I am sure a lot of you guys out there will remember the former LA brand, Frankie B. – super SUPER low-rise and very printed jeans….
Well, the company has been bought by fashion old-timer, Kevin Chen, and re-named just FRANKIE and we’re totally curious about what’s in store for us now.
Oh, and talking about stores – FRANKIE’s flagship store is located in the Los Angeles Arts District and was awarded “Best Boutique Interior” of 2016 by AZURE MAGAZINE. They recently opened their first store in New York City’s trendy downtown Soho and yours truly was there to check it out. Definitely worth passing by if you are in the hood. Great denim, lot’s of “what-to-wear-with-your-denim” options, and also a whole lifestyle collection for the professional ladies. Stay tuned for our lookbook post soon to come.
Did we tell you – they carry the coolest leather jackets in the store as well!
We have asked Kevin Chen, owner and CEO of FRANKIE a few questions:
• Who is the person behind FRANKIE?
With a strong passion for art, fashion and architecture, founder and creative director Kevin Chen has an idea to challenge common misconceptions and create a collection that is a reflection of modern fashion integrated with timeless styles. FRANKIE is for the modern woman with New York’s incomparable energy and the unique spirit of Los Angeles.
• Please give us a few lines about Kevin’s denim life – like where did he work, what brands did he do before FRANKIE?
With the intention of carving out his own niche in fashion, he studied business management and finance at Baruch’s College in New York while working as an assistant pattern maker for a bathing suit company. He then moved on as assistant production manager to a licensing company to manufacture a range of private labels. In 1991, he
graduated from FIT in fashion design major. The next year, he moved to Los Angeles to design a high-end knitwear collection for I. Magnin, the San Francisco based luxury department store. In 1994, he opened his own high-end fashion retail store chain ‘KCS CINN KEDIAONI’ in Los Angeles and San Francisco which carried brands as Gianni Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, and Marc Jacobs to name a few. They also offered in-store, made-to-measure Armani Collezioni for his clients until 2006. In 2005, he co-founded a premium denim brand, MEK Denim in Los Angeles until selling his shares six years later.
• Who is FRANKIE’s client?
Frankie celebrates the strong, independent and freethinking woman. She is bold, confident and edgy while still being sophisticated and polished. We love a woman with a New Yorker’s attitude but the free spirit of Los Angeles. Her juxtaposition keeps her a mystery. You can find her on the streets of London, in a modern art museum or sipping wine in a little cafe.
• What are your predictions for Fall/Winter 2018 trends in denim and RTW? More about FRANKIE denim.
We predict a well-tailored and versatile wardrobe, offering traditional yet modern and effortless designs. Suits in bold primary colors on women. Asymmetrical trench coats and oversized hats are reminiscence of the 80’s and early 90’s. At FRANKIE, we see denim as the center stage of the season. With a dusty natural wash and high-waist trouser fit and shorts featuring pleat details and light distressing. Most of our denim is made with high quality Japanese denim to ensure durability and comfort. We have a wide range of fits from a crop skinny jean to a tapered carrot pant. Jeans in raw unwashed denim that has a natural beige color as well as stove pipe, straight leg denim in a range of washes.
• Where do you see FRANKIE in 5 years from now?
With stores in Downtown Los Angeles and SoHo, NYC we are continuing our retail expansion! FRANKIE will be opening its flagship location at Hudson Yards in Chelsea, NYC in March 2019. You can expect to see FRANKIE retail stores popping up in San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas and Honolulu. While growing our domestic business we will
also focus on international expansion in the coming year.