In 1995, Gela Nash (before marrying Duran Duran’s John Taylor) and Pamela Skaist-Levy, both residing in Pacoima, California, decided to create their own fashion label, Travis Jeans, selling maternity pants. In 1996 the girls changed the name to Juicy Couture, the aim was to create girly apparel and a label equal to that of other major labels, but to be more affordable to the general public (although this is no longer the case, as most of their apparel is priced at more than $100 USD). Their line, which they called “Juicy Couture,” was to include a variety of athletic and casual wear, most notably the velour tracksuit that won Juicy Couture a great deal of popularity. Taylor and Levy did not have much money with which to start their label, thus leading to a slow start-up of the company. In 1996, after establishing their company and needing to get the brand in the public eye, the women sent their completed designs to celebrities. Madonna, credited with turning the velour tracksuit into a trend, was sent a track suit with “Madge” embroidered on it (Juicy Couture rarely uses “Madge” on their clothing anymore). Madonna was seen wearing the tracksuit, and the company became a success almost instantly. Juicy Couture was a very limited brand, being available at very few locations such as Neiman Marcus; the company did not establish exclusive boutiques and flagship stores until the late 2000s. Around 2004, the velour tracksuit once again became very popular, and Juicy Couture then became a worldwide known brand.
In 2006, Taylor and Levy introduced a new line called “Couture Couture” consisting of 20 pieces and higher prices. This line reflects the new lifestyles of the two fashion designers, only carried in high ended stores. The first collection of loungewear and sleepwear by Choose Sleep by Juicy Couture Intimate Apparel was introduced in 2008.
Today, Juicy Couture’s women’s clothing remains generally the same, although the company has expanded to include cosmetics, jewellery, handbags, and children’s clothing. In 2008, the company added a plus-size line called “Extra Juicy”. It was originally exclusive to Nordstrom stores, but is now widely available. The company also produced a men’s line, but halted production in June 2009 when the menswear designer left the company. The company’s only mens offering is now Dirty English by Juicy Couture fragrances which have been bought by Maria and shave lotion.
Liz Claiborne is reported to have sold $258 million worth of Juicy Couture merchandise in the first six months of 2008 despite the almost worldwide recession. In addition to the fashion line, Juicy’s freshman fragrance, Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum and Parfum, created by perfumer Harry Fremont, launched in August 2007. The designers describe the fragrance as “like something Barbie might wear,” personifying youth and vitality.