Designer Denim in Trouble?

Fashion insiders are starting to say many designer denim companies are in trouble. With everyone trying to duplicate the success of brands like 7 for All Mankind and Diesel, there have been many lines of high end denim hitting the shelves over the last few years. Last fall, 7 for All Mankind came out with this hot ad campaign (below) featuring Carolyn Murphy and Tyson Ballou which we are starting to see in fashion magazines this Spring. The brand is hoping that these types of ads will help elevate the brand’s status.

What do you think? Are some of the original brand’s of designer denim like 7’s and Diesel going away anytime soon, or will the good ones survive the flood of new wanna-be designer lines out there? One thing I like about Diesel is that they come in a variety of lengths and there are several styles under $220, where as brands like Rock & Republic are now charging over $320 for some pairs of their denim. Are some companies overpricing themselves to seem more “exclusive”? And it kills me to have to hem ALL my Rock & Republics because they normally have a 35″ inseam. The majority of the world is just not THAT tall.

On a related note, I posted a few weeks ago that we had a tip Paper Denim & Cloth was going under – and their website is down. We got another tip today that its untrue, but I won’t hold my breathe….



  1. I have heard about the denim market going downhill as well. This is the reason why the brands are expanding their lines to other non denim items. See TR and their wanting to become a ‘lifestyle brand’ with expansions in clothing, shoes, swimwear, etc. which I will add are ,of what I have seen so far, outsourced to China- which takes away the allure to me. If they start outsourcing their jeans too they will have lost at least one customer.

    As we know, other brands are expanding into other non denim ranges as well- R&R, Joe’s, SFAM…

    I guess I’ll believe it when I see it.

  2. The market right now is saturated. But designer denim has been around in some shape or form since the late 1970s. The hot brands might change but designer jeans are here to stay IMO.

  3. The bubble has to burst at some point, and thats when only the strong will survive. Denim prices these days are dropping in comparison to where they were a few years ago at the high of this trend. I remember the days where $450 True Religions and $800 Seven For All Man Kind jeans were highly sought after, and for a while it looked like any new denim brand that came out, had these “luxury” price points to match, and consumers were ready to shell out these kinds of dollars. But I think what happened over the years is that, consumers really felt cheated. The regular customer was buying at least 1 pair of jeans per month, and finally came to the point where when they came into the shop for a new pair suddenly 300-400 dollars for a pair of jeans that was pretty similar to something they owned already didn’t seem reasonable. As a result prices dropped. Now if you buy another pair of dark denim bootcut jeans, it was OK because the COH Kelly Bootcut jeans are only 200 dollars. Or you get brands like Cheap Monday who really try and under cut the market with 70 dollar jeans. In the next few years you’ll see fewer and fewer denim lines, but you will see more and more T shirt lines. As I personally think the T shirt market is the new denim market. These days you see these brand new T shirt lines every day, with prices well over the 100 dollar mark. Where as a few years ago consumers would scoff at the idea of paying 100 dollars for a T.

  4. I think hot ads, and of course a hot line, will help premium denim continue to rapidly grow and continue on this fall and on…

    Shooting photography w/ premium denim and also music, short story ads. Would you mind sharing with me, and asking your friends too about their favorite jeans, and a story/a time they remember wearing them? What feeling were evoked? Involve anyone? Are they now your favorite jeans for life?

    I have two pair of 7’s I bought almost 6 years ago when they first released. Brings back so many memories and a time with someone I lost, that I’ll always keep them. They are part of me, and remind of him. They’re torn up and splattered with paint now, but I still stomp the grounds in them.

    Will you share and spread the sharing of a denim story you would be so kind to tell me about? Denim lives on in many ways…

  5. Cool. I hear you.

    I always wear my chip n peppers. I ran around the world and back in them. In fact, they are all I came back with. Lost most everything else I left with. Never took my denims off though. Now after my adventure in wonderland, I won’t let go of them. They’re my lucky charm–all that made it back, and I did too. Plus they’re comfy, but I’m waiting for more hot ads and to maybe purchase a new cutting edge pair of denims to tell a new story in.