Good American, the new denim brand launched Oct. 18 by reality television star Khloe Kardashian and British designer Emma Grede, generated $1 million in sales on its first day of release, which the founders called the “biggest denim launch in history” in a press release issued Tuesday.
Good American (sold through the brand’s website and at department store Nordstrom) debuted with three key styles: Good Legs (skinny fit), Good Cuts (tailored boyfriend) and Good Waist (high-waisted skinny), ranging in size from 00 to 24 and tailored for all body types, with special attention to curves.
The Good American line has sold out twice over since its launch, buoyed by a savvy social media marketing push. The Los Angeles-based company said that from the end of January it will drop new product on a bi-weekly basis, maintaining bestselling styles for as long as it can keep them in stock, and also will expand into other key denim items including skirts, shorts and jackets.
In addition to her design skills, Grede is a marketing pro, and Good American’s success comes not just from the Kardashian name but also from the startup's social media prowess — a particular forte of the Kardashian fame machine. Notably, Good American's Instagram page and other social efforts include women of all shapes and sizes rocking the jeans, a group dubbed the #GoodSquad on Instagram. Grede and Kardashian have also emphasized that the britches flatter a woman’s back end, a claim that real-world reviews have backed up, according to Racked.
"We're a brand with a specific purpose. We want our customers to look and feel great in anything they ever wear from Good American," Grede said in a statement. "Making curves look good is not just something we say, it's a demand our product has to deliver for our customers. We eat and sleep fit. Khloe and I believe passionately in creating the full size range and marketing our brand using a diverse mix of amazing women."
That approach has particular resonance at the moment. Designers and fashion gurus including Isaac Mizrahi and fashion consultant and television personality Tim Gunn have decried the dearth of options for full-figured women. So-called "plus sizes" are often relegated to store corners or, worse, only sold online.
Yet there’s plenty of business to had in the market. The NPD Group last year found that U.S. teens purchasing in the junior size category dropped from 81% in 2012 to 73%, while the share of teens purchasing plus-size clothing is now 34%, compared to 19% in 2012.
In the overall women’s category, the numbers are equally compelling. NPD found that in 2015, the plus-size market accounted for 17% of the U.S. women’s apparel market overall. Furthermore, U.S. sales of women’s plus-size apparel (which includes plus-size/full-figure, petite plus and junior plus sizes) increased 5% in the 12 months ending February 2015 to $19.8 billion, and 3% in the 12 months ending February 2016 to $20.4 billion.
Good American's breakout success is also another indicator of premium denim's retail resurgence. Research analysts at Technavio report that premium denim accounts for 26% of the North American denim market, with companies such as Gap, LVMH, Levi Strauss, Citizens of Humanity, VF, Differential Brands, and Naked and Famous Denim all spearheading upstart boutique lines to grab a piece of the market share. That market is growing, too: Technavio forecasts premium denim will see a compound annual growth rate of more than 8% between 2016 and 2020.