I love discovering a new fashion find and sharing. With winter edging around the corner, I was looking at my wardrobe and thinking it needed a refresh – particularly in the jeans department – when lo and behold, I stumbled across this FAB brand that fitted the bill (and bum) in more ways than one.
The iconic look for a pair of New London Jeans involves studs and stitching. Tres cool and probably a bit pricey, right? Well, here’s the bonus. They DON’T carry a ridiculous price tag like some of their competitors. And the reason they sell so well is that they’re designed for real women BY real women.
Sales and Design Director at Chris Alexander Agency, Claire Alexander, has worked in fashion ever since she left school and has helped run the Chris Alexander Agency with her husband for the past 15 years. About three years ago, they decided there was a gap in the market that needed filling – that women (about 30-years +) wanted jeans which were comfortable, affordable and looked cool.
After a bit of research, they came across New London Jeans, which was originally launched by a French designer. Along with some Chinese partners, their agency now supplies the Australasia region and business is booming.
‘We now work with Anthony, the designer, to broaden the range to suit our market here,’ said Claire. ‘Each range is different and we’ve been developing it largely based on customer and store feedback. We now have a strong loyalty base which is great, because women really love it’
One of Claire’s largest clients is Eco-D, which has twelve stores around Australia. ‘The managers give me fantastic feedback on fit. That has really helped with the success of the brand.’
Claire speaks from personal experience when she describes what women want. ‘We’re giving something to women who are not necessarily brand devotees. I mean, I don’t want to wear what my nieces in their 20s are wearing and I don’t want to spend $300 on a designer-label pair of jeans. We want a good product with a bit of a fashion statement that’s comfortable too.’
With a median price of around $150, Claire says a lot of their customers will buy two pairs – one as a fashion statement and another for day-to-day wear. ‘And the quality of fabrics we use stacks up well against the more expensive labels,’ she added.
Here’s another bonus with New London Jeans. They’ve just been released in a new fabric that is exclusive to the brand. It’s a four-way stretch denim, making it super comfy.
‘It’s like wearing trakky pants but they look like jeans,’ said Claire. ‘And they don’t go baggy around the bum plus they wash well. It’s one that all the retailers say is performing really well. It comes in five colours this season – the turmeric colour is our key fashion statement for winter.’
I reckon the real key to the success of the brand is because they make each style in three different ‘types’. Claire says they classify them as a taper fit, a pipe fit, and a pole fit. ‘ A taper is like a skinny jean – it’s a mid-rise jean and it tapers off down the leg, but it’s not as tight fitting as a skinny jean,’ she said.
‘A pipe fit is similar to a trouser leg – more like a cigarette leg – straight all the way down. And the pole fit is a bigger fitting jean with a higher rise and a fuller leg and better suited to bigger girls. So for instance, with clients like Eco-D, they’ll mostly want the taper fit. Then other stores who cater to more mature customers but also want a cool look, go for the other two styles.’
Yep, it’s all about the FIT. Claire says they work and work and WORK on the re-fitting and shape of these denims until they get it exactly right.
This season there are several ‘trends’. Colour is huge – as seen in the new four-way stretch design. Then there’s animal print and velvet, which Vicki, who works with Claire, kindly agreed to model for me.
The STATEMENT piece this season, which features on the New London Jeans stylebook cover, harks back to the brand’s core look – with studding and stitching.
Claire says they never rest on their laurels. ‘We don’t want to keep on doing the same old thing. We want each range to be fresh and to offer our customer different styles each season. We’re constantly working on ways to improve.’
And while New London Jeans has a website, you can’t buy these babies on-line. Claire says it’s best with jeans to try them on to get the ‘right’ fit. ‘All our styles are on-line so people an browse and see what they like and then find a store that sells it. That way they get the right fit. We also try and help our stores become ‘jean specialists’, with direct advice and a style guide, which works really well.’
AND THERE’S MORE!! Great to see that as well as jeans, Claire has included a denim skirt in this season’s range. Not just any old skirt, either. This one’s a bit classier than the rest, sporting a ‘coating’ which gives the black denim a very smart finish. In fact, it’s even proven a hit with – believe it or not – GOLFERS.
‘Next summer we’re bringing in bleached denim skirts and coloured denim skirts and some are even in sateen, because we’ve found this style is really popular with golfers. It’s hard to find a non-daggy golf skirt, so this has been a big hit.’
And here’s proof of the brand’s success. Last summer, New London Jeans had twenty-five pieces in the range. Next summer, that number will be double to meet demand, with more than FIFTY styles. Go, Claire!
If you’d like to see more of the New London Jeans range, and to find your nearest stockist, visit the website at www.newlondon.com.au