The Diluting of Lucky Brand Jeans

by Jane Diane Matthews on May 27, 2010

Whether you have ever glanced at this blog or know me personally, I’ve always proclaimed my love for Lucky Brand Dungarees. I’ve suggested Pear Shapely gals buy Sweet-N-Low jeans, have nothing but Lucky Jeans in my wardrobe and previously have been a loyal employee and representative for the line.

That being said, the newest offerings from the manufacturer break my heart. The season look like an All-American fashion mash-up of the Gap, Polo and Abercrombie and Fitch, yawn. The even sadder reality is that the jeans are no longer being made in America.

When the brand first started it was based on Gene Montesano and Barry Perlman’s  “ …life long passions [of] blue jeans and rock ‘n’ roll.” There is nothing more American then those two staples and 1990 marked the year that Lucky Brand was born. Part of the beauty of the product is that the founders stayed loyal to the motto “Rooted in Rock-n-Roll” and even after Liz Claiborne became the major share holder (May 1999, Liz acquired 85 percent of Lucky,) the jeans were hand made and finished right in the factory in Vernon California.

That is until recently. According to the current Wikipedia page (and past promotional material from the company) “Lucky products are manufactured in the USA, Mexico and Sri Lanka. All USA-manufactured Lucky jeans are made in Vernon, near downtown Los Angeles. In addition, the jeans manufactured in the United States are all hand-made, and all the detailing is done by hand, except for the actual washing process.” Consumers just need to check the website for the “COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Imported” copy to know that this is no longer true.

Much to my chagrin, Lucky Jeans are now being made abroad. From a business perspective, it is a smart money saving trick as everyone knows labor in Mexico and Vietnam costs far less than manufacturing in the country. However, consumers need to be aware of the changes. Lucky is not passing these savings to consumers they are pocketing the difference. In doing so, there will be more sales and discounts for consumers to enjoy, but they are doing far less to invest in our local infrastructure. Admittedly, it is not their job to support the entire economy, but part of my love for the line came from the fact that they did.

It is obvious that money talks in this country, and that is why I make the effort to support local businesses whenever I can. Now since the Lucky look has been homogenized beyond their original concept and they have changed their manufacturing venue, my love for them has wavered.  Since I left the company, I know that there have been many changes not only to the product quality but also throughout the corporation. Customers and staff that were Lucky Brand loyalists are not shining a positive light on the direction in which Lucky is headed.

If any Lucky Brand Representative reads this post, I invite you to partake in a dialogue to explain the changes. If you don’t want to speak with me directly, I understand. However, right now it needs to be noted that the denim you are selling is not worth the current price point of around $100 per jean. The production revisions you made will allow you to manufacture each for pennies to make.

My suggestion is to lower the price point on the internationally made jeans and still offer your American made denim at the regular price point. That way you will still maintain your roots while expanding your market share.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam Kaleward January 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Hi Jane. Great article. I’ve been buying Lucky jeans, and only lucky jeans, for 20 years now. I am very disappointed that they are importing now. I was at a retaier recently and they didn’t have a single pair of their US made jeans. I could only find one style on the Lucky website that were domestic. I’ve found some for sale on some other sites, but none of them state country of origin. My next move is to go through the jeans I have and search by style and hope they’re still made here. Lucky Brand should be ashamed to be charging high prices for the imports. If you happen to know the styles that are still US made I’d really like to know what they are. Thanks :)

Jane Diane Matthews January 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Hey Adam-

Thank goodness someone else gets what I am talking about. Seriously, it broke my heart with that move. From what I recall, True Religion jeans has a manufacturing plant in Vernon California. However, I have never manually checked the labels to see where their jeans are made. If I learn anything more on the subject, I’ll keep you posted and feel free to do the same.

All The Best-

Jane

Jason January 7, 2011 at 9:39 am

I absolutely agree with u Jane! Lucky Jeans being made in the good old USA is what first attracted me to the brand. With what now looks like only about 20% or less being manufactured in house. With the recent jump being made internationally, all it shows me is that GREED is a powerful mover. I still buy Lucky jeans, but only the styles that are manufactured in house. And as those styles may soon go off shore, so will my loyalty for the brand. None the less I too am heart broken over what has taken place. And not with just Lucky, but all who at one time had American roots

Jason January 7, 2011 at 11:04 am

Adam,

Lucky’s website is the only place that I know of, that will tell u the country in which the jeans are manufactured. The selection is very slim though. Only about 6-8 pair of men jeans say made in the USA. It is close to the same for women jeans.

Other U.S. manufacture’s whose jeans are all made in the USA from what I have found would include Seven, True Religion, Citizens of Humanity, Rock and Republic. All of who have a little higher price tag on there jeans, but of all which are made in the USA. Hope u find this helpful.

Matt Moore September 16, 2011 at 10:12 am

I am another loyal Lucky Brand customer. I’ve only worn Lucky Brand for 15 years. I noticed this morning that a couple of my jeans were made in Mexico and another pair in China. This broke my heart. Thankfully they were my least favorite pairs of Lucky. Coincidence? I think these were christmas gifts bought in TJ MAx, but they never fit quite right. When I found a Lucky Jean style/fit that I like, I’d buy 2, just incase the design changes. So I have plenty of U.S.A. jeans on reserve. But it makes me sad that Lucky not all are made in USA. I will start calling those “Rucky Bwan”. How long before they show up on Wal-Mart shelves?

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