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NYDJ Turns 20, Focused on Consumers and Fit

NYDJ, formerly known as “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans,” is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year by releasing three new denim styles: the Blake Slim Flare, Ellison Straight and Le Silhouette Sheri Slim.

To fully appreciate NYDJ, it’s important to understand the landscape of denim fashion when the brand launched in 2003. Pop stars, models and clever marketing made premium denim brands and their $200-plus price tags covetable items. Rises were falling while silhouettes tightened up, squeezing consumers who wanted the market to give them flattering, comfortable blue jeans. 

What began as a business focused on denim to address a gap in the women’s denim market has since expanded to include tops, matching sets, footwear and more—and with a snappier moniker. 

Jeans, however, remain NYDJ’s bread and butter with prices at $89-$139. It has sold more than 20 million pairs worldwide. “Currently, NYDJ’s business is 70 percent denim and is only continuing to grow with new colorways and styles,” said Estelle Dahan, NYDJ VP of design. The brand is seeing “positive high single-digit comps” compared to pre-Covid denim sales, she added.

Evolving with its consumers has been key to the brand’s success story. NYDJ offers jeans in sizes 00-22 in regular, petite, plus and tall, enhancing styles with proprietary slimming panels. In 2020 it began to experiment with sustainable color technologies and organic and recycled materials. 

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“We make clothing for every woman to feel comfortable and confident,” Dahan said. 

Rivet: What qualities in denim resonates with your consumer?

Estella Dahan: We’ve found that stretch is a key quality in the comfort of denim, and we’ve found a way to integrate that into almost all our bottoms. To keep them comfortable, but flattering, we created Lift Tuck Technology, which uses a proprietary slimming panel with a patented crisscross design to shape and support your curves for an always-sleek silhouette. 

When sourcing fabrics, we always keep comfort top of mind, like with our Sculpting Comfort collection. We’ve layered our beloved denim into three stages of comfort based on the level of stretch: serious comfort, high comfort, and ultra-comfort. The fabrics featured were selected to support the figure while lifting and shaping your curves. The serious comfort is made with supportive stretch denim, and our exclusive satin elastic waistband molds to your waist for a fit that feels like pull-on jeans. The high comfort is made of our softest stretch denim, comprised of silky-soft viscose and modal that moves with you for a fit that feels like yoga pants. 

Lastly, our ultra-comfort is made of power-stretch denim that expands up to three sizes for a fit that feels like compression leggings. We look for these key elements when sourcing fabrics to ensure we only offer the best.

Rivet: What are NYDJ’s bestselling fits?

ED: Some of our iconic and best-selling fits include the Marilyn Straight Leg jeans, Sheri Slim jeans and Teresa Wide Leg jean. Our Marilyn Straight jeans are a classic fit that never goes out of style and are loved by Oprah. The Sheri Slim is a crowd favorite as it’s the perfect balance of skinny and straight with a slightly tapered leg. Our beloved Teresa Wide Leg is super popular for the wide-leg jeans trend on the market. It adds a bold statement to any outfit. 

Marilyn Straight Leg

Rivet: How does NYDJ approach trends?

ED: We identify consumer needs in the market, styles that are trending, and washes that are popular and integrate that into our offerings. We recently released the Haley wash, a wardrobe essential light blue wash with a slightly faded look that plays into what is trending by offering it in the Marilyn Straight Leg jeans and Sheri Slim jeans, two of our most popular styles.

Rivet: What are some key trends for Spring/Summer 2023?

ED: As spring approaches, I think we’ll see the return of florals and vibrant pastel colors like pinks and greens with a mix of lighter denim washes. I think wide-leg bottoms will continue to trend next year. Consumers like the loose fit. Many feel it’s more comfortable and flattering but also very versatile.

Rivet: What is your fabric sourcing strategy?

ED: Our focus when sourcing fabric is all about premium denim. We focus on serving our customers the best stretch and rigid denim on the market. Our basic requirement for stretch is more than 50 percent stretch and more than 80 percent recovery.

Rivet: How does the brand address sustainability?

ED: At the start of this year, we aimed to become a 20 percent sustainable company. We are excited to share that we’ve almost reached our 2023 goal of 50 percent and are expected to meet it in the new year. 

We take small steps towards achieving these goals, including considering which fabric we want to feature when we design denim. Throughout our design process, we heavily consider whether the product is 100 percent organic cotton, includes earth-friendly technologies, and uses recycled materials with the exact signature fit, comfort, and style our consumer loves. We’ve incorporated environmentally friendly fabrics not only in denim, but in our shoes with recycled rubber and denim made from plastic water bottles, as well as our blouses with sustainable polyester fiber created from 100 percent post-consumer plastic waste. Our collections have evolved over time with sustainable designs, and we’ll continue to set new goals for the future to make NYDJ even more sustainable.