Supermodel Bella Hadid adores them. Singer Justin Bieber routinely performs in them. Megaperformer Beyonce went to a skating rink in them.
Love 'em or hate 'em, ripped jeans have infiltrated American fashion, and now, the closets of teens across America.
"Destroyed denim has been selling [well] for quite some time for us, and it's actually gaining momentum, in both genders and both brands," she told TheStreet Thursday, Aug. 24.
Abercrombie's two brands include Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister, the latter having reemerged recently as a major brand for teenagers. In fact, the Gen Z-favored brand saw a 5% increase in same-store sales this past quarter while Abercrombie & Fitch sales fell 7%, the company announced Thursday in its second-quarter earnings release.
Exceeding Wall Street estimates with its apparent stabilization, Abercrombie shares spiked by Wednesday morning, reaching 14 percent at $10.94 per share right before noon.
Denim saw a record performance this quarter, Horowitz-Bonadies said in the earnings call. But Abercrombie isn't the only teens-targeting brand crazy for denim. Of the 206 denim pants products for women on Forever21.com, nearly 140 pairs feature some sort of fraying, lacerations and holes, small and ginormous. One top-rated pair is notably distressed, with ripped baby blue pants and a ripped skirt attached over it.
Fellow mall classic Gap, Inc. (GPS - Get Report) also loves its denim as of late, but of the stretchy variety. "Stretch denim is the rage across men's and women's [apparel]," Gap CEO Art Peck said on an earnings call on Thursday, Aug. 17.
Denim, no matter the cut or style, is here to stay, according to stylist Amanda Sanders. "A few seasons ago, we had acid-wash and boyfriend jeans, and now there are jeans with embroidery and patches," she told TheStreet. "All of it is going to stay for a while."
Not even couture designers, who have traditionally ignored denim, are immune. In the Fall/Winter 2016 season, Chanel introduced a denim version of its classic flap bag.
But distressed denim, which has been hot for about three years now, may soon see its demise, Sanders said. She predicts it will begin to disappear around next spring.
That's good news to its haters, of whom there are plenty.
"An unripped pair of jeans these days is about as rare as a decent Ben Affleck film: you know they existed once, surely," wrote Hadley Freeman of the Guardian a year ago. "I've tried to understand the mentality behind this look. Is it saying: 'I'm so wild, I tore my jeans moshing last night at 3am and I'm so cool I didn't even notice'?"
Other trends that have sold well, Horowitz-Bonadies added, include embroidery and high-rise bottoms for girls.
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