Play Me Jeans Debuts With '90s Styles and '90s Pricing

Sometimes less is more; sometimes more is more.

Los Angeles–based Play Me Jeans, founded by Christine Lai and Eric Espinoza of UNIF and Tom Hirota of Joyrich, falls solidly in the “more is more” camp. Inspired by the ’90s (when models wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000) and priced to sell, Play Me Jeans launched for Summer 2010 with a full collection of men’s and women’s fashion bottoms, including jeans, sweats, shorts and novelty fabrics. Wholesale prices for the collection range from $27 to $45, with retail prices topping out at $95.

“Between UNIF and Joyrich, we had a large account base, and many of our retailers have been asking us for bottoms,” Lai said. And while $100 jeans are a big focus for many brands, Lai said, a lot of those jeans are super-basic. “Ours are more fashion-forward and cheaper.”

Made in China, Play Me’s ’90s-inspired jeans are anything but basic. Women get shredded denim shorts with sequins peeking through slashes, acid-washed skinny jeans covered in animal-print patches, and high-waist denim biker shorts featuring faded floral denim cuffs and waistbands. Guys get in on the fun with jeans sporting tonal studs on the knees, white jeans printed with lines of text, thrashed jeans with studded underpanels and leopard-print skinny jeans.

Lai—who designs UNIF’s women’s offerings and has a background designing private-label denim for companies such as Charlotte Russe, Urban Outfitters and Forever 21— said Play Me hopes to land in better boutiques, surf/skate shops and online at shops such as Karmaloop and Nasty Gal Vintage. Distributors in Japan, Australia and Canada have picked up the line and are having success selling it. “The pricing is very popular,” Lai said.

For more information, visit’s Jeans to Do Shoes

Los Angeles–based premium-denim maker Joe’s Jeans has announced a licensing agreement with Burano LLC to manufacture and distribute Joe’s-branded footwear for women. The license is expected to rake in minimum net sales of $5.5 million over its three-year term.

“We believe our new line of Joe’s-branded footwear will contribute to continued brand-name recognition and overall growth for 2010. The shoe line will reflect and embody the Joe’s customer as a fashion-forward, casual woman with an independent streak,” said Marc Crossman, Joe’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “We are excited to be able to offer our customer fashion-forward shoes at attractive retail price points and look forward to the line’s development in our collection.”

Set to ship for Spring 2010, Joe’s first shoe collection will feature ballet flats exclusively, a release from the company said. Specialty stores, major department stores and Joe’s own retail stores will carry the ballet flats in a variety of fabrications, priced at $120 to $145 retail.

An expanded line of wedges, sandals and casual heels is expected to ship in April. Fall 2010 will see the addition of boots and is set to ship in July.

“The shoes will have a vintage look with a feminine vibe and sexy attitude. The offerings will include soft, draping leathers in rich colors and a focus on intricate detailing on the soles,” the statement from the company said.