Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Proportionofblu Pictures

I recently posted about Proportionofblu who just sent me these shots of their jeans for Fall/Winter 2006.

The men's collection has a slim cut jean and a skinny jean. The women's will have a "straight leg 'boy fit' selvage jean, a straight leg jean, a skinny jean and a narrow jean with flap pocket and crease." All are made with Japanese denim in either 12 oz or 11.75 oz and two washes called Uno and Due. Retail is $220.00 to $260.00.

Proportionofblu Website

Monday, August 28, 2006

New Prez at Calvin Klein Jeans

Patricia J. Royak has been named President of Warnaco's Calvin Klein Jeans division. "Royak joins Warnaco with 25 years of apparel and accessories experience. She most recently served as Vice President of Global Brand Marketing for Liz Claiborne Apparel and President, Liz Claiborne Europe; both divisions of Liz Claiborne Inc. Previously, Royak spent eighteen years at Levi Strauss & Company including five years in their Asia Pacific division where she played a key role in establishing Levi's direct to consumer platform.

Joe Gromek, Warnaco's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, 'We are delighted to welcome Pat to our team. Her strong background in the denim category and her experience running global lifestyle brands will both be great assets to us as we continue to develop our Calvin Klein Jeans business.'"

Warnaco's Press Release

Friday, August 25, 2006

Pre-tween Jeans

"Premium jeans, for instance, an item coveted by Maisy Gellert, a third grader living in Westchester County, N.Y. 'I'm very particular,' Maisy said. 'Sevens are the only jeans I actually wear.'" That is from yesterday's New York Times article "Fashion Aims Young."

Although the 4-9 year-old fashion market is still considered too small to quantify expect to see a barrage of marketing directed at pre-tweens and their affluent parents. "For a mother willing to spend $1,000 on her own handbag, these marketers reason, $154 for a pair of Rock & Republic jeans may not be a stretch."

I'm scared.

New York Times Article

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fornication Pants

I've been reading James Sullilvan's "Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon" and am finding it to be required reading for vintage denim enthusiasts. His intent so far appears to be to provide the history of our beloved cloth along with cultural commentary. Despite the New York Times calling it "without much wit or humor" I think it is both informative and entertaining. Speaking as a denimhead of course.

In the coming days I'll be sharing some of Sullivan's quotes with you and hopefully sway you into picking up a copy if you haven't done so already. Here goes:

"If jeans are the clothing of America, then Brigham Young had it exactly right. Whether button-fly or zippered, jeans are "fornication pants." Though they may say something different for each of us, the basic message is twofold- either "fuck you," or "fuck me."

Buy it from

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Japanese Denim Export Dropped

Fibre2Fashion reports that Japan's denim exports this year are down significantly.

"During the first half 2006, [the] country exported 25.051 million square meters of denim, representing year-on-year fall of 16.4 percent.

Exports to Italy declined 33.7 percent followed by Hong Kong, the US and China that recorded a plunge of 30.9, 20.8 and 7.6 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, denim exports to Vietnam remained strong at 1.871 million square meters, supporting Japan's cotton denim fabric industry to record a 7.0 percent growth to reach a modest figure of 1.297 million square meters."

This comes as a bit of a surprise to me since we've seen a growing number of brands implementing "Japanese Denim" into their marketing. But Fibre2Fashion attributes Japan's decreased denim export to a slowdown of gobal demand for denim.

Fibre2Fashion Article

Thursday, August 10, 2006

If Da Vinci Designed Denim

Today's WWD profiles a denim brand that is doing something I've always wanted to see in denim: incorporate the golden ratio (purposefully) into their designs. Proportionofblu, started by Terrell Wick and Richard Atkins, will base their patterns, pocket placements, rivet locations, etc on this magical ratio often found in art, science, and nature. The duo are collaborating with Adriano Goldschmied to develop their washes. The fall collection's look will mostly be dark and clean on Japanese denim. Italian-made 18-karat gold rivets and other fancy hardware top it all off.

Wholesale is $95-115 for their four women's styles and two men's styles. Current distribution includes American Rag (LA), Fred Segal (LA), Villains (San Francisco), Barneys New York, and Atrium (NYC).

For those who are not familiar with the golden ratio, which recently got its pop-culture spotlight in Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," here we go: Two quantities are said to be in the golden ratio if the whole (sum of the two parts) is to the larger part as the larger part is to the smaller part. If the headache you just got didn't fully blind you then observe the ratios in the following images and you'll get a decent idea of what it's all about.

For further layman reading I recommend Mario Livio's book "The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number."

Despite the poor name choice Proportionofblu's design philosophy makes me want to check them out. I'll try to get us some pics.

Proportionofblu Website

WWD Article (Subscription Required)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

zafu Solves Denim Snafu

Getting the right fit on a pair of jeans has always been done through trial and error. Lacking a universial size and fit system consumers are often stuck in fitting rooms trying on stacks of jeans.

Enter zafu, which claims to have done the leg work for you. is a free service that helps women find jeans with fits, cuts, styles and sizes that match them. Upon visitng the site and answering some questions about their preferences women are presented with recommendations and places to buy. All this is done by using "proprietary algorithms" and "five years of proprietary fit research." Apparently they measured, analyzed, and photographed thousands of women who've tried on hundreds of pairs of jeans.

