Paige Denim for sale – the price might surprise you

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It didn’t even exist when the premium denim trend started but that hasn’t held Paige Denim back. It’s only 10 years old and it’s up for sale with a valuation of around $400m, according to reports.

Paige, named after founder Paige Adams-Geller, is known for its superb fit and is a celebrity favourite, with its flared Lou Lou style (a steal at £250 from Harvey Nichols) making waves at the moment.

Anyway, according to Reuters, Paige has hired investment bank UBS to handle the sale, although current major investor TSG Consumer Partners wouldn’t comment on the story and neither would Paige.

Will it make that $400m price tag? Well, True Religion fetched over $800m two years ago and last year NYDJ Apparel sold for a hefty-but-undisclosed sum.

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Paige is a powerful brand with its own stores and a presence in the world’s leading department stores and multibrand boutiques.

What prospective buyers want to know though is – does it have room to grow? And the answer has to be ‘yes’. While the mass- and middle-market denim sectors have faced increasing competition from retailer own-brands and the onward march of athleisure, the premium sector to a certain extent stands apart.

Affluent consumers’ appetites for £150-plus jeans doesn’t seem to be waning. In the summer, market research firm Technavio said premium denim now accounts for around 26% of the overall global jeans market and is the fastest growing segment with the biggest long term market potential.

And that’s not even taking into account the boost that the fashion pendulum swinging in denim’s direction can bring. For instance, denim’s cool credentials were boosted in the SS15 season by a designer sector that went crazy for it.

And while the fashion bandwagon was less denim-focused for AW15, the current pre-fall 16 collections we’re seeing have enough denim to suggest that the high-end variety isn’t over yet as a trend story. Only yesterday Gucci revived my interest in denim with some of the coolest embellished pieces I’ve seen for ages.

So, the potential for Paige is huge. I’ll be watching this one with interest.

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