From flash site to fashion resource, JackThreads is maturing.
Starting as a flash sale site in 2008, JackThreads has undergone a transformation in the last two years during its split from editorial website Thrillist in September 2015.
With a stronger point-of-view and curated assortment geared toward their increasingly fashionable young male consumer, the online retailer has turned inward for its own private label. Under Creative Director Tony Kretten, JackThreads has been rebranded and remodeled as both a fashion resource and a foolproof direct-to-consumer label.
With his extensive experience in men’s denim, spending 13 years as head of men’s global design at Gap and overseeing the re-launch of Gap’s 1969 denim label, Kretten joined JackThreads in April 2015 to help direct its new form as a “go-to” source for young men. This includes a highly curated selection of other denim labels. JackThreads has reduced its brand list from 675 brands in 2015 to 150 brands today, including Neuw, RVCA and Levi’s.
Under Kretten’s direction, JackThreads’ denim line has proven to be a highlight of the new private label. What he sees for JackThreads is a brand that provides young men quality denim at the right price.
“We get guys from GQ and other publications who come down to the showroom and they’re surprised by our quality,” Kretten said.
By moving towards an in-house private label, JackThreads plans to chase after trends quicker and have stricter control of their quality, rather than depending on the various brands they carried. This is in part thanks to Joe Dos Santos, JackThreads VP and head of production, who has helped the label gain factory access thanks to his experience as head of production for British Heritage Brands.
For denim, JackThreads’ collection retails for $59-$100 and offers skinny, slim and straight fits. The most challenging obstacle the online retailer needed to overcome is convincing their consumer to buy jeans they’ve never seen or felt in person.
The e-commerce site offers Tryouts, which allows customers try on product with no strings attached. The customer places their order and only pay for the items they keep. Shipping is free both ways. Through the Tryout system, JackThreads has seen their “add to cart” rate increased by 78 percent and the average order value has grown by over 50 percent.
“We get guys from GQ and other publications who come down to the showroom and they’re surprised by our quality.”
JackThreads also takes out the guesswork in its denim line with a “Fall Denim Glossary” that contains detailed descriptions of the fits, including details on the seat design and the exact size of leg openings in inches.
Some of JackThreads’ most popular styles right now are lighter washes and destroyed denim. “They’ve gotten good traction,” said Kat Stupp, JackThreads design director, noting how their consumer is often drawn to textures that pop online, like frayed denim.
Just returning from JackThreads’ denim factory in China, Stupp was earnestly impressed by the detail that goes into each pair. “It’s all done by hand,” Stupp said, describing the techniques used in the factory to create the popular distressed details.
JackThreads’ is working to stay a step ahead of their consumer with new designs, even if the “JT man” is not ready for them just yet. “We want to move him there slowly,” Stupp said. The brand saw success with wide fit joggers last year and Stupp said this is evidence that men are beginning to respond well to non-skinny cuts.
This fall JackThreads has begun to inch their guy towards roomier cuts with the release of a wide cut chino. For Spring ’17, the brand will release a carpenter jean with a wider seat that tappers near the ankles. Stupp said that unloading this “carrot” type fit as a worker pant will be easier, as their consumer will already be familiar with a carpenter style jean. By Fall ’18, Stupp speculates the carrot fit jean, minus the carpenter workwear detailing, will be trending.
While the JackThreads consumer might be hesitant to try out new jean silhouettes, he didn’t need to be coerced into buying stretch denim. All JackThreads jean styles are made with a 99 percent cotton and 1 percent spandex blend.
With garments like their unwashed stretch selvedge retailing for $100, the brand is able to provide customers a premium raw denim (ready for fades) with a much softer hand than any of its counterparts.
Stupp said Tryouts that have helped their customer avoid any stretch-phobia. When the customer tries on any of JackThreads’ jeans and feel how comfortable they are, the fear of wearing “women’s jeans” fades away.