Friday, September 11, 2009

Lucky Jeans

Here's a recent article I wrote for the Manila Bulletin on the newly-laucnhed Lucky Brand Jeans store in Greenbelt 5 in Ayala Center, Makati. Frankly, I still prefer Levi's 501's but these pairs aren't too shabby, to be more objective.

Vintage-inspired jeans are still on a roll
Distressed, handmade denim remain a cult fave

September 3, 2009

It's only rock and roll. But we never did stop liking it, didn’t we?

And jeans, especially the vintage-looking pairs, never did get out of style. First worn as work wear in the 1800’s, jeans have evolved into a fashion statement of their own and have developed a rich history of reflecting one’s individual thinking and independent style, especially after they have also become associated with the largely free spirited ethos of rock music.

Childhood friends Gene Montesano and Barry Perlman knew this all too well. So when they first presented the first pair of the vintage-inspired and handmade Lucky Brand Jeans in 1990, they also knew they were on to something.

With a wide variety of fits and washes such as Slim Bootleg, Straight, Relaxed Bootleg and, of course, Vintage, Lucky Brand Jeans are distinguished for their rather unique “distressed” feature, the extent of which varies from style to style. Every pair also has two four-leaf clovers and the phrase “LUCKY YOU” stitched onto the inside of the fly shield.

Recently launched along with the opening of its first concept store in Greenbelt 5, Lucky Brand Jeans are “all hand-made, with all detailing done by hand, except for the actual washing process,” says Malu Francisco of Stores Specialist, Inc, exclusive distributor of the brand.

Reflecting the same bohemian, rebel-without-a-cause spirit of its other stores worldwide, Lucky Brand Jeans’ Greenbelt 5 location has a similar, eye-catching design reminiscent of Hard Rock CafĂ© restaurants as framed pictures, some rarely seen, of classic rock stars from The Beatles to Janis Joplin to Led Zeppelin to Fleetwood Mac adorn its show windows.

During a fashion show to showcase its latest collection, classic rock tunes from these same artists as well as David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, the Who and Elton John blasted from the speakers as models virtually looked like live mannequins strutting from the runway all the way into the store’s show windows.

While jeans are a major selling point, the brand also offers just about all kinds of apparel for both men and women. Lucky Brand T-shirts come in amazing dye and wash treatments as well as familiar rock and roll themes, vintage motorcars and card sharks, available in varying prints and designs. There are also Eagle-embroidered and plaid, woven shirts, cotton, zip-up hoodies and denim, military jackets for that so-called “vintage modern” feel.

For women, there’s plenty of flower power reflected in tops and dresses with floral patterns, paisley prints, and slub “Rice-Bag” graphic tees, many of which are incorporated with ruffles, metallic embroidery, braids, beads, eyelets, crochet and ditsy florals. There are also printed, Kimono-sleeve cardigans, cotton, zip-up hoodies and embroidered tunic and turtle dove-print, slit neck tees that match up well with Danielle Cargo pants. New for the season is the “Boyfriend Jean,” with a relaxed slouch fit that looks like it’s stolen from her man that also comes in bootleg, straight leg and, yes, even bell bottom.

And there are accessories, too, such as scarves that come in a variety of prints, rich colors and soft textures. Studded “rocker” belts complement any Lucky Brand Jeans pair while jewelry for the girls combine Asian influences with Japanese botanical elements that result in hammered petals, willowy chains, rich floral and watery hues.

Francisco says that the Greenbelt 5 store is only one of two Lucky Brand Jeans locations to initially operate in the country, with another one soon to open in Shangri-La Plaza mall.

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