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On May 29, Juicy Couture founders Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor's highly-anticipated tell-all, The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned It into a Global Brand, is set to hit bookstores. (Pre-order here.) Given that the LA designers are known for being unapologetically outspoken, we couldn't resist nabbing an exclusive first look inside their 256-page tome, deemed "part memoir, part business manual." See below for four snippets from the book, along with some bonus memorabilia.
On the height of Juicy's fame: "Valet stands and Starbucks parking lots were our fashion runways. And the magazines played their part, running regular photo spreads of Hollywood wearing Juicy, with headlines like 'The Juicy Brigade' and 'The Juicy Couture Fan Club.' Bloomingdales, Saks, and other retailers got calls from women who wanted the same look. They couldn't keep Juicy in stock. Shipments sold out in one day and waiting lists formed."
On the birth of their infamous tracksuits: "But back to the T-shirt that changed history. It was the most killer mint green terry-cloth tank top. Even better? It had the word 'Maribu' written across the front, a misspelling of the most mythical of Southern California places, Malibu. We thought that shirt was the most brilliant thing we had ever seen, but it also happened to be the perfect 1970's throwback piece. And it got us thinking about the possibilities of terry cloth as a clothing fabrication. Juicy Couture's philosophy was fit, fabric and color. And terry cloth had a lot going for it where those things are concerned. Because it is a pile fabric, it took the dye in a way that was even yummier than the combed cotton we used for our T-shirts. And it draped beautifully. Also, what could be more luxurious than wrapping oneself in a buttery bath towel? We believe that good style is comfort. Because when you are comfortable, you can have fun and express yourself. And when your feet hurt and your Spanx are going up your butt you just want to go home. So we started playing with the idea of creating a terry-cloth uniform. At the time, the sweats that people were wearing were sloppy, oversize collegiate sweatshirts and sweatpants. It was true athletic wear with a men's fit. We went the other direction, giving those basics a sexy, body-conscious shape. It was all about an uber-flattering silhouette, kind of couture-esque really. And because we fit on ourselves and we were super petite, our samples looked miniscule. In fact, when Vicki advised our sewers, she told them, 'If you think they look like baby clothes, they are the right size.'"
A Hermès-inspired Juicy tank from 1999, way before the designer parody craze.
On how to grow your business: "Even if Hollywood isn't in your backyard, it's still important to get your product in the hands of friends and influencers, whoever those people happen to be in your community. Use whatever connections you have in whatever environment you're in, whether it's selling a T-shirt at your local shop or at a street fair or charity event, or giving hoodies to your friends to wear around town. The world is small- and if your product is good, people will want to know where they can buy it."
Mattel's limited-edition Pam and Gela Barbies, 2004.
On their big Vogue moment: "In 2002, a CNN financial reporter came to our warehouse to interview us. It was the first time he had ever covered anything in the world of fashion, and he asked us the most insulting question. 'What do real designers think of you?' Our jaws fell on the floor. We said, 'Huh? We are real designers.' Then, as if on cue, one of the girls yelled from the office that we had a phone call from Vogue magazine. It was Sally Singer, the reporter who had come out to LA to write a story about us. She was calling to say that Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour liked the story, but wanted more. Anna wanted Vogue to take Juicy Couture to meet the real couture. 'How do you feel about going to the haute couture shows in Paris?' Sally asked. We jumped for joy in our high heels and screamed so loud, they probably heard us all the way to Malibu."
One of Juicy's iconic Tim Walker ads.
· The Glitter Plan [Amazon]
· Juicy's Founders on Their New Line and Life After Tracksuits [Racked]