isn’t it iconic? | the jordache look

September 25, 2016 in stop look & listen by editor

A tight tush, glossy lips, and second-skin jeans. That’s what the ‘Jordache look’ was made of.

The Jordache Look (1979)

The ‘status jeans’ boom of the 70s/80s was ignited in 1976 when Gloria Vanderbilt and clothing tycoon Mohan Murjani debuted a brand new style of jeans made specifically for women. Cut to flatter feminine curves, and so tight you had to lay down to zip them up, their denims were an upscale alternative to the more casual (and boyish) dungarees made by Levi’s and Wrangler. Women were hooked and even though Vanderbilt jeans were twice the price of a pair of Levi’s, sales skyrocketed and a craze was born. Within two years, Vanderbilt was joined on the designer jeans aisle by a slew of young labels, including Calvin Klein, Sergio Valente, and, of course Jordache. Jordache was founded by Brooklynites Joe, Ralph and Avi Nakashe in 1978 after the brothers’ clothing store was lost to looters in the ’77 blackout. They saw how lucrative the upscale jeans market was and, using insurance money, jumped right back into business with their own version of status denim. Expensive, but priced better than Vanderbilts or Calvins ($26 verses $35), Jordache jeans took off immediately, selling $15 million worth of product in their very first year.

About the Look

So in an era where designer jeans were beginning to flood the market, how did a new, unknown brand become so hot so fast? Advertising. Sexy TV ads were one of the key factors fueling the status jeans juggernaut and the Nakashes knew how to sell sex. The first Jordache commercial featured a model riding horseback and wearing nothing but a pair of jeans (it was initially banned from broadcast). Follow-up ads were more modest, but still provocative. Here, a model with big hair and a tight tush that the camera lingers on for a good 5-6 seconds, sports the ultimate ‘Jordache Look’ – second-skin, high-waisted jeans, worn with a secretary blouse and campus boots. Today, Jordache mostly sells their line through Walmart, but they’ve relaunched some of their original vintage looks, including a reboot of the style from this ad which they now aptly call the Chrissie Hi-Rise.


jeans: Jordache | blouse: Valentino | bangles: Alexis Bittar | ring: Topshop | boots: Tod’s | lipgloss: Smith + Cult
clutch: Diane von Furstenberg | belt: Neiman Marcus