As a women’s brand primarily known for knits, woven tops and dresses, Los Angeles-based Socialite Clothing saw an opportunity to complete its California-cool look with denim.
“At one point we joked that we were bottomless,” said Shannon Cavanagh, director of branding and marketing. “So, we bit off denim.”
Socialite soft launched denim in November across its own e-commerce site. The brand is following up with a spring collection that will be available at Urban Outfitters, Zappos, as well as at pop-up at BLVD in Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Denim is a natural fit for the brand—Cavanagh says the Socialite team lives in denim—and for Eero Gathers, who was tapped to head up design. However, it isn’t an easy category to jump into. Gathers, who previously worked for 7 For All Mankind, Genetic Denim and others, spent over a year developing fits and washes and wear-testing garments.
The jeans—named after places in California—are designed in Los Angeles and made in Mexico, allowing the company to cut new jeans quickly and react swiftly to fit issues. Cavanagh says the brand is relying on feedback from friends, family and buyers to perfect the collection.
“Sometimes you are so close to your vision you can’t see beyond it, but we learn something new every day,” she said. “We are pliable.”
The collection includes soft, stretch fabrications in 11 contemporary but not overly trendy silhouettes, including a Dad jean, flare, skinny and jean shorts. The high-waist skinny called “Twig” and flare “Elle” are early best-sellers, as well as a relaxed fit boyfriend jacket. Color blocking and acid wash are surprise favorites.
Jeans retail for $89-$178. The size range is 23-32.
“We’re listening to our consumers to make sure we are hitting the nail on the head,” Cavanagh said. “We have strong opinions, but at the same time we are inspired by our community.”
The goal for the denim collection, she added, is to offer women an effortless jean that is soft as it is comfortable and won’t bag out. “We’re investing in fabrics that we stand behind,” Cavanagh said.
“We’re all multitasking,” she said. “We are running in a million directions, so we want to make it easy and build confidence into your clothes.”