As more and more premium-denim brands sashay into the already teeming market, designers are hoping to make their denim brands stand out with unique takes on the theme. From distinctive silhouettes to pockets in the most unusual places, brands are reworking the denim staple.

Ranahan Jeans

The claim to fame of new label Ranahan Jeans, designed by sisters Amy and Allison Gammon, is the unexpected lipstick pocket sewn inside the left leg of their Western-style jeans. “The idea behind the pocket was that, as women, there are times when we don’t want to carry a purse. My front pocket can carry cash, my back pocket is for my I.D. and credit card— but where do I put my lipstick without it protruding from my hip?” Amy said.

Insignificant as the detail might seem, the lipstick pocket has earned the fledgling company significant buzz. The Lisa Kline boutique in Los Angeles began preselling the denim online before Ranahan’s first shipment in September. The denim, available in both rigid and stretch, wholesales for $73–$95.

Tapping into Southern California’s laidbackchic vibe, the Los Angeles– based company offers denim with coltish sex appeal. Featuring long inseams, clean denim and a burned-on logo made with a real branding iron, Ranahan is for the urban cowgirl. “Our back pocket detailing is derived from an old pair of cowboy boots,” Amy said. For more information, call (213) 239-0444.

Garden of Earthly Delights

Less than a year old, Los Angeles–based denim maker Monarchy is launching a new line of premium men’s denim for the Holiday season. The line, Garden of Earthly Delights , is inspired by the cultural subtleties and nuances of countries such as Germany, France, England and the United States, said the designer, Eric Kim.

Made of light-gauge Japanese and European denim, each cut has pockets lined in silk with the flag of the country that inspired it. A fleur-de-lis signature hardware on the back pocket is universal to the line, which features clean denim and dark washes.

The pants, which wholesale for $115–$125, will be available exclusively at Politix in Beverly Hills for their initial rollout. For more information, call (213) 408-0020.

MadamimadaM

Do not adjust your TV screen; what you’re seeing is real. Designer Michael Abbey’s new line of contemporary denim, MadamimadaM (pronounced “madam-I’m-adam”), is all about asymmetry.

Inspired by palindromes (words that read the same backward and forward), MadamimadaM denim features a unique approach to construction. Asymmetrical leg seams, pockets and belt loops stand out against clean, dark washes. Intricate details add to the individuality of the line. Colorful topstitching, a back pocket arch detail and printed pocketing fabrics give the line a distinctive flair.

The concept is to make each piece of denim unique with clean washes and whimsical styling, Abbey said. The line, which launches with Spring ’06, offers men a skinny fit and a slight bootcut. Women can choose from among three silhouettes, including the skinny fit, slight bootcut and standard bootcut in rigid and stretch denim. Wholesale prices are $78–$98. For more information, call (213) 622-6121. — Erin Barajas

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Maryan Barbara

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