StyleList recently caught up with J Brand co-founder Jeff Rudes, and in between discussing his involvement in Full Frontal Fashion's "Dirty Denim" documentary, he explained J Brand's direction post-Proenza Schouler.
"We're going to drop our collaborations for a few seasons, because we want to focus on supporting young emerging designers. We are going back to Europe, and we're doing something for London Fashion Week that has never been done," Rudes tells StyleList.
"I can't disclose it, but it's with multiple designers, and it's going to launch during London Fashion Week. It contributes back to London's emerging designers and the British Fashion Council. It's going to be world news for the fashion industry.
"Next on our horizon is being philanthropic, first to these young emerging designers and then tying all of these collaborations that are part of [our] revenue to philanthropic venues."
Hmmm. Although Rudes was staying pretty mum on the subject, our best guess is that J Brand might be involved with an Ecco Domani or CFDA/Vogue Fund-style competition with a denim focus. But we'll have to wait until mid-April, when the project is formally announced, to see if we're right.
Still, one question remains: Why London Fashion Week and not New York Fashion Week?
"We're planning to bring this back to CFDA and New York if it works," Rudes explains. "The reason we chose London is because the best young, emerging designers today are coming out of [there] -- the Christopher Kanes and Marios Schwabs. They're being picked up by design houses, and they get a huge amount of support. We have some iconic industry friends who also agreed that London would be a good start. And the timing was right."
As for the design direction of the main J Brand line, Rudes says the jeans will remain "clean and classic" in the next few seasons, and there are no plans to launch any other apparel.
"A lot of jean companies have struggled entering licensing and sportswear for different reasons," he says. "But the platform and formula hasn't been wisely used. We know the model that does work, but we want to wait for the right time. We don't want to expand into other product lines too soon. We want to be very focused and be the best in jeans."
It appears as if that mission-accomplished is accomplished -- as of right now, at least.
In the meantime, check out this celebrity's rebranded denim line.