Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pack Rats: sass & bide’s new rodent hero product running out the door

Yesterday British newspaper The Independent reported that one London boutique has a rather long waitlist for sass & bide’s new Black Rats leggings – and the paper included the garment on its must-have list for the Fall/Winter 0809 season.

Sandwiched in between entries on The Independent's "A-Z of the season" list, which includes “Anglomania”, “British style genius”, “Comme des Garçons for H&M”, “First Lady Chic”, “manbags”, “Gareth Pugh”, “lace”, “jackets” and “YSL”, is the following, curious, listing under “W” for “wrinkle”:
“Sass & Bide's ruched and crinkled ‘rat’ leggings already have a waiting list of over 100 people at Browns Focus. Despite the unfortunate name”.

heidi middleton & sarah-jane clarke at the DJs show, august 5

Indeed the Browns Focus experience is not unusual in the UK according to the sass & bide HQ, which reports that the Selfridges, Harveys Nichols and Harrods department stores and net-a-porter-com have all reordered Black Rats (and several times, in more than one case).

The Black Rats success should not come as that much of a surprise, given the strength of the leggings trend, notably Latex-look leggings and skinny leather pants – and sass & bide’s brand equity in the skinny jeans business.

Black Rats in fact hit the ground running at the New York FW0809 shows. Backstage after sass & bide’s May 1st show in Sydney, co-designer Heidi Middleton told me that the product was their “new jean” and had already scored what she described as a record order for the business.

Middleton told me:

“We’ve just done our first order of 3000. They’re all pre-sold. Globally, that’s the first order. It’s a very big indication that it’s going to be a hero product for us. Because normally we might do 1500 in our first order for a really strong product”.

Bryanboy also gave Black Rats a blog boost when he wore (to death) a pair which sass & bide gifted him during Australian Fashion Week.

Black Rats fans will be interested to hear that a new hot-off-the-press version is due to hit the domestic Australian market this week (a little later overseas).

Frockwriter can reveal that, whereas the original Black Rats were a latex-look legging in ruched, high-shine Lycra acetate (A$175), the new version is shinier still, made from a PVC Lycra ($A220) - as sported by sass & bide PR gal Nicci Hunter at the David Jones show in Sydney two weeks ago (above).

As we reported, sass & bide are sitting out the SS09 New York season.

The duo is focussing on September’s seven-style sass & bide TopShop jeans launch at TopShop UK, TopShop's new US division and also TopShop online.

Also in September, Middleton and Clarke are due to unveil a new Aesop concept store within their Fortitude Valley, Brisbane boutique – their first collaboration with the cult Australian beauty brand.


Bryanboy said...

i hope the new one is better because the one i got back in april gave up on me, especially the stitching.

in any case, at least i got some serious mileage out of it... time to put the little rodent on retirement.

Dataceptionist said...

Ick they're hideous why would anyone wear them.
my 2c LOL

chicago_dame said...

are you first person or third person, frockwriter? Singular or plural?

pick one and stick with it!

Patty Huntington said...

chicago_dame: I tend to adopt the "so-and-so told frockwriter...", which is a kind of columnist hangover. I mean, a blog is and isn't a column. In the specific case of Heidi Middleton telling "me" in May about the massive first Black Rats order, I was doing a different blog at the time (Fully Chic) so while the same person was doing the blog, it wasn't the same blog. But good point. I'll try and keep it in mind.

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