Denim is set for a boom.
Growing at a rate of 6% in 2021, the denim market is now expected to reach $76 billion globally in 2025 and $15 billion in the U.S. next year alone.
The anticipated growth led a number of brands including Ulla Johnson and Sene to get into denim for the first time last year, while denim brand Levi’s raised prices by 5%. And Hatch, a 10-year-old maternity brand, launched its first in-house denim collection on Tuesday.
Hatch co-founder and CEO Ariane Goldman said the excitement around denim had her thinking about this launch starting in 2020. In January, Levi’s reported its best sales quarter to date, which CEO Chip Bergh attributed to the pandemic-driven demand for more casual clothes. Rihanna announcing her pregnancy with images of herself in a pair of chic, loose, light-wash jeans in January was especially fortuitous for Hatch’s timing, Goldman said.
“There are so many denim options out there,” Goldman said. “Every brand under the sun is adding a denim line. And it’s not just boyfriend and skinny jeans as the only options these days. The whole idea of Hatch is that you don’t have to miss out on fashion and trend while you’re pregnant.”
Finding the right fit is often said to be the toughest part of buying denim. For Hatch’s customers, this is an even larger issue; pregnancy can drastically change your body over the course of nine months. So Hatch set out to design a pair of jeans that can be worn before pregnancy, through all nine months and after.
To do this, Goldman said her team worked with more than six different fit models, all at different stages of pregnancy, to ensure the same pair of jeans could fit each of them comfortably. A wedge of stretchable but inconspicuous fabric at the hips of each pair is a key design element.
With denim expected to keep growing through the next few years, the focus on fit will be a smart strategy for brands looking to enter the market.
Hatch’s only previous experiments with denim came as part of a 2016 collaboration with denim brand Current Elliot. Hatch is selling its new denim at $198 per pair, around 20% less than the Current Elliot collaboration sold for. Prepared to do higher sales volumes than the Current Elliot collaboration, Hatch can afford to lower the prices a bit, Goldman said. Hatch grew its revenues by around 80% last year.
“We are an aspirational brand, but part of the pitch with this is that we want to be more accessible,” Goldman said. “There’s been a big shift. Seeing real bodies wearing these clothes is so important. So, for marketing, we aren’t using professional models. The price is a reflection of that, as well.”