Designer jeans

Designer jeans are high-fashion jeans that are marketed as status symbols. The Nakash brothers (Joe, Ralph, and Avi) are generally credited with starting the trend when they launched their Jordache line of jeans in 1978. Designer jeans are cut for women and men and are often worn more fitted than low quality jeans, though relaxed cuts are available. They typically feature prominently visible designer names or logos on the back pockets and on the right front coin-pocket.

Late 1970s to early 1980s

During the early rise to prominence of designer jeans, in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, it was fairly typical to see fashions for men follow those for women, just as previously women had been the first to wear flared and bell-bottomed trousers. For example, Jordache initially marketed their products to women only, but soon followed with a line for men that was very similar in overall appearance to the women's. Given the general tendency toward bagginess in men's pants today, this male-after-female trend is less noticeable; nevertheless, most jeans companies have offered low-rise cuts for men in recent years.

Within a few years of the Jordache launch, dozens of other brands were on the market; among them were:

Racy, suggestive advertisements promoted many of the brands.


In the late 1980s, designer jeans lost popularity. Beginning in the 1990s with Helmut Lang and into the early 2000s, they started coming back into fashion, with specialty brands such as 1921 Jeans, AG Jeans, Antik Denim, Blue Way, Citizens of Humanity, Cheap Monday, Chip and Pepper, Diesel, Dorinha Jeans Wear, Earnest Sewn, Energie, Evisu, Fortune Denim, Goldsign, Guess?, Hudson, Habitual, i-Jeans (Evolution of Freedom), Jawna Standish, J Brand, J & Company, JamesJeans, Joe's Jeans, Ksubi, Mavi Jeans, Miss Sixty, Nudie Jeans, Paige Premium Denim, Paper Denim & Cloth, People For Peace, PRPS, Ranahan Jeans, Replay, Rock and Republic, Seven for All Mankind, Silver Jeans, TAG, Taverniti So Jeans, True Religion, Miss Me, William Rast and Yanuk

Designer jeans can be purchased at high-end department stores such as Holt Renfrew, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus, along with retailers like The Buckle, Urban Outfitters, and Kitson Boutique. Select Macy's stores carry designer jeans. They typically cost from around USD 200, mid-range, to more than USD 500 for higher-end denim.

A few of the original designer brands, namely Jordache, Calvin Klein, and Dittos, are also coming back with the designs that made them popular.

  • Calvin Klein reproduced/reissued their old design of the loop stitched pocket as a throwback to the 1980s style and named them Omega jeans. The differences are that the copper rivets at the back pocket were taken out, no double stitches appear at the both side of the jeans, and the back pockets were redesigned with a bit of slanting to the edge.
  • In August 2007, Jordache completed a prominent advertising campaign featuring supermodel Heidi Klum, photographed in the Chateau Marmont.
  • Dittos jeans, in their trademark assortment of bright colors, are now available at Saks Fifth Avenue.


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