memories of the ’80s – Jordache Jeans

After the laid-back casual style of the ‘70s, 1980s women wanted to dress it up and chose Jordache Jeans to be a part of their evening and party wardrobe, because they wanted the Jordache Look.

Owned by brothers Joe, Ralph and Avi Nakash, Jordache started out as a retail operation, selling discounts jeans in New York City in the late 1970s. After expanding to four stores, the Nakash brothers suffered a major loss when their flagship store was looted and burned during the 1977 New York City blackout.

Restructuring and realizing the changing trend in fashion, the brothers looked to the European market and reincorporated their business as denim manufacturers, creating the label Jordache.

Although Europe was more fashion-forward and body conscious, the Nakash brothers sensed the North American consumers would be willing to wear their jeans. In late 1979 the brothers created a television commercial which showed a seemingly topless woman wearing Jordache jeans as she rode a horse in the surf. The major networks refused to show the controversial ad, but the Nakash brothers persisted, and found some local tv stations to air it. Consumers loved it.

In 1981, the label’s jingle “You got the look” was the talk, and was spoofed on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Jordache heavily invested in controversial television ads, knowing that their label grew stronger with consumers, as they all learned how to wear the Jordache look.

The Nakash brothers rode the wave of fashionable denim, embellishing their jeans with strong logos and metallics on a basic five pocket jean. Women across North America did whatever they could to fit themselves into the skin-tight denim with the horse’s head logo. At the height of its popularity, Jordache had over 100 licenses, from kids clothing to umbrellas.

 Although the label faded from popularity in the 1980s, Jordache continues with current spokesperson Heidi Klum, as well as creator of private label denim for other fashion labels and one of the major denim manufacturers in the world.

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