I should have known that something was up when I saw Paper Denim and Cloth jeans at a discount store of all places. This had never occurred back in the day when their brand was on top of the world competing against the likes of True Religion. The funny thing is, True Religion jeans still sell for $300, but Paper Denim and Cloth, well, they sell for around $120 tops, but you can probably get them for cheap on eBay. You probably wonder why I would mention eBay because you can get anything on eBay for cheap, well this was courtesy of Paper Denim and Cloth’s own website that actually pointed me towards eBay when I clicked on a link to shop online.
In fact their own website looks like something a child in kindergarten would have put together. You don’t find too many websites that are literally, two pages in this day and age. There is also a paperdenimcloth.org for those looking for another website. Neither website seems official. But then I came across an article online that talks abotu the fact that they are done with the overpriced jeans business. That doesn’t seem like a good thing to me particularly when their competition is still selling overpriced jeans and making a decent amount of money in doing so. In fact True Religion has factory outlet stores just like every other fashion label that has arrived, so what gives?
Perhaps Paper Denim and Cloth never had a quality product to begin with. Or perhaps they are victims of the fact that you do not hear the names of denim companies being used as household words anymore. Or it could even be that the average person is not bragging about wearing $300 jeans like they used to back in the nineties. I picked up that discounted pair of jeans, that were $10. They seemed okay, but I was more interested in buying a pair of slacks from someone else.
Paper Denim and Cloth appears to be in a position unlike that of Gloria Vanderbilt. If anyone remembers, Gloria Vanderbilt was someone who was doing okay as an actress and socialite before she decided to get into the designer jean business. She put out her line of designer jeans in the late seventies and was one of the first to do it. These were days when you might pay $70 for a pair of Sasson or Calvin Klein. Well companies like Calvin Klein moved on while others like Gloria Vanderbilt could never get past denim. One of those companies, Parasuco, are still around, however few of those corporations could compete with the onslaught of denim that came in the late eighties and early nineties, when at least five times as many companies resold the idea of designer denim to children too young to remember Gloria Vanderbilt, Parasuco, Sasson or Calvin Klein.
These days you can find a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans at JCPenney, Sears or Khols. They aren’t exotic at all and there is nothing special about them. This is what happens to a label such as Paper Denim and Cloth when they return from being on hiatus. You can still find a $180 pair of Paper Denim and Cloth jeans, but it is probably unsold stock from back in the day someone cannot unload. You can still find Iceberg as well, but it is not the same brand that it used to be back then. These days they sell regular clothes and have evolved into a serious brand, as opposed to being that brand that exploited the license to put cartoon characters on clothes, which consumers paid dearly for back in the day.
Paper Denim and Cloth is the Tommy Hilfiger of the denim business. A brand that should be dead, but still has the chutzpa and the audacity to continue to coexist even though it is now your parents label. It may as well be Members Only. The funny thing about it is that I never owned a pair of Paper Denim Cloth, and from the looks of it, I probably do not want to now. I wasted a lot of money on Tommy Hilfiger though …