Gwen Stefani Launches New Label DWP
Gwen Stefani has been a fashion darling since she came onto the scene in her tartan pants, Doc Marten creepers and her little boy Fruit of the Loom wife-beaters. What we all loved about her was her ability to look like a ska goddess one moment and then then walk out onto a red carpet the next in a full-fringed Ferragamo gown without missing a beat. She’s always been one to experiment — pink hair, bindi embellishments, neo-geisha glam — so naturally when she debuted her line of ready-to-wear, L.A.M.B., it was an instant hit. She also gave her fans a more affordable line with a diffusion label. Harajuku Lovers was aimed at tweens and juniors and spanned the lifestyle gamut with everything from handbags and apparel to fragrance.
All was well in the world of Stefani until she started to take a back seat to her own labels. L.A.M.B., which was a New York Fashion Week favorite, stopped showing and it was later announced that Stefani herself was no longer at the helm of the label. But it didn’t take very long for Stefani to come back to the sphere of fashion — she’s partnered with denim giant Mark Glasser, the founder of 7 for all Mankind, Citizens of Humanity and most recently, Rich & Skinny, to launch DWP (which stands for Design with Purpose), a contemporary label that’s out to give girls a new way to get the Gwen look.
“Whats so great about DWP for me is it’s different from anything Ive ever done, working in L.A. and having the factory right here,” Stefani told WWD. “With L.A.M.B., we have so many categories within the collection and you have different factories that do specific things, so you are a little detached. The actual designs are very simple because its all about everyday wear. So thats different and new.”
Everyday wear to Gwen Stefani is slouchy, cropped, tapered pant, which is what the first collection focuses on. Fans of Stefani will recognize the silhouette, since it harkens back to the early days of No Doubt. And DWP isn’t just a departure for Stefani, it’s also a new venture for Glasser, who has always focused on the world of denim.
“A buyer from Neiman Marcus came up to me and said, ‘If you show me another five-pocket jean, Im going to punch you.’” said Glasser to WWD. “The purpose of this company is to step into a place that we believe will encourage the business to get better, take the pressure off jeans, give it a rest. Theres no question jeans will be there, but the scale has to be balanced.”
Now that premium denim doesn’t dominate the market as it did in the early ’00s, the balance makes sense for any label, not just a fledgeling brand. Denim-focused brands across the board are focusing on other items now, as evidenced by BLK DNM’s new bespoke leather jacket service, 7 for all Mankind’s expansion into accessories and more. In addition to the tapered pants, DWP’s first collection includes motorcycle vests, t-shirts and tank tops and other pieces that balance the line between tomboy and downtown girl.
“I was trying to get all the basics,” said Stefani. “Michael nailed the bottoms. For tops, I was trying to think about what I wear besides a tank top. I love cuffed-up sleeves, tops that are long in front and short in back. And we did a jumpsuit and a dress to fill in the gaps.”
In addition to announcing the launch of DWP, Stefani is expecting her third child, anticipating the release of a new Harajuku Lovers fragrance, an animated series featuring her Harajuku Lovers characters, an e-commerce launch for L.A.M.B. as well as collabs with nail lacquer giant OPI and snowboarding outfitters Burton. Believe it or not, she’s also planning on getting back to her rock roots and work on some music between all of that. Filling the gaps? We think Gwen’s got it all covered.