Citizens of Humanity Brings On New Creative Talent
Citizens of Humanity, Simon Miller, Catherine Ryu
Citizens of Humanity, the California-based premium denim brand has named Simon Miller and Catherine Ryu as its new creative directors for men's and women's reported WWD.
Miller founded the retailer Fabric in New Zealand in 2006 before making the move to Los Angeles to start a namesake brand. He has also contributed to NSF and Ron Herman as a freelancer and launched Fabric-Brand, which he will continue to lead, this past January. Also, the Simon Miller brand remains in business under the management of Daniel Corrigan and Jake Sargent.)
"I've always worked on smaller, independent stuff, and this gave me an opportunity to work at a company where you have a lot more reach. The resources enable you to be a little bit more creative," said Miller. "I had retail stores in New Zealand and have been working with Citizens since the beginning and have always had an affinity for the brand. I always thought it was the one bigger brand that's remained cool over a long period of time."
On women's end of things, Ryu is moving up after two years as head designer for women's at Citizens of Humanity. Her history includes positions at Club Monaco, Urban Outfitters, Calvin Klein Jeans and AG Adriano Goldschmied.
She told WWD she was excited to work with Citizens founder and chief executive officer Jerome Dahan and Adriano Goldschmied, the brand's executive VP of product development, calling them "pioneers of American premium denim. I really think that I bring a female voice and a perspective that comes from being a woman who understands women's bodies, and what they want to wear and buy."
Ryu is currently finishing Citizens' women's collection for next summer and already starting on the fall collection. In her designs, Ryu uses Citizens' technological prowess to distinguish its women's denim. "Citizens is a vertical company, meaning we design, we sew, we wash, we finish everything in Los Angeles. We have the luxury of having our own laundry," she explained. "Our new obsession is our laser machines. A lot of people use laser machines, but there are few people using lasers for whisker patterning and vintage washing. We push the envelope, and create patterns and holes. We really use technology to create fashion."
Dahan searched for over two years for a new men's creative director but no one felt right before Miller. "It's hard to find someone that gets your DNA and understands the company and the product and can work in a team. We had a relationship with Simon before. He is not going to make the DNA of the company different from what it is," he said. "He understands who we are and where we are going."
Miller will be tasked with building the men's business. "We put a lot of energy in women's, and now we know that we can make [men's] grow. We know it can be at least 35 to 40 percent. We are going to use the same formula that we have used in women's. It is going to be more of a complete collection," said Dahan.
Miller's first collection comes out in the fall and he said customers should expect to see an expansive assortment. "They've never had a basic raw denim collection in place. We are going to add some classic selvage denim to the line, which I've had a lot of experience with. They've always pigeonholed themselves into lighter-weight denim. We are going to broaden the customer base by adding different weights, finishes and shapes," said Miller. "Citizens hasn't had slim, modern shapes. It has always had that relaxed, California vibe, and my approach is more modern, slimmer and a little bit more relevant to today's consumer."