The Fashion Industry is a very fickle one. Trends come in and go out so quickly, and as a fashion brand, it becomes difficult to create collections that keep earning money season after season. However, there are a few consistent brands like Levi’s, Ralph Lauren & Calvin Klein that continue to serve their loyal customer base and attract new ones as well. We’ve captured a list of 10 brands below that aren’t as lucky as the established, aforementioned ones. The fashion names below were cool for a couple of years, but now, not so much …Read on:
Apple Bottoms is one of those brands that rose to prominence as a direct result of the popularity of the star behind it. That star was St. Louis rapper Nelly. In the early 2000’s, he had a winning streak in Hip-Hop that was extremely impressive. His debut album Country Grammar sold millions of copies, and his follow-up Nellyville had the monster hit “Hot in Herre” featuring Pharrell. He used that success to launch his line of denim for women with voluptuous curves, and it instantly took off – earning millions of dollars. But it’s 2014 now, and luxury denim brands like Balmain and Alexander Wang have emerged as favorites for stylish urban women. Apple Bottoms might have been cool once, but the brand lost its edge a long time ago.
It’s actually quite a shame that the name “Von Dutch” got associated with one of the worst fashion trends of modern times. It’s sad because Ken Howard, the artist and rebel behind the name Von Dutch led a really unique and exceptional life. But this is what happens in society: something becomes cool and trendy and everybody and their grandmother jump on the bandwagon until it quickly becomes played out. That’s exactly what happened with the Von Dutch mesh and foam “trucker” hats. It actually started off with cool early adopters like Pharrell sporting this trend, and then just like a wild fire spreading, everybody jumped on the look. All we have to say is this: we hope this is one of those looks that never comes back again.
True Religion Jeans:
The denim market within the fashion industry is a tricky one to enter. This lane is already so cluttered and newer brands have to compete with established names like Levi’s & Calvin Klein alongside a slew of luxury brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci. True Religion made a successful entry by having a signature back pocket detail and contrast stitching along the seams of its jeans.
The strategy worked and rappers, Hollywood stars and cool tastemakers adopted this brand. It took off and made a lot of money, but it’s always tricky when a brand becomes too trendy too quickly. Presently, the brand still has a very decent following and still makes point, but as far as it being the hottest denim brand on the scene, True Religion lost that crown a couple of years ago.
Do you remember when those Juicy Couture sweat suits were the coolest things on earth for women to wear? They were constructed from velour and terry cloth, had sexy provocative silhouettes and of course, they had the word “Juicy” splashed all over the butt area. Because of course, who doesn’t love a juicy derriere?
Everyone was caught up in this trend: sorority sisters, valley girls from Orange County, overly tanned Snooki-types from Jersey and tons of misguided cougars. The brand probably made a ton of money during this time – this probably explains why till this day, Juicy Couture can still afford a huge store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. They might still be selling clothes and making decent business, but Juicy Couture’s cool days were over a long time ago.
A Bathing Ape – BAPE:
Members of the urban Hip-Hop culture are known for jumping on certain brands and wearing them to the point of no return. That’s what happened with the Japanese brand A Bathing Ape in the early-to-mid 2000’s. All the biggest stars were wearing this brand: Lil Wayne, Pharrell, Kanye and the owner and designer of the brand Nigo was made an honorary star of the Hip-Hop world. But then, as it always happens, the trend got old and people got tired of the loud bright colors and the glossy Bathing Ape sneakers. Thankfully, the brand had enough of a loyal following in Asia to not be decimated by the brief flirtation and heavy letdown. Bathing Ape is still around today but it’s definitely not as cool as it used to be.
The late nineties were a great time for street wear. Brands were popping up all over and were tapping directly into the energy of the exploding Hip-Hop influence on American pop culture. There were a handful of successful brands like Karl Kani, Mecca and one of the biggest of them all, Ecko. The latter was the brainchild of the creative, passionate and talented Marc Ecko. Their clothes were known for amazing street-inspired graphics, cool hooded sweatshirts and their unmistakable “Rhino” logo. The brand continued to be cool well into the new millennium, but in the world of fashion, the famous Heidi Klum quote always applies: “One day you’re in and the next you’re out.” Cool kids don’t wear Ecko anymore and the owner Marc Ecko wisely shifted his energy into creating his Complex Media business – and that is doing very well indeed.
The problem with having a brand based around a celebrity or a music star is that when the popularity is gone, consumers also tend to move away from the brand. That’s similar to what happened with Jay-Z, Damon Dash and the entire Roc-a-fella movement. They had such a great run in the Hip-Hop game from the late nineties well into the new millennium. They used the momentum of their record label to create a very lucrative streetwear brand named Rocawear, but when the split happened and the music label dissolved, the clothes just weren’t cool to the shoppers anymore. Of course Jay-Z has gone to become a larger than life pop culture figure, but the same can’t be said for the Rocawear clothing label.
Abercrombie & Fitch:
Abercrombie & Fitch is a brand that fell victim to its own vanity. We all know that sex sells, but there is also a limit that everything can be pushed to before a certain backlash eventually surfaces. A&F pushed the sex and seduction thing to the limit. They made it a point to only hire good-looking models as sales associates, their catalogs and ad campaigns were borderline pornographic and then their CEO started making some derogatory comments about the brand only being for a certain caliber of consumer. One thing brands like A&F tend to forget is that the buying masses are the reason for your success, and it’s never wise to bite the hand that feeds you. Even though Abercrombie is still a brand that kids from the suburbs will continue supporting, its public image has taken a huge hit, and it will never be as cool as it once was.
The G-Shock craze that happened a couple of years ago came about from people being tired of all the focus on bling, gold and diamonds on people’s watches. Honestly, how many diamonds and rubies can you encrust on a watch and still be able to read the time? The basic digital G-Shock watch emerged as a sensible and stylish alternative for people who wanted a watch for one main purpose: to tell time. The popularity of these watches was also buoyed by the wide variety of cool colors they were available in. But soon, people decided that these watches looked like they belonged on the wrists of young high school kids, and the young adult crowd started to veer towards more sophisticated/age-appropriate timepieces. G-Shock is still a global brand but one would never describe it as “cool.”
L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani:
Gwen Stefani is definitely one of the coolest women in rock music. In the late 90’s, she pretty much ruled the charts with her fusion ska/pop/funk/rock band No Doubt. She made a lot of money and also established herself as a global fashion icon with her unique style and cool, rebellious attitude. It was a natural progression to start her own fashion brand called L.A.M.B. which enjoyed several years of success. The brand was known for its stylish jumpsuit offerings and it was carried at huge department stores all over the country. But as the years rolled by, her popularity diminished and shoppers have moved on to other brands that are more contemporary and fresh. That’s the problem with celebrity-driven lines – they rise and fall with the popularity of the celeb.