Kathy Ireland Worldwide is the latest to tap into the lucrative denim market. The global brand recently signed a multi-year licensing deal with apparel brand and manufacturer Bagatelle to produce denim in addition to outerwear and dresses for women.
The outerwear collection will debut at U.S. retailers this fall, followed by denim and dresses in Spring 2023. The company is aiming to work with retailers like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Hudson’s Bay, and will create exclusive styles for the HSN customer.
“Bagatelle International is committed to [Ireland’s] vision of affordable chic and body cooperative, luxurious dressing for women at every stage of life,” said Kathy Ireland Worldwide’s global creative director Jon Carrasco and president and chief marketing officer Stephen Roseberry.
Ireland, a supermodel in the ’80s and ’90s who appeared in 13 consecutive Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, launched the brand in 1993 with a $50,000 loan and a desire to design the best socks in the market. From there, the brand expanded into fashion, household products and beauty goods. In 2021 alone, it generated retail sales of $3.1 billion.
The move into denim follows a surge of brands looking to expand upon their denim offerings. Earlier this month, Ulla Johnson debuted its first denim collection at New York Fashion Week. Prior to that, contemporary apparel brand Sanctuary Clothing brought its women’s denim production in-house. Denim’s forecasted $76.1 billion worth is fueling the momentum, with a new report from Research and Markets indicating that the category is slated for massive success.
Models from the ’80s are a new focal point for brands looking to tap into consumer nostalgia. Earlier this month, retro denim brand Jordache launched a campaign fronted by model and actress Brooke Shields, who starred in an iconic Calvin Klein commercial during that decade.
Kathy Ireland Worldwide’s denim range is reported to include stretch and coated denim, as well as prints and novelties. Blazers and jackets will be included in the outerwear range to appeal to the brand’s demographic of 35- to 50-year-old working women and mothers. Dresses will span occasionwear and workwear, and feature fabrics such as crepe, stretch satins, metallic knits and chiffons.
Pricing will reflect the brand’s commitment to providing affordable on-trend items for its customers. Denim ranges from $99-$139, outerwear ranges from $149-$249 and dresses range from $150-$250.