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From The Ground Up: How Citizens of Humanity Is Changing The Fashion Landscape

(Images courtesy of COH.)

In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow published his Hierarchy of Needs theory. The theory describes what individual needs must be met for a person to prosper. A pyramid visually represents Maslow's work. The pyramid's base need is Physiological (i.e. food, shelter, air, and clothing.). Humanity needs clothing to survive. Clothing acts as a protective layer, reflection of self, and socialization tool.

(Image courtesy of COH.)

Culture requires clothes. We live in a society where most people and companies do not comprehend overall clothing's impact. I recently had a conversation with a holding group that does. Citizens of Humanity (COH) Group is the home to three iconic brands: Citizens of Humanity, AGOLDE, and GOLDSIGN. The collective creates high-quality ready-to-wear garments imbuing confidence and style per product. I had the chance to speak with them to learn more about the company.

(Images courtesy of COH.)

1. What makes COH different from other brands?

Citizens of Humanity has an excellent creative team behind its luxury denim and ready-to-wear products. It’s famous for elevated design silhouettes and attention to detail, as well as inclusive sizing (they do not do vanity sizing). While each of the company’s brands are slightly different, the overall company can be described as a ‘denim destination’. Citizens of Humanity Group differentiates itself by its talent, production, and sustainability perspectives.

Talent: The brand creative directors are based next door to the production facility, and therefore have visibility on their work from beginning to end. Their teams are experts in sustainability, design, and production management. The company is invested in short and long-term practices and continues to learn and incorporate the latest sustainability developments into its production practices.

Production:Citizens of Humanity is a uniquely positioned company. It’s vertically integrated, which allows them to implement the best sustainability practices and regulate how much product they produce. This also means they can adapt quickly to the market needs.

Sustainability: Since Citizens of Humanity owns its own production facilities, they are in a fortunate position to be leaders in sustainability. They recently announced a partnership with ‘Kiss The Ground’, to support and grow their ongoing efforts in regenerative cotton farming. Regenerative farming focuses on the soil's health to offset carbon emissions. Citizens of Humanity are currently partnering with a number of farmers across the U.S. to grow the cotton that will form all of their collections to come

(Images courtesy of COH.)

2. Where does COH find inspiration in its designs?

Inspiration can come in many forms including from the classic denim silhouettes and premium vintage washes of the Eighties and Nineties, to art, music, culture and the environment. Sales feedback and trend forecasting also play an important part although the designers are not governed by trends. Each brand’s collections are divided into newness, aka fashion (more experimental, seasonal-based, and trend inspired) and evergreen (bestsellers which are reworked in different materials each season). A buyer tends to curate an offering of seasonal staples and fashion styles. The Citizens of Humanity Horseshoe jean and AGOLDE's Criss-Cross jean are examples of best-selling fashion pieces.

(Image courtesy of COH.)

3. How does COH incorporate its mission and vision into its product offerings?

Citizens of Humanity want their customers to know that product is produced from top-quality materials in an inherently sustainable way. They want the product to speak for itself. This is a female lead company (the CEO and creative directors all identify as women). Moreover, the group work with organizations like Every Mother Counts and The Bob Marley Foundation to impact women's lives positively.

(Images courtesy of COH.)

4. What is the future of the company?

To continue creating great products using the most advanced sustainable practices, and ultimately making the world a better place.

(Images courtesy of COH.)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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