Starting in July, you will see a big difference in all of Charlotte Russe's 500-plus stores. That's because the 35-year-old company hired its first in-house design team to completely overhaul everything from sizing to quality to styling.
The team is led by Khristene Son, senior vice president of design and trend, who joined the company in November and has brought experience from such brands as Emanuel Ungaro, Burberry and Old Navy. The first item of business on Son's agenda was to completely revitalize the store's denim mix – a major staple in Charlotte Russe's overall assortment.
"It was one of our biggest focuses," Son told StyleList. "There are new fabrics, new treatments and techniques being used, new fits. Basically, everything about it has changed."
Including the name on the label apparently. The denim collection used to be called Refuge, but now reads the store's own name, Charlotte Russe.
And that's just for starters. Son said that previously the denim fits were basically all the same – super ultra low-rise. The only real difference was in the leg openings. Now, the range has changed and expanded to reach a much broader base of customers.
There are now six different fits:
- Slip-on denim legging - complete with a covered waistband and no button.
- Extreme skinny - with all five pockets sewn shut.
- Everyday skinny - the most generous of the skinny fits, this one comes with a slightly larger leg opening in order to fit a more diverse range of girls.
- Slouchy slim - A sexier take on the boyfriend jean, this style is meant to be rolled at the cuff for a more casual look.
- Flare - With a low rise, and a wide leg opening.
- Curvy - A style for someone who has more of a hip, a rounder rear and small waist.
In addition, all jeans will come in a variety of washes and treatments.
"We wanted to make sure we had everything from the super clean and rigid to a 20-year vintage-inspired super destruction style," Son said. "Also, we are looking at using shades of gray and black on denim as well as new treatments like lace imprints."
Perhaps the sweetest part of this deal is the pricing. With the onslaught of designer denim in recent years, it's been ages since a good pair of jeans cost less than $150 (and most were almost double that). Fortunately these reworked staples won't exceed $35. And even Son's super-special holiday styles with extra embellishments top out at $40.
Look for these new jeans to hit the Charlotte Russe stores in mid-July.
Meanwhile, check out which pop star is performing in bedazzled jean cutoff shorts.