Michael Glasser: Jean Genius
By Marin Preske
In the mid-’70S, denim guru Michael Glasser launched his very first jeans company. It happened while on a trip to Paris where he noticed a girl wearing a pair of patchwork Levi’s. Not one prone to shyness, Glasser chased the woman down, negotiated to buy her pants and returned home to start the jeans line French Dressing.
A lot has happened since that fortuitous moment. Glasser established 7 For All Mankind in 2000 at the onset of the designer-denim craze. Citizens of Humanity quickly followed. Then Glasser sold the labels and took a two-year hiatus, returning to the business in 2006 with designer Joie Rucker (founder/former owner of Joie) as his partner.
Glasser’s current ventures include the trendy Rich & Skinny jeans, which focus on colors and washes; CJ by Cookie Johnson, NBA-star Magic Johnson’s wife, which caters to curvier women (Oprah’s a fan); and now Easy Money Jean Company, which launched at Nordstrom last season featuring premium denim pieces priced at less than $100 each.
Glasser insists his latest price tag reflects today’s economic tone, but is convinced the industry is poised for an even bigger shake-up. “The [woven] jeans business is stale,” he says. “We’ve developed a new concept with Easy Money Jean Company—superstretch fabric.” Glasser says because of the way stretch denim fits, it allows women to feel comfortable and sexy, which is difficult to achieve with woven denim. “It’s an evolution,” says Glasser. “We’re learning to make [jeans] better over time.” Given his track record, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to take note.