Paige Adams-Geller is taking her eponymous brand beyond women’s denim, and has her sights set on expansion
Founded in 2004, Paige has established itself as a desirable denim brand around the world, and its 65 UK stockists include including Harrods, Selfridges, Fenwick and numerous independent retailers. As it launches footwear for the first time and ramps up its expansion plans, Drapers meets founder Paige Adams-Geller to find out more about her ambitions for the business
What is new for Paige?
We’re building the menswear collection, which launched in the US six years ago and came to the UK three years ago, to be more than just the denim pieces. It’s lifestyle alongside the denim.
We launched a women’s footwear collection for the first time for autumn 18. We’re exclusively with Selfridges in the UK for this season, and men’s footwear will follow next autumn.
[Wholesale prices for the brand range from £35 for a T-shirt for to £470 for outerwear.]
What do women want from their denim today?
What I hear most women say is they want something that is comfortable and something that they feel good in.
In terms of trends, we went from super-stretch, soft and comfy to women wanting rigid jeans, then realising that rigid jeans were not that comfortable. They want the look of a rigid jean, but the feel of something that is soft and comfortable – they’re looking for an in-between.
Additionally, people are asking more and more for the longer jeans again – longer flares and wide-leg styles. The newer denim silhouettes are the high-rise, long, lean straight-leg styles. It’s almost something that I would have worn back in the 1970s.
What are some of the biggest developments you’ve made in the business?
Starting off as a denim brand, what has been monumental for us was expanding into a full lifestyle collection and managing to be really successful with it.
When we first launched, there were a lot of people who thought that a denim brand couldn’t be more than just denim. We launched ready-to-wear four years ago and it allows us to really complete the wardrobe for all occasions.
A second milestone was launching men’s clothing. A lot of people were afraid that Paige was too associated with being a feminine brand, so we wouldn’t have too much opportunity to succeed in menswear. But that thought was smashed, and men’s has been doing so well.
Having Paige [own] stores expand across the US has been amazing. Our first store opened in 2006 and by the end of this year we’ll have 18 in the US. We’re doubling our number – we had nine at the start of the year. We’re opening in Miami, Houston, LA, Dallas, Scottsdale and San Jose.
Why are stores important for the business?
People love storytelling, and they love feeling an authentic connection to a brand. I feel that the best way to tell that story and be a bit more authentic is to do it in your own stores and really have the space to display the full collection as I design it. It’s hard to have just a little bit of real estate in [a department] store and only tell part of the story. Really having the opportunity to share the brand in its entirety has been my dream, and now we’re able to so that. I would like to have a London store at some point in the future.
Sustainability is a big buzzword for denim. What are you working on in this area?
We’re very mindful of that and it has been on our radar for a long time. We’ve been focusing on water recycling – making sure we take pride in that in our factories. We also have a lot of laser machines in our factories. Instead of using water, these machines can do the same detailing and washes rather than using all the chemicals and other things that can affect the environment. Those are two things we’re really focusing on now, and we’ll continue on that path as we move forward.
What are you plans for the future of Paige?
Expansion into Asia and my first European store, although we don’t have a location planned just yet. Growth in Asia and the Middle East are things I feel are really important and great opportunities. I’m looking forward to expanding men’s further and launching the men’s shoe collection for autumn 19.