Ronny Kobo Gets Behind a New Denim Push

Ronny Kobo, known for her cool date-night looks, is getting into the denim business.

Kobo comes from a family that was successful in the denim business in the ’80s and ’90s, developing stretch denim in Hong Kong for many leading denim manufacturers. Growing up, she would hang out in her father’s Hong Kong factories and design department and would observe how he made jeans for brands such as Jordache and Sasson and his own denim label, Jeanjer.

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“I know denim cold, I’ve always loved denim,” Kobo said, who launched her contemporary company in 2017.

Ensconced in her new showroom space at 70 West 40th Street, Kobo is introducing her denim collection to her current accounts such as Revolve and Saks Fifth Avenue. She said her collection, which carries the label Ronny Kobo in the waistband and RK on a patch on the pockets, is inspired by the denim of the ’80s and ’90s.

The denim is offered in three different washes and comes in sizes 26 to 36. She is using a 12-ounce denim fabric for the dark washes and a 13.5 ounces for the lighter wash. The three colors offered are charcoal, a ’90s dark wash and a ’90s light wash.

The look is oversize and “everything’s bigger,” she said. Kobo said she believes in the idea of the Canadian tuxedo, where everything is denim, from the pants to the jacket to the shirt. She said these denim looks are designed to wear to work and to go out at night. For the denim dress, for example, she said, “It’s got some attitude.”

Denim jeans and bodysuit from Ronny Kobo
Denim jeans and bodysuit from Ronny Kobo.

Kobo believes contemporary denim has been sold short. “You’re not getting the fashion from denim the way you could be. Denim is having such a fashion moment and I want to be at the forefront,” she said.

Among the jeans offerings are The Naomi, which is a balloon jean that can be worn day into night and with heels or a ballet flat and with a cropped shirt. The Crawford is Kobo’s version of “the mom jean,” which is tapered at the ankle and one can wear it with a cowboy boot, a loafer or a ballet flat. “It’s a very classic ’80s jean,” she said. The Brooke is the “best-fitting, high-waisted jeans” that has a wide leg and an effortlessness to it, she said. “I love to enhance the behind of the female in the way the pockets fall. It accentuates your behind,” Kobo said.

A denim look from Ronny Kobo
A denim look from Ronny Kobo.

The fourth jeans style is The Sade, whose wash has a vintage feel. It’s a traditional boyfriend, straight-leg jean and mid-rise. “It’s very loose, ’90s feel,” she said.

“The denims are all very purposeful. They’re denim dressing,” she said.

Kobo believes skinny jeans will come back and she’s working for holiday on a special stretch denim.

This past season Kobo tested a denim Sebastian midi-denim dress at Saks, which was seen on several celebrities, and it was a bestseller.

Martha Graeff in the Sebastian dress.
Martha Graeff in the Sebastian dress.

Kobo’s denim pieces retail from $338 to $698. The collection is manufactured in Guangdong, China.

“It’s really about confidence. I’m not scared of doing something new. I’m not going to let not having [a denim] education stop me. I have experience. It’s all in my genes,” she said.

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