By Dorothy Crouch | Thursday, March 15, 2018
When women who measure at least 5 feet 9 inches tall shop for denim, they are often left feeling as though styles such as flares or skinny jeans will end up resembling cropped gauchos or capris.
Standing at 5 feet 11 inches, former model and actress Kathryn Brolin decided it was time to launch Midheaven Denim to provide solutions for other tall women who want to find their ideal denim.
"Midheaven targets tall women like me who are looking for inseams a bit longer than what is usually found out there, but we’ve been so pleased to see that women of even average heights are ordering and absolutely loving their Midheavens. So, they've been rolling, they’ve been hemming, they’ve been self-altering their jeans."
With a soft launch of four styles in January, Brolin is aiming to introduce her entire line this April. Manufactured in downtown Los Angeles with a team of 25 sewers, the denim brand sources its fabric from Italy, a region close to Brolin's heart because she studied at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence. The importance of finding a responsibly sourced fabric produced sustainably was important during the research-and-development process for Midheaven.
"The factory is literally located in a national park, so they have a bunch of different guidelines that they have to follow in terms of waste management and all of their production tactics. They use cotton that is sourced from the Better Cotton Initiative," said Brolin, who is married to actor Josh Brolin.
While the brand will offer sizes 24 through 33, with inseams that measure 33, 34, 35, 36 and 38 inches, there is a conscientious effort to accommodate women who have tall but also curvy bodies. In addition to choosing a soft fabric that will stretch with the body, but not lose its shape, Brolin would like to plan a plus-size capsule collection in 2019.
"It’s so incredibly soft. The fabric stretches, but it also has amazing recovery, so women with hips and booties, they try these jeans on and they notice it will stretch with their curves," she said. "It’s a very giving fabric."
Even though Midheaven’s fabric is sourced in a town near Milan, Brolin wanted to keep production stateside in Los Angeles. It took her one year to find the perfect group of professionals, which led her to try working with different people in the industry, but never finding the perfect fit until piecing together her current team.
"As the owner of a small business, especially one that is just starting out, many factory owners - at least in this town - don’t want to work with you due to the minimal value and volume of the goods that you are producing,” Brolin explained.
Despite this challenge, she is extremely happy with the devoted production team that cares about manufacturing Midheaven’s designs to her exact specifications. As a town that has been central to the production of many successful premium denim labels, Los Angeles is a city with extraordinary resources for a new launch, but Brolin also looked beyond her own needs when choosing this city.
"It's much more expensive to produce in the states, I get that, but there are so many talented garment production workers in this city that it felt odd to take this job opportunity away from them in order to take it to another place where I might make more money," she said.
Taking the first steps into the niche category of manufacturing jeans for tall women is a venture that Brolin recognizes will attract a specific consumer, but that is the clientele she wants to reach during her launch.
"I envision Midheaven as a full, well-rounded brand, but what is most important to me is to grab that customer who is really interested in finding denim that is long enough for them because it has been something that I have been looking for my entire life," Brolin explained.
Though she envisions Midheaven evolving into a lifestyle brand that includes pieces that fall within the athletic and sleepwear categories, Brolin’s intentions for her growth are clear and rooted in becoming a trusted premium-denim resource.
"Because we are starting small, with the intention of growing organically, we don’t want to offer too many things at the start for fear that our brand would get diluted," she said. "We want to be known as a denim brand first and foremost."
Once Midheaven launches exclusively at www.midheavendenim.com, styles will range in price from $189 to $280 retail.