"zafu is the result of years of advanced fit research. By using zafu it is much easier for women to find their perfect jeans - whether they shop online or take our recommendations on their next trip to the store," says Rob Holloway, founder and CEO.

Their recommendations come from a database of jeans from over 70 brands like AG Jeans, American Eagle, Antik Denim, Apple Bottoms, Juicy Couture, 7 For All Mankind, Joe's Jeans, Blue Cult, Levi's, Lucky Brand, Chip & Pepper, Diesel, Guess Jeans, Paige Premium Denim, Earnest Sewn, PDC, Taverniti So and others.

Here's zafu's self-description:

zafu was founded in 2005 and is located in a converted bakery in Emeryville, California, just across the Bay from San Francisco. The site launched on August 2, 2006. Learn more about how to find the perfect fit for designer jeans and top brand jeans at

zafu has drawn on five years of comprehensive fit research and algorithm development from their sister company Archetype Solutions. zafu has combined this knowledge with additional work measuring, assessing and photographing thousands of women trying on hundreds of pairs of jeans. In doing so, zafu has identified key body shapes for women and created algorithms that enable them to ask a woman a few simple questions and use her answers to search their database of hundreds of jeans to recommend those that will best fit her. At, there is real science behind the art of finding that perfect jean.

The zafu team has deep experience in retail, statistical analysis, fashion, pattern making, software development and retail marketing. zafu is a part of Archetype Solutions, a venture backed company founded in 2000 and the industry leader in the area of fit. Learn more about Archetype at

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Photos: Levi's RedWire DLX

Finally Levi's [Europe] has leaked pics of their RedWire DLX ipod-compatible jeans. So for 200 Euros what will you get? It's a pair of lightly distressed Levi's with a side-pocket large enough for your whole music collection. But that's not all folks. It can magically "dock" your iPod to your jeans enabling you full control via a flashy remote built into the coin-pocket. Throw in the bulky retractable earphone box (to ensure visibility) and you can take off that t-shirt with the words ROB ME.

No word on when these will be available in the US, but you can count on spokesman Terry Geiger to remind us.

Update: Levi's RedWire DLX Website
Denim Intoxication

With the upcoming opening of American Rag's World Denim Bar denim-holics in LA will have better access to a massive amount of coveted and difficult to find jeans. Located on La Brea Avenue, next to the existing American Rag Cie, the 5500 sq. ft. format will feature in-store shops for Levi's, Diesel, JBrand, and others. The Japanese brand Evisu will be celebrated with a setup modeled after their store on Savile Row in London.

Along the denim wall expect to find jeans from Kato, Kapital, Kohzo, Nudie, Tsubi, PRPS, Loomstate, Goldsign, Deener, Yanuk, Serfontaine, Julian Red, Cheap Monday, Edwin, and more. From the Levi's front there will be exclusive pieces from Levi's European/Japan collection. High rolling denim connoisseurs can even pick up vintage items like rare Levi's jeans.

According to their denim buyer, James Hammonds, the World Denim Bar will be bringing in the Bodymetrics machine next year. Those looking to find the perfect fitting pair of jeans can step into this hightech pod and have hundreds of measurements scanned from all sides. Using this information Bodymetrics will sew and send you a custom made pair of jeans.

Those who like to mix their own can take their jeans to the Bar's onsite custom washing. Tell them you're here to bring back the distressed/vintage look. And if that's still not enough service for you then go see their denim tailors and see what can be conjured.

The store will bow sometime this month or the next amid construction delays.

Friday, August 04, 2006

True Religion's Q2 Results


-- Operating income grows 44.0% to $9.8 million; Company records
31.9% operating margin

-- Net income of $4.9 million, after giving effect to a one-time
arbitration settlement expense totaling $1.9 million

-- Earnings per diluted share of $0.21, after giving effect to a
one-time settlement expense of $0.05 per diluted share

-- Company engages Goldman Sachs & Co. to explore strategic

Go over to the Average Joe Investor blog to read his commentary on TRLG's announcement. He affirms that the company is in fact looking to take the private equity route. Evidence is the engagement of Goldman Sachs to "explore strategic alternatives."

True Religion Press Release

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Indiana Jones of Denim

Pia Sarkar at the San Francisco Chronicle has penned an interesting article about Lynn Downey, official Levi's historian and archivist. Having held the post for 17 years Downey's knowledge of all things Levi's, not to mention denim, is awe inspiring. Her adventures include hunting down the oldest and most valuable pair of jeans: an 1879 Levi's "XX."

I wish Sarkar would have shed more light on Levi's archives, which is the denim world's equivalent of the Vatican secret archives. It is "open to company employees only, [and] are lined with large filing cabinets containing old retail catalogs and company newsletters, as well the rare signature of [Levi] Strauss himself, countersigned on the back of a check." There is also the massive collection of jeans that Downey tracked down and documented. The storage rooms are cooled to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and garments are handled carefully with gloves. All this to protect the priceless fabric of course.

This article is required reading for vintage denim devotees.

San Francisco Chronicle SFGate Article