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A Business With Legs

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Lately, the litmus test for a designer has tended to be a cocktail frock or an It bag, but back in the nineties, you could judge a label by its pants. That’s what propelled Chaiken into 400 stores in 40 countries. “I felt there was a lack in the marketplace for quality, affordable pants for women,” Julie Chaiken told Style.com of her motivation to launch her label in 1994. Apparently a lot of other women felt the same. Chaiken’s low-waisted boot-cut pant quickly got dubbed the “magic” and rocketed to fame worldwide. In 1995, Barneys picked up the collection.

As sometimes happens, life intercedes, and Chaiken took a few years off to raise her kids. But her relaunched collection for Spring 2013 suggests old fans will be glad to have her back. The line now includes blazers, silk dresses, perforated leather tops, and tailored shorts, but pants are still a standout, like this season’s printed track-style numbers. They’ll be available on ChaikenClothing.com this Spring. If history is any indication, retailers will follow.

Photo: Courtesy of Chaiken

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