Pack Rats: sass & bide’s new rodent hero product running out the door

Yesterday British newspaper The Independent reported that one London boutique has a rather long waitlist for sass & bide’s new Black Rats leggings – and the paper included the garment on its must-have list for the Fall/Winter 0809 season.

Sandwiched in between entries on The Independent's "A-Z of the season" list, which includes “Anglomania”, “British style genius”, “Comme des Garçons for H&M”, “First Lady Chic”, “manbags”, “Gareth Pugh”, “lace”, “jackets” and “YSL”, is the following, curious, listing under “W” for “wrinkle”:

“Sass & Bide's ruched and crinkled ‘rat’ leggings already have a waiting list of over 100 people at Browns Focus. Despite the unfortunate name”.

heidi middleton & sarah-jane clarke at the DJs show, august 5

Indeed the Browns Focus experience is not unusual in the UK according to the sass & bide HQ, which reports that the Selfridges, Harveys Nichols and Harrods department stores and net-a-porter-com have all reordered Black Rats (and several times, in more than one case).

The Black Rats success should not come as that much of a surprise, given the strength of the leggings trend, notably Latex-look leggings and skinny leather pants – and sass & bide’s brand equity in the skinny jeans business.

Black Rats in fact hit the ground running at the New York FW0809 shows. Backstage after sass & bide’s May 1st show in Sydney, co-designer Heidi Middleton told me that the product was their “new jean” and had already scored what she described as a record order for the business.

Middleton told me:

“We’ve just done our first order of 3000. They’re all pre-sold. Globally, that’s the first order. It’s a very big indication that it’s going to be a hero product for us. Because normally we might do 1500 in our first order for a really strong product”.

Bryanboy also gave Black Rats a blog boost when he wore (to death) a pair which sass & bide gifted him during Australian Fashion Week.

Black Rats fans will be interested to hear that a new hot-off-the-press version is due to hit the domestic Australian market this week (a little later overseas).

Frockwriter can reveal that, whereas the original Black Rats were a latex-look legging in ruched, high-shine Lycra acetate (A$175), the new version is shinier still, made from a PVC Lycra ($A220) - as sported by sass & bide PR gal Nicci Hunter at the David Jones show in Sydney two weeks ago (above).

As we reported, sass & bide are sitting out the SS09 New York season.

The duo is focussing on September’s seven-style sass & bide TopShop jeans launch at TopShop UK, TopShop's new US division and also TopShop online.

Also in September, Middleton and Clarke are due to unveil a new Aesop concept store within their Fortitude Valley, Brisbane boutique – their first collaboration with the cult Australian beauty brand.