The It-Jeans of the Early-2000s: Where Are They Now?

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The It-Jeans of the Early-2000s: Where Are They Now?
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Photo: Getty/STYLECASTER

The most enviable status symbol of the early-2000s had nothing to do with the size of your house or the make of your car. Instead, it was the brand of your jeans. As Britney Spears, Ashanti, and various J. Lo collaborations ruled the airways, fashion was fixated on premium denim with a new wave of designer jeans hitting shelves at luxury department stores and boutiques, priced at $150-plus a pair.

MORE: How Eight STYLECASTER Editors Style Fall’s Must-Have Denim

Low-rise, bootcut, and distinguishable by each brand’s signature back-pocket stitching, they were as essential to one’s wardrobe as a Juicy Couture tracksuit. The fad’s downfall coincided with the economic recession in 2008, and while a few labels managed to survive, most were either rebranded as affordable lines or completely shuttered.

MORE: Your Comprehensive Guide to Fall’s Best Denim

In the spirit of Denim Week, we’re paying homage to our favorite brands of yesteryear with a look back at their glory days and an update on where they are now. This is what happened to the It-jeans of the 2000s.

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7 For All Mankind
7 For All Mankind

The OG of premium denim, Sevens (as they’re affectionately called by their adoring fans) were an instant success when they hit the market in 2000. Founded in Los Angeles by designers Jerome Dahan and Michael Glasser, along withe financier Peter Koral, the label rose to prominence as a favorite among celebs like Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz, and Beyoncé.

Initially marked by simple, signature stitching, brand offerings later expanded to include the “A” Pocket and Dojo styles—some accented with Swarovski crystals because, why not?

Despite the staggering number of designer denim brands that launched after the label’s inception—and the departure of Glasser and Dahan in 2003—it’s managed to thrive. Today, there are more than 100 7 For All Mankind stores across the globe, and Seven has men’s, children’s and accessories lines, too.

Photo: WireImage
7 For All Mankind
7 For All Mankind

7 For All Mankind Ankle Skinny with Destroy in Distressed Authentic Light, $225; at 7 For All Mankind

Photo: 7 For All Mankind
7 For All Mankind
7 For All Mankind

7 For All Mankind Dojo Trouser in Manchester Square, $199; at 7 For All Mankind

Photo: 7 For All Mankind
Blue Cult
Blue Cult

Prior to launching the label with his wife and son in 1999, French designer David Mechaly also founded MacKeen Jeans in 1970, a brand popularized by Farrah Fawcett on Charlie’s Angels.

Blue Cult enjoyed an impressive early-Aughts reign, owning much of their success to Gwyneth Paltrow. (The brand’s cargo pocket flares were in such high demand after Paltrow wore them to a Calvin Klein fashion show in 2002 that the label swiftly named the design the “Gwyneth.”)

Alas, the hype started to fade around 2005, and if you want a pair of these today, you’ll have to scour ebay, Amazon, or Overstock.

Photo: Getty Images
Blue Cult
Blue Cult

Blue Cult Distressed Straight-Leg Jeans, $65; at Amazon

Photo: Amazon
Blue Cult
Blue Cult

Blue Cult Bootcut Jeans, $80; at Overstock

Photo: Overstock
Chip & Pepper
Chip & Pepper

Canadian twins Chip and Pepper Foster sought to capitalize on the premium denim boom when they founded this eponymous label in 2003. The brand’s lightweight, pre-distressed jeans were priced as high as $400 at one point, and sold at the likes of Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Fast forward to 2013 and the brand was inking an exclusive distribution deal with Belk. There are currently only a few men’s styles available on the Belk website (starting at $68), but Chip hasn’t abandoned the luxury market yet: He launched a namesake apparel line last year with women’s jeans ranging from $180–$348.

Chip & Pepper
Chip & Pepper

Chip & Pepper Nikki 3  5-Pocket Skinny, $348; at Chip & Pepper

Photo: Chip & Pepper
Chip & Pepper
Chip & Pepper

Chip & Pepper Playsuit, $220; at Chip & Pepper

Photo: Chip & Pepper
Citizens of Humanity
Citizens of Humanity

Aforementioned designer Jerome Dahan didn’t depart 7 For All Mankind to simply kick it in the Hollywood Hills. Instead, he founded this strikingly similar label in 2003.

Thirteen years in and you’ll still see these jeans at retailers including Nordstrom and Shopbop. You’ll also still see the signature ‘H’ stitching on the pockets.

