First up, how did you and Khloé meet, and what motivated you to launch a size-inclusive label?
The idea for a size-inclusive label actually proceeded Khloé’s involvement. I had worked in the fashion business for 10 years, and I just realised that there was something in the market missing, especially in the denim space. So, If I’m really honest, in the beginning it was a commercial decision—there [was] a gap in the market for premium denim in all sizes. Khloé’s [involvement] came about because of my relationships in the entertainment industry—I’ve been friends with Kris Jenner for 6 or 7 years. I wanted [to partner with] someone who exuded confidence, because I wanted the brand to be all about bringing confidence to women, so I went to Kris and said, “I really want to do this thing with Khloé”. So [Kris] sat us down and Khloé [was] literally finishing my sentences. She’d had all these experiences of being the “bigger one” out of the [Kardashian] sisters—experiences that I hadn’t had, and she was just like “We need to this, and we need to that, where do I start?” She just jumped on board and never looked back.
Can you run me through how you and Khloé each contribute to the business?
Well, I’m the CEO so I get to speak to people like you, but I also oversee everything from E-comm to logistics to product development and everything else a normal CEO would do. Khloé’s involvement is much more on product, marketing, and social. She’s really involved in product development, she wear-tests everything, and she has lots of ideas. And then she’s involved very much in marketing and social, because obviously she has a gigantic audience.
What features make Good American jeans so flattering to all shapes and sizes?
It’s a super technical product, and I think that’s the thing that some people don’t necessarily understand, but they feel it. The first thing is the fabric. We use premium recovery fabric that’s different to stretch. Stretch stretches, recovery fabric stretches, and then it recovers back to its original size, which is amazing because if you’ve got a bigger bum than the size of your hips, it means that [the jeans] can really contour to your shape. And then, to get really technical, we have a four-piece trouser waistband, which means you never get a gap at the back of your jeans, and they also never ride down as you sit. And then there’s all sorts of nice things, like curve stitching. But it’s really all about the pattern for us.
We make anywhere between two and three individual patterns within the one style of jeans—it’s got nothing to do with grading. I think that’s where a lot of brands go wrong. They take what they do, and then they grade up. And you can’t do that. Even we were missing a size!
Last year we launched a size 15, because we were getting tons of comments saying, “Your 14 is too small, but your 16 is too big.” And I was like, “How is that even possible?” You would never know when you put the garments on top of each other, but when you look at the maths on an Excel spreadsheet, you see there’s a gap. So, I was just like “Let’s just put a size in the middle”. And it’s amazing, we launched [size 15] in our core denim [range], and it was insane, people were like “Oh my god, I’ve finally found my size!” And now we’ve rolled it out into every pair that we have.
Customers will tell you ant they want…
If you listen they will tell you. And I think that’s the different between traditional brands and brands like ours—[we've] got this relationship. And it’s not like we just listen, we ask a lot of questions, too. And we’re also very willing to accept when we haven’t done something well. Its’ really incredible, the power of that conversation.
What are your most popular sizes?
My most popular size is a size 0, which is never what I thought. But it’s closely followed by an American 12, 14, 16. Which for you, is an [Australian size] 16, 18, and 20.
What about best-selling styles?
People always love a basic. We always do so well with basic blue and black. But then there are some things that just stick. We had a lace-up jean when we first started, and it went nuts. And it was so interesting to look at who was buying it. It was selling out in size 16 through to 24. And it wasn’t because those girls preferred it, it was because those girls have far less “fashion” options.
What cut would you recommend for someone who’s petite, curvy or tall?
Well I think everyone should wear what they want! But that being said, I’m petite, and I always feel like a skinny is the best jean. It looks good on everyone, it’s just easy-peasy. We’ve also got a great shape called the Good Curve, and it's half way between a straight leg and a bootcut, and I always feel like that’s a super balancing style. So, if you’re a little curvy, the Good Curve gives you that effect of being really elongated. And tall girls—the great thing about us is that we do petite, cropped, regular and super-long cuts.
Why launch into Australia with the Iconic now?
We shipped to Australia from day one, but what I found is that people still want to shop in their own territory. And for us it’s about finding the right partners. Like I said, we only work with partners who will carry the full size range, and we’re lucky that we are successful and I can be a bit picky. We’ve seen [The Iconic] be interested in size inclusivity, and we’ve seen them work on it with their own private label, and what they do in their marketing. So I think The Iconic is a progressive place that is trying to do much better in this space, so for me they were the perfect partner.
In terms of size inclusivity, do you think that the fashion industry has moved forward since you launched Good American?
It’s creeping forward! There’s so much talk about body positivity and size inclusivity, but the stark reality is that increasing [a clothing range] by two or three sizes is not addressing the issue and exercising commerciality. What we do is not an afterthought—if I can’t make the garment look as good in size zero as it does in size twenty, we don’t do it. And actually, that takes a lot of work. I think that the fashion industry, while on the face of it, is trying to look embracive, putting a girl that is slightly thicker in your campaign is not actually addressing the issue. It starts way back in the business from a design and a leadership perspective, and I think the fashion industry isn’t necessarily doing the work at the back end to make things really fit and really work for that customer. So, I still think there is a really long way to go.