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C&C California helped make LA the wildly expensive t-shirt capital of the world, but as you've probably noticed, it's fallen off the radar in recent years. However, that may be about to change, at least if original co-founder Claire Stansfield had anything to do with it. Two years after selling the brand to Liz Claiborne in 2005, Stansfield stepped down from her role in order to focus on mommyhood, during which point the brand's fabric quality and fit began to decline—a slide she attributes to trying to do too much, too quickly. As she tells California Apparel News:
I felt we were going away from the basics and more into what the department stores were dictating. If there was a call for dresses, we did dresses. If there was a call for blouses, we did blouses...When I came back, I walked into the design room and held up an original C&C T-shirt from a bag I had had for four years. Their mouths dropped. The fabric of the current C&C is still great, but it is not fantastic. They said, ‘Wow. What is that?’
Since then, the brand has been sold to Perry Ellis and Stansfield has reclaimed the reins, stepping out of many arenas Liz Claiborne led the brand into (e.g. childrenswear, loungewear) and attempting to return to the original fabric and one-style-fits-all ethos of the brand's heyday. But will it be enough? With the advent of brands like Kain, LnA, and The Row—not to mention lower-priced options like American Apparel—we're pretty sure the t-shirt market hit saturation point a long time ago. What do you think—will you be buying into its back-to-basics approach, or do you think it'll get lost in the clutter?
· With Stansfield, C&C California Hopes to Recapture Its Cool [CAN]
· C&C California [Official Site]