Photo: WireImage
Citizens of Humanity
Citizens of Humanity

Citizens of Humanity Liya Hi-Lo Hem Jeans, $268; at Shopbop

Photo: Shopbop
Citizens of Humanity
Citizens of Humanity

Citizens of Humanity Emerson Embroidered Slim Boyfriend Jeans, $298; at Nordstrom

Photo: Nordstrom
Earl Jean
Earl Jean

The brainchild of veteran TV and film stylist Suzanna Costas, the Earl Jean brand was founded in 1997 and soon landed in Fred Segal—a major coup for an emerging label.

Marked by a skinny, low-rise fit, they were a celebrity and editorial favorite: the brand's jackets were routinely worn on "The Gilmore Girls" and Janet Jackson wore a pair on the May 2001 cover of Vibe.

That same year Costas sold the label to Nautica, which folded it in 2005. Reprised in 2008, Earl is now firmly planted in the affordable space at stores like Macy’s, Belk and Stein Mart.

Photo: The WB
Earl Jean
Earl Jean

Earl Jean Patched Boyfriend Jeans, $37.99; at Macy's

Photo: Macy's
Earl Jean
Earl Jean

Earl Jean Button Front Frayed Denim Skirt, $24.99; at Stein Mart

Photo: Stein Mart
Frankie B
Frankie B

Had you asked any twentysomething L.A. girl what she wanted to be buried in in 2003, her answer would have likely been Frankie B. jeans. The original pairs were so low slung that they probably violated your high school dress code, but that didn’t keep them off of Jessica Simpson, Eva Longoria, or Sienna Miller.

Launched in 1999 by Daniella Clarke and named after her daughter with husband and former Guns ‘N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke, Frankie B. was the epitome of rocker chic. The Clarke’s sold the line in early 2015 and it was soon rebranded as Frankie B. Hollywood, with a Spring/Summer 2016 collection presented at New York Fashion Week.

Six months later it was transformed again, emerging this time as a full ready-to-wear range simply called Frankie. Pieces have yet to hit the market yet, but the new owners promise looks that you can sit down in without exposing everything.

Photo: Getty Images
Rock & Republic
Rock & Republic

Founded in 2002 by cyclist-turned-designer Michael Ball, Rock & Republic broke through the cluttered luxe denim market with splashy double-R logos and 36-inch inseams, the latter which made the jeans ideal for wearing with of-the-moment stilettos.

In 2004, the brand partnered with Victoria Beckham on a collection that featured crown stitching on the pockets and cost label devotees $300. Later, Ball and Beckham allegedly fell out when the collection did better than expected, with rumors swirling that Beckham tried suing the company for $100 million.

Rock & Republic filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and negotiated a deal to have the label sold exclusively at Kohl’s. You can buy them there for $88.

Photo: WireImage
Rock & Republic
Rock & Republic

Rock & Republic Kashmiere Ripped Jean Leggings, $59.99; at Kohl's

Photo: Kohl's
Rock & Republic
Rock & Republic

Rock & Republic Indee Patch Slim-Fit Boyfriend Jeans, $44; at Kohl's

Photo: Kohl's
True Religion
True Religion

If you ever want to dress up as 2005 for Halloween, just unearth your True Religion Joey Flares and throw on a white tank top. These jeans were everywhere at the time with stars like Jessica Alba essentially living in them.

By 2009 they were no longer as coveted as they once were, and the once-married founders Kym Gold and Jeff Lubell were divorced. The company was sold in 2013 and last year Gold published a book sharing her side of the fashion house’s saga.

While there are still hundreds of True Religion stores open internationally, the brand’s former luster has, for the most part, vanished.

Photo: Film Magic
True Religion
True Religion

True Religion Halle Super Skinny Cropped Lace Up Women's Jean, $269; at True Religion

Photo: True Religion
True Religion
True Religion

True Religion Western Trusty Trucker Jacket, $249; at True Religion

Photo: True Religion

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  • 7 For All Mankind
  • 7 For All Mankind
  • 7 For All Mankind
  • Blue Cult
  • Blue Cult
  • Blue Cult
  • Chip & Pepper
  • Chip & Pepper
  • Chip & Pepper
  • Citizens of Humanity
  • Citizens of Humanity
  • Citizens of Humanity
  • Earl Jean
  • Earl Jean
  • Earl Jean
  • Frankie B
  • Rock & Republic
  • Rock & Republic
  • Rock & Republic
  • True Religion
  • True Religion
  • True Religion

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