Miss Sixty is a teenager, just like most of the girls that wear its clothes. Established in 1991 as the sister line to Italian streetwear label Energie, the label has experienced accelerated growth in its short lifetime. The first UK store opened on Neal Street, London, in 1991. By 2004, there were 133 outlets internationally, with eight in Britain.
Their popularity is largely due to the label’s body-conscious silhouette and a copious array of denim. Head Designer Wichy Hassan is the man to thank for that. Born in Libya in 1955, Hassan studied languages and art in Milan before settling on fashion. Although never formally trained, he had designed and co-founded Energie.
The first Miss Sixty jeans were made in 1989 with the help of a local tailor, after Wichy became frustrated with women wearing unflattering unisex jeans. He persuaded his Energie business partner Renato Rossi to join the crusade and Miss Sixty was born. The ‘Tommy’ jean – with its curve-hugging cut – was the first really popular style.
Despite adding cute girly separates to its range, the label’s obsession with denim-with-sex-appeal continues to this day. There are now 35 styles available each season, each in a variety of washes. 2004 even saw the label introduce a demarcated ‘Denim Area’ to each store.
While not a grown-up status denim brand like Earl or Seven for All Mankind, Miss Sixty nevertheless has a huge street following, staying true to trademark quality and fit without compromising on price. The slick brand image, meanwhile, owes a lot to advertising that has come courtesy of fashion leaders including photographers Mario Testino and Ellen Von Unwerth and stylist Katie Grand.