Luxury Denim: These days it's all about denim. Celebs grace the red carpet wearing jeans - where as 10 years ago they would have worn a tux or evening gown. A nice dinner or night on the town called for a dress or a pair of pressed "slacks." Today, dress pants are reserved for power lunches and board meetings, and premium denim has taken front and center.
Most of us accept that a good pair of jeans with the right fit and wash will set us back at least $100. If you settle for anything less, the pockets will give you away. In the past, designers put their stamp on the waistline or on one pocket-and sometimes not at all. Not the case anymore. The pockets are where designers showcase their brand. Everyone knows 7 for All Mankind stitching, or the designs on a pair of Rock N Republics. Same goes for Antik Denim and True Religion (who have gone funky with their hems) and Citizens of Humanity. Add embellishing and custom fits and the price tag soars-and we're more than happy to fork over a day's or week's pay for them.
Hollywood has certainly taken notice that the Average Joe and Jane are perfectly okay paying a premium for denim. Since they have to stay one step ahead of the rest of us, leave it to Tinsel Town to up the ante on the jeans market and denim designers are only happy to oblige their demands. Companies like Diesel and PRPS, whose jeans typically fetch prices in the $150-$200 range, have launched collections of hand-dyed "selvege" denim, made on looms that produce a tighter weave and heavier fabric.
For a mere $675 you can get a pair of Diesel jeans, which are sold
only at three stores in the world-two based in New York and one in Japan. You can pick up a pair of PRPS men's jeans for $475 at Atrium in New York. Atrium also carries premium denim lines for women including Chip and Pepper, Joe's Jeans, Blue Cult, Yanuk Denim and Sacred-Blue.
Not impressed? Custom jean designers APO offer a pair of jeans for $4k - with the solace that you have your choice of silver, gold or platinum rivets and you can replace the buttons with diamonds (but keep in mind that added luxury materials bump up the price). And you can't pick a pair of these at your nearby Macy's either. You'll have to schedule an appointment-but if it's star treatment you're after, there really is no other way to fly.
If you simply must have jeans made to your specifications, you can hop the next flight to Earnest Sewn's New York design headquarters to have a pair made exactly the way you want. Customers are gladly paying the $800-$1,000 fee for these custom jeans because they are not only guaranteed to fit like a glove (or whatever shape your heart desires), they are made out of specialty Japanese denim not generally available on the open market.
Of course when you think of starlets like J-Lo and Beyonce you don't think of understated personalities. That's why Roberto Cavalli's in-your-face aesthetics are a big hit with A-listers and everyday divas alike..Robert Cavalli boutiques and select Bergdorf Goodman stores.
If you'd rather not spend your Botox/chemical peel fund on a pair of $4,000 jeans, you're not alone. And you don't have to worry about being relegated to the fashion travesty files. While some celebs are plunking down the Benjamins for flashy denim, plenty of stars are just fine with their trusted Levi's or $100-200 denim from labels like Citizens of Humanity and Paige Premium Denim.
The purpose and image of jeans has come a long way since the day of the 49ers (and we don't mean the sports team). While prices may keep inches upwards, so does the variety and consequently, more ways for you to define your individual style and personality.
For the latest in denim styles, check out EuropeModa.com, Vibe the Boutique and RevolveClothing.com.
For LxM Amy Covington