Everlane, the popular online brand for basic apparal, has touched down at 160 North Morgan Street to launch its new line of denim. Say hello to the Chicago Denim Counter, where the company is releasing its "Authentic Stretch Denim” collection. Also available online, these jeans represent a departure from the rigid, stretchless styles with which Everlane launched its very first denim range last September.
The West Loop pop-up opened today and continues through September 16. Stocking its shelves are the new stretch denim in three styles: a high-rise skinny, a mid-rise skinny, and a cigarette pant with a button fly and a wider ankle. You’ll also be able to try on the rigid styles, and anything that isn’t stocked in store — say, a pair of cashmere joggers — can be ordered with free shipping from the register.
Like Glossier’s pop-up, expect big turnout for those consumers who are familiar with the store’s hype but are hesitant to buy clothes without trying them on first. Everlane’s self-touted reputation for transparency is built, in part, on the fact that it cut costs by retailing online, but even after founder and CEO Michael Preysman declared that he would rather shut the company down than open a permanent store, Everlane opened up brick-and-mortar locations in New York City and San Francisco.
Chicago’s two-week taste of Everlane IRL kicked off last night with a “transparency talk” with Preysman and Kelly Wang — dubbed Everlane’s ”Resident Denim Expert.” The pair spoke about how transparency for the brand initially meant a commitment to transparent pricing (Everlane tells you how much it costs to manufacture each item) and shifted over the years to include its environmental ethics. Reminders of these missions appear around the pop-up in the form of bold signs.
The Everlane reps also spoke in-depth about the denim factory it works with, Saitex International, based in the Vietnamese city of Biên Hòa. Those who visit the pop-up can take away cards with information about the factory, including its environmentally friendly manufacture process. Denim is a notorious water-waster, and Saitex manages to recycle 98 percent of its water and clean what’s left so thoroughly that it’s basically drinkable when released.
Whether one attends the launch party tonight or the “drive-in” movie screening of Thelma & Louise, shoppers can see for themselves what the hype is about. You might not walk away with the jeans of your dreams, but as with most pop-ups, you’re at least guaranteed an airy, aesthetic pic for your Instagram.