Acting on the tip I’d received from “SHE” of The Jeans Couple, today I decided to visited AB Fits (http://www.abfits.com/), a high-end fashion boutique in San Francisco. I pulled up out front just as the store manager was opening up. The cozy little store with the hard wood floor was primarily full of rows of jeans and racks of blouses from this designer and that. While browsing I managed to spot a pair of jeans that were well over 400 bucks–Yikes!!! Makes you wonder where this jeans thing is going. Anyway, with regards to the styles offered by the various brands, I didn’t feel threatened at all; my own designs are just as eye-catching (if not more so) than anything I saw.Again, as was the case with Rolo and Express For Men, the store manager was very personable. I had come prepared with a list of questions and after thoroughly examining the competition, I let’em have it. He readily offered as much information as his knowledge allowed.
I questioned him in regards to the store’s demographic make-up, which he told me consists of everyone from teenagers to 60-somethings. He says that the majority of the store’s shoppers however, tend to be in their 20’s & 30’s. Also, it is his opinion that the most important aspect of any pair of jeans is the fit. Makes sense to me. After all, no matter how interesting the wash or stitching details, if they don’t fit right, they don’t look right.
With regards to designer brands and the mainstream, he confirmed what I had learned at ROLO–that the more “famous” or wide spread a brand becomes, the more it loses it’s cult following (sounds like the music business). Also, he says that exclusive boutiques like AB Fits and ROLO are known to stop carrying brands once they make it to the major department stores, mainly because they can no longer compete.
I’m still a bit confused as to what the difference is between high and low-grade denim, although he told me that high grades are usually hand spun or whatever. I’m still unsure of how one could tell the difference. Oh well…
Before wishing me luck, he gave me the contact info of the buyers for the boutique. I really appreciated that!