The allure of a well-fitting jean for under $100 transcends age. However, it became an elusive offering in the women’s denim market as the industry split itself between premium and fast fashion.
Enter Los Angeles-based brand Kut from the Kloth. Founded in 2007 by Swat Fame Inc. creative director Evelyn Ober, the women’s denim and lifestyle brand taps out around the $89 retail mark, yet offers the on-trend designs that share retail space with players from the premium denim category.
Kut from the Kloth sits alongside competitors like AG Jeans, Joe’s Jeans and Hudson across 2,000 boutiques in the U.S. and with brands like Sanctuary in Nordstrom.
“The brand was really developed off the need for denim,” Nancy Kanizo, Kut from the Kloth vice president of branded sales, said. At the time of the launch, Kanizo said, there were many contemporary denim brands that filled the $180 to $250 range, but most women in their thirties juggling children and other grown-up expenses were priced out.
The market also lacked fits that flattered the curves of “real women”—a feat Kut from the Kloth overcame with better fabrics and a focus on functional design. A Kut from the Kloth jean, Kanizo described, is a jean that women can move around in with ease all day without bagging or a gapping waistband.
The brand recently launched a new fit solution called AB Fit, a jean with front pocketing technology that provides a Spanx-like hold in the tummy area. And as mills improve the comfort and recovery of stretch fabrications, and hone in on stretch denim with a rigid look, Kanizo said there’s more opportunity than ever to deliver exactly what women need from their jeans.
With fits that flatter a multitude of sizes from 00 to 24, and trend-right washes, trims and fabrics, Kanizo said the brand has won that white space in the women’s denim category.
“No one competes with us in look, fit and demographic,” she said. “We started as a jeans brand for women 30-35 years old, and then we keep them into their 50s and 60s.”
Customers’ expectations come first, but the brand is deeply influenced by its casual Californian roots. “We pride ourselves in having California heritage. Our denim is lifestyle driven—we aim to make a jean that you can wear anywhere from the soccer field to dinner,” Kanizo said.
Kut from the Kloth has become known for its boyfriend fit, the Maria, which Kanizo said is slimmer and sexier than some of the more relaxed versions in the market. The brand’s core skinny jean, the Mia, also resonates strongly with women across all of the brand’s retail channels.
For Spring ’19, Kut from the Kloth will expand on the vintage heritage look it’s rolling out this fall. The spring line will invite new powdery blues, baked-in resin details, released hems and clean washes. The brand is also introducing more ankle flares and straight leg styles.
Going forward, Kanizo said the brand is starting to get some positive reads on new cuts like kick flares and Mom jeans, which are beginning to “bubble up.” Anything with ankle detailing is gaining traction, too.
From price to style, the company’s goal, Kanizo explained, is to help women build a denim wardrobe. “We want her to be able to go shopping,” she said. The brand relies on feedback from its boutique partners about what works (and doesn’t work) on the local level, while department stores have allowed the brand to quickly test new product.
“Our customer is not the fastest to adopt trends. Sometimes we’re two years too early, but we’re able to gather valuable information during this time,” Kanizo said. “We have the jean when she’s ready for it.”