California, France and Jeans: A Fashion Trinity

Monday, January 9, 2017

There’s a word that has grown very popular in fashion lately: evolution. Rather than churning out entirely new collections, brands have begun focusing more on using signature pieces as a building block to create new product. Last year marked the evolution of L’Agence.

The California-based brand carried by Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom, launched in 2008, had a change at the top that transformed its aesthetic. It also led to last year’s re-launch of the French-inspired L’Agence Jean.

The new jean was inspired by French designer versions of the ’70s, with subtle construction, a contour waistband, and engineered paneling and stitching, as well as a stretch denim exclusive to L’Agence. New models dubbed Margot (High Rise) and Chantal (Low Rise) have become the label’s new staples.

L’Agence started in California, but has found appeal among East Coast shoppers. “L’Agence is about femininity. It is neither West nor East,” said Albert Schami, the new president and partner of L’Agence. “L’Agence is about telling a story: What is she wearing? Where is she going? Who is she with? What is she doing? That story is about every woman regardless what coast or continent she lives on.”

“In our commitment to remain true to our woman, we continue to build a story,” Schami said. “She can be on a vacation trip to the Cote d’ Azure, or on her way back from Morocco to Los Angeles. Our design and merchandising teams are constantly working together on the next episode. The characters remain the same; they are just on to the next journey.”

Specialty stores presence increased on both the East and West coasts. They have also seen growth and potential internationally, and are newly available in the UK with Harrods, Trilogy, and Net-A-Porter,  in Canada with Holt Renfrew and in China with Lane Crawford.

But it’s always all about the denim, darling.


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by Debbie BancroftPhotographed by Griffin Lipson and Hunter Abrams/