“Red jeans and pink jeans were our top searched terms on the site for the last two weeks,” said Sarah Curren, CEO of mywardrobe.com. Rival online retailer asos.com reports a 300% uplift on sales of coloured jeans across the board with pink jeans selling the fastest.
It’s a look that celebrities have been quick to pick up on. From Sienna Miller at the stage door to Alexa Chung at a recent GQ party to Sarah Jessica Parker in Manhattan, eye-wateringly bright denim is becoming as de rigeur as oversized sunglasses.
The most popular celebrity choice is a style named Colour Pop 811 made by J Brand which sells for £205. Yesterday the company’s CEO, Jeff Rudes, said he had sold around 36,000 pairs so far and the number was rising fast: “We planned on it being great but the results are way beyond our expectations.”
It seems that men are not immune either – albeit to a slightly more subdued colour palette. Topman reports that one particular pair of mustard chinos is the biggest selling trouser the brand has ever had.
Sales figures indicate that this isn’t some celebrity fad that will live and die on the pages of weekly magazines. “Our core customer is a 37-year-old professional woman,” said Curren. “We are not talking about young hipsters here. It’s grown-up women who are wanting this trend.”
Fiona Collins, director of communications at Tommy Hilfiger where business is brisk on brightly coloured chinos, agrees. “It’s a different demographic who are wearing the look this time around. It’s thirty and fortysomethings drawn to a more polished but preppy style.”
The headline trend from the catwalks for spring was termed colour-blocking – a look that involves mixing bold one-colour separates together – and most fashion commentators believe that the coloured-trousers explosion is evidence of customers appropriating the catwalk diktats.
“At our buying meeting we worked out that it was real women buying into the colour-blocking trend in a way they know how, because everyone wears jeans,” said Curren. Spring optimism is playing its part too. “People are simply drawn to colour in the sunshine,” said Collins.
At Topman, where the mustard phenomenon is quickly mutating into yellow and bright purple, the trend represents a reversal of where men have worn colour in recent years. “Guys have been getting into wearing coloured checked shirts with skinny jeans over the past few years and now shirts have gone plainer and suddenly the trousers need to change. It’s flipped – the colour is at the bottom now,” said Gordon Richardson, design director at Topman.
Trendwatchers believe this loud-trousered look is unlikely to fade. The consensus among fashion insiders was that the look is too useful to peter out. “I wear red ones as part of my work uniform with heels and a blazer,” said Curren. Nathalie Hartley, senior fashion editor at Instyle, said bright jeans can be worn for both work and pleasure. “They can be rock’n’roll but they can look professional too. I saw a woman in her 40s wearing raspberry jeans, a twinset and stilettos in rush hour this morning. It was proof that bright jeans can look upstate.”