Frank Delgadillo has been in the streetwear business for a long time. He created Ambiguous out of his dorm room at Chapman Univeristy in 1996, and hasn’t slowed down since. His latest venture, Comune, has already built a serious cult following and can be found on the shelves at several different tiers of retail outlets—ranging from action sports driven stores like Jack’s to fashion-based boutiques such as American Rag. TransWorld Business caught up with Delgadillo to hear his trend predictions for Fall/ Holiday 2010 and beyond. Here’s what he had to say.
How was Comune’s Fall line received by your retail accounts and what are you currently working on?
Fall was well-received and we really focused on where we've had positive results as we developed Holiday. We're working with our retail partners to be seen as a collection brand rather than a category driven brand.
That being said, what categories have performed particularly well for Comune so far?
Denim has been retailing well, but we're also developing some hybrids in the bottoms category as well as some true trousers … The contemporary market really jumped on it [wax coated denim] and once it started going in that market the boardsports channel started to catch on. For us, it's really been a staple in our line and will continue to be a staple.
What’s Comune’s niche in the market?
Our niche is skateboaders and snowboarders designing fashion. That's basically what we're doing. We're designing things that we want to wear. When we first launched Comune it was right when the bright colors thing was happening and you'd walk into a store and it looked like a box of Fruit Loops. I personally don't wear anything bright and I looked around my office and no one wears anything bright, so we went the other way.
What has you excited about your Holiday line?
Our jackets are what have me excited right now. Anywhere from lightweight nylons to treated natural blends with uses of wax. We're also working to perfect the fits of our wovens. It's just about simplifying the concept of a woven and making sure we address the collars, the quality of the buttons, etc.
How are you approaching flannel and chambray for Holiday?
I'm being really cautious with flannel right now because there are so many out there now. With chambray, we had it in our line in the very beginning, but right now we're not doing anything with it because everyone in Orange County is going to have chambray in their bags with three or four different colorways. I don't want to play that market, because what I'd be doing would be playing a price point game at that point. If you have ten brands carrying the same stuff, from a store's perspective they're just going to figure out who is the cheapest—I would.