Use this J Brand quick history to unravel the mystery of overpriced jeans. In 2005, Jeff Rudes-the denim designer that put Abercrombie and Fitch on the lips of hipsters, twinks, and frat boys everywhere-founded J Brand with former stylist Susie Crippin. Jeff Rudes has been working in the fashion industry designing denim for over 30 years; after seeing others reap the rewards for his work for that long, he decided it was time to branch out and start his own denim line. While Jeff had the idea for designs, he needed someone to give J Brand a sense of style, so he tapped former stylist Susie Crippin. Susie Crippin has been a celebrity stylist and fashion reporter who has been published in "Vanity Fair" and "InStyle." Their combined knowledge of denim along with some cash from Ron Herman and Adriano Goldschmied, gave birth to J Brand.
J Brand's mission was to provide women with classic denim styles that focused on a classic fit and dark washes. They debuted their line at Ron Herman's Melrose Jeans Bar in 2005, and it was brilliantly received by those in attendance. After their debut, J Brand became one of the first American companies to dive into the skinny fit jeans market, pushing the slender, body-hugging, ball crushing jeans that have become so popular in the last few years. Once their version of the skinny jeans was readily accepted by the market, J brand began to branch out further with wide leg, boot cut, and bell bottom jeans that continued to focus on providing women with clean lines and a classic fit. With their name in the world of women's jeans rising, J Brand launched a maternity line, Mama J, in 2007. The J Brand line of maturity wear wanted to focus on providing expectant mothers with something more than covering up the baby bump. J Brand wanted to provide new moms with the classic style that is so often lacking in the world of maternity wear. With two successful denim lines under their belt, J Brand was on a serious roll, and decided to expand even further on their success by launching a girls line later in 2007. In 2008, J Brand launched their men's line, the J Brand Denim Co. Much like their women's line, J Brand Denim Co. focuses on giving men jeans in a variety of classic fits using high quality cotton to create the denim.
In 2009, J Brand was asked to contribute denim designs to Hussein Chalayan's Paris runway show. While the designs that were contributed by J Brand were good, the world was in the midst of an economic downturn of insane proportions, so $1600 dollars for a pair of slim-leg, ripped jeans was not very well received by the recessionistas that lined the Paris runways. While the incident didn't do anything to hurt J Brand's reputation, it sent some minor shock waves through the fashion world. Since they have been able to survive the Hussein Chalayan unscathed, J Brand has added yet another line to their denim arsenal. The new line will take J Brand's commitment to providing women with classic styles and fits and focus it on the full figured and plus size market. Despite their success over the last four years, J Brand has not launched any independent stores of their own. J Brand can mainly be found in high-end department stores and speciality denim stores. A pair of J Brand jeans can usually run anywhere from $158-$248 per pair. Definitely on the pricey side, but if you're into designer denim, it's par for the course.