religion

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Denim Design Lab

Ok I've been promising you that I would post a photo review of the limited edition Denim Design Lab's distress your own denim kit for some time now. But the truth is I simply have trouble showing you something I'm not 100% satisfied with. Two pairs of destroyed beyond repair cheapie Levi's and one raw jean later I still have nothing to be extraordinarily proud of. That's not to say the kit has problems (read my review when I post it). It's actually amazingly fun to play with. You'll find me motor grinding away at another pair of jeans this weekend.

The good news is I'm getting really good at jeans destruction. So until my retail quality pair surfaces (soon) check out this garment. It was crafted by the kit's creator, Brian Robbins. He did it using only the kit and it was on display at Ron Herman's shop.

Denim Design Lab Website
Jeans for Jobs

Dress for Success San Antonio (Texas) is promoting an event for the Thursday, May 18, 2006. Basically you and your office co-workers each donate $5 to the organization to help low-income women receive workforce training and in return your employer agrees to let you all wear jeans to work.

Their pitch:

Help fight poverty through workforce development and job retention. Please help us celebrate Jeans for Jobs during the month of May. You and your company's participation will help a low-income woman receive the services she needs in order to prepare and succeed in a professional environment. Call Pamela Taylor, CEO, 210-737-9510 for more information.

On Thursday, May 18, 2006 Dress for Success San Antonio will kick off its first annual Jeans for Jobs Day to benefit low-income women, children, and their families. Please help us celebrate during the month of May. You and your company's participation will help a low-income woman receive the services she needs in order to prepare and succeed in a professional environment.

In order to participate, colleagues and employees make a $ 5.00 tax-deductible donation to Dress for Success San Antonio and for your donation, your employer agrees to let participants wear jeans on May 18, 2006. If your company already enjoys a relaxed dress code, we hope you will consider collecting much-needed funds to fight poverty through workforce development and job retention.

Dress for Success San Antonio

Monday, April 24, 2006

Shop News (NYC)

Who: Earnest Sewn

What: Men's & Women's Earnest Sewn premium denim jeans and skirts normally $185 - $240 now $60 - $75; An Earnest Cut & Sew men's cashmere normally $295 - $395 now $100 - $125; Earnest Sewn men's t-shirts normally $67 now $25

When: Monday, May 15 - Friday, May 19; 7am - 10pm

Where: Earnest Sewn Showroom71 Gansevoort St. 3rd Fl. Between Greenwich & Washington; 212-675-0553

Who: Famous Friends

What: Our friends at this boutique are reminding us that there's still a bunch of stuff on sale. Notably 5EP's going for $169-189, LVC for $109-150, Rag & Bone for $129-179, and more.

When: Now

Where: 616 East 9 St.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Massive Cone Denim Plant in Nicaragua

The International Textile Group (ITG), which includes the denim production giants of Cone Denim and Burlington, is going through some interesting changes. Cone closed two factories in the US late last year, leaving their Greensboro (North Carolina) White Oak plant their only domestic denim factory.

Then yesterday the ITG announced their investment agreement with the Nicaragua government for Cone to build a massive denim plant with 28 million yards capacity. The plant itself represents an investment equaling roughly to 2% of Nicaragua's total annual GDP, according to the country's Minister of Development, Industry and Trade, Alejandro Arguello.
ITG's Chairman, Wilbur Ross, says, "By building a world-class Cone Denim plant in the region, we are fulfilling a commitment to all the countries and all our customers throughout Central America to ensure that this region remains an attractive and successful sourcing option for our denim jeans customers for years to come."

Of course we can hear echoes of the CAFTA mating call in there. Do I have to say free trade plus cheap labor is particularly sexy in our current, ultra competitive denim environment?

Although (or because) the plant is projected to employ over 700 Nicaraguans ITG's move is expected to fuel the ongoing debate over globalization. Regardless, the plant is expected to open its doors in mid-2007 in the Jorge Bolanos Abaunza Textile Park in Managua.

ITG Press Release (PDF)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Pakistan's Largest Jeans Store

Levi's newly opened flagship is being reported as the largest jeans store in Pakistan. It opened this weekend with a ten-minute fashion show choreographed by Navid Shahzad, former Principal of the Pakistan School of Fashion Design.

Pakistan's Daily Times Article
True Religion Upgrade

So True Religion (TRLG) gets upgraded from a HOLD to a BUY by Wedbush Morgan today. TRLG's stock closed .83 (4.72%) higher.

It's only been a few days since Michael Buckley was named president of TRLG.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

New True Religion President

Michael Buckley will take the role of President for True Religion starting April 24. He brings with him experience as President/CEO of Ben Sherman Group's North American division (2001-2005) and VP at Diesel USA (1996-2001).

Their news release emphasizes the fact that "Mr. Buckley played a critical role in taking Diesel from a wholesale denim-based brand to a complete lifestyle brand." This is of course exactly what True Religion is looking to do.

Currently founder Jeffrey Lubell is serving as both CEO and president. Buckley will be reporting to him.

True Religion Press Release
Shop News: Famous Friends (NYC)

Our friends at the Famous Friends boutique in Alphabet City tipped us on some gear that just came in. Check out new Rogan, Levi's LVC, and Acne Jeans garments for men and women. Ladies pieces include Clu, Borne, Veena, T Luxury , and M. Carter.

Richard, the owner, recommends Selvedge brand jeans from Australia. (This ties in nicely with my post about a West Australian state banning school students from wearing jeans.)

Some Rogan, 5EP, Nudie, and LVC gears are 25-40% off.

They have a very friendly and helpful staff so do check them out at 616 East 9 Street.

Famous Friends Website

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

China Blues

Some interesting data from an Emerging Textiles stat report: "US Imports of Blue Denim Fabrics from China have rocketed in the first month of 2006. The category, which is not covered by limits in the US, has been rising month-on-month throughout 2005 and January shipments are already around one-quarter the total for 2005."

Emerging Textiles

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I'm all for the marriage of technology and clothing and all that but WHAT IS UP with these "Uranium Jeans" that set you back $300+ for the ability to walk around with a blinking lights panel that can display 2-bit-video-game-like (think Pong) images and text??

I wonder if this could work if the execution was better. Maybe in the future this "innovative interactive clothing" company will come out with something I would actually wear. But for now I won't even waste your time with more text.

Uranium Jeans Website