There is no timeline in the foreseeable future where denim-based fashion is not a thing. From jackets and shirts to jeans and joggers, denim is the perfect material for all kinds of clothing.
Nowadays, there are multiple brands associated with denim clothes. Among the most notable are Levi’s, Lee Jeans, Calvin Klein, and so on.
While it seems that these brands wouldn’t have any competitors in the market, that wasn’t always the case.
Up until a few years ago, another player dominated the denim market – Hydraulic Jeans. So what happened since? Is Hydraulic Jeans out of business; if so, then why?
Let’s find out together.
Do They Still Make Hydraulic Jeans?
Unfortunately, the brand Hydraulic Jeans is no longer in business, as of 2022. They were still moderately successful in the last decade.
But in 2014, their online presence, their primary source of revenue, stopped functioning suddenly.
Currently, there is no indication that the once-reputed brand will ever be back in shape. However, they have not been discontinued officially.
They only ceased their operations and left the market without a trace.
But not without some footprints. There still are multiple online stores and platforms where you could browse and purchase original products made by Hydraulic Jeans.
Which Stores Sell Hydraulic Jeans?
Earlier, Hydraulic Jeans used to operate over two models – the E-Commerce platform as well as the brick-and-mortar physical sales model.
Unfortunately, after the early demise of their operations, there are no physical stores that sell Hydraulic Jeans products officially.
Though, if you are lucky, you might be able to find a store where you find yourself a pair of vintage Hydraulic Jeans, the most popular model.
The easier pathway, however, is to purchase these jeans online. There are multiple websites like Etsy, Amazon, Poshmark, eBay, and Walmart where you can get them for reasonable rates.
Elsewhere, you might also find a lot of local businesses on Instagram and other social media platforms that try to replicate the quality and designs of Hydraulic Jeans.
And while they may be able to conjure up a replica to some extent, it’s not the same as getting the real deal.
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Was Hydraulic Jeans Popular?
It’s a clear misconception that any business that closes down is unsuccessful. Hydraulic Jeans, for instance, was once one of the most popular denim brands in existence.
They catered to the American market, as well as some other countries across Europe.
It wasn’t just a company that sold jeans. It became a brand because of its excellent products and high-quality services.
The best part? Hydraulic Jeans weren’t a brand that came and went like a breeze. Instead, it stuck around and dominated the market for over a decade.
Throughout its illustrious tenure as the leading denim jeans brand, it also gained a lot of followers and loyalists.
Perhaps that’s why there are still millions of people searching for Hydraulic Jeans online, and why E-Commerce platforms are still entertaining the market by recycling the leftover original products of the brand.
To give you a fair perspective of how successful the brand was, it generated an average income of more than $4 million annually.
While that may not seem like a big deal nowadays, it was huge for a jeans company back in the days of traditional commerce.
Everything indicated that Hydraulic Jeans were doing well. But if that were the case, it would still be operational today.
The fans are still waiting for an update from the company, to either get some closure or the chance to order one last product from their beloved website.
What Made Hydraulic Jeans Stand Out?
We’ve talked about the “unparalleled” quality of Hydraulic Jeans, especially their denim-based vintage apparel choices.
But what made their products so distinctive that they dominated and survived such a fierce market for so long?
Perhaps they had the best products for that time in history, or maybe their customer service was excellent by American standards. Or perhaps, they just got lucky.
As soon as Hydraulic Jeans came into existence, they made one point crystal clear – they will continue as a denim brand.
While they produced vibrant pairs of jeans of all kinds, they mainly catered to the more luxurious female market.
The history of denim is an interesting one, especially from the perspective of the American market. It only became socially acceptable in the United States to wear jeans as casual apparel from the 1960s and 1970s onwards.
In the 1990s, the demand for denim jeans was red-hot, as it was the most common form of apparel for the streets and workplaces. It was also pretty stylish.
Perhaps, popular pop figures such as the TLC, Spice Girls, and Destiny’s Child also influenced the Western Market. Nevertheless, you couldn’t go out and not see anyone wearing jeans made out of denim.
It was also during this period that other denim apparel, like jackets and shirts, took to the market. They were sudden hits. And what did people use for pairing with these jackets and shirts?
Again, denim jeans worked perfectly to create a dark-light contrast to the outfit.
As things stood, denim was the trendiest clothing item in the US when Hydraulic Jeans came into existence. And they were ready to pounce on that market.
The Price Point
As denim jeans became trendier, they also got more expensive. Especially when it came to women’s clothing, a more expensive segment, purchasing a wide variety of jeans wasn’t an option.
They were a little too expensive for the average customer.
This is where Hydraulic Jeans wriggled in and positioned themselves in a key role. They became the harbingers of style and pizzazz when they introduced their lines of clothing and denim-based jeans.
The customers noticed that Hydraulic Jeans didn’t only produce stylish products, but also affordable ones. At that time, Hydraulic Jeans’ women’s jeans price was so affordable, that anyone could purchase two or three pairs at a time.
Whether it was a marketing move to establish their initial customer base, or whether their price point was their primary differentiator is still not clear.
The point is, it worked. Customers flocked outside to get as many pairs of Hydraulic Jeans as they could.
Business soared and they established a clear position in the market.
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The 1990s witnessed a sudden shift in fashion statements. It was the era where baggy jeans and dungarees dominated the market.
Celebrities and stars alike added fuel to the fire by endorsing similar outfits in Galas, ceremonies, commercials, and films.
It was also the time when denim became a comfortable material fit for wearing indoors and outdoors.
At that time, people called it the “boot cut” style, featuring a denim flare fashion that was slimmer than before and also more appropriate for wearing daily.
Apart from that, wide-legged jeans were also highly popular during this time.
It seemed as if someone inside Hydraulic Jeans was paying close attention to such trends.
They kept on releasing products that synced perfectly with the demands of the market. Products such as the curvy boot-cut mid-rise stretch jeans became an instant hit in the market. Other types of jeans also gained huge acclaim.
The brand decided that it would be better if it marketed itself as a brand that created the designs that were trendiest in the 1990s.
And while that worked in that decade, the brand’s refusal to grow out of that sphere invited some challenging questions.
Hydraulic Jeans, however, still stuck close to their beliefs and principles.
The primary differentiating quality of Hydraulic Jeans, apart from their price point and designs, was their emphasis on providing the premium denim experience.
In the 1990s, the fashion industry, although huge, was still experimenting. There weren’t a lot of affordable brands that also offered high-quality materials.
Hydraulic Jeans exploited this gap and started developing premium quality denim for their customers.
Around this time, jeans became the most common choice for wearing outdoors. To accommodate the huge denim market, they tried to make jeans that the customers could wear daily with comfort and elegance.
Even their motto quoted – “Hydraulic Jeans strives for perfection in fit, fabric, and wash.”
When such a product launched in the market, fashion enthusiasts went all in, not caring about how many pairs they piled in their wardrobes.
It seemed, in practice, that Hydraulic Jeans had played all their cards right, and straight away grabbed a huge chunk of the denim market.
Why Did Hydraulic Jeans Disappear?
Throughout the article, we talked about the premium characteristics of Hydraulic Jeans; all the qualities that made them stand out helped them climb to the top of the industry.
But what toppled them from the throne they built for themselves? Let’s find out.
Hydraulic Jeans, one of the most popular denim brands of all time, started in 1988.
However, they started manufacturing their most popular products in 1994, during the revolutionary decade for fast fashion and denim-based apparel.
The early strategy of Hydraulic Jeans was popular. They went in quickly and grabbed a huge chunk of the market through their swift and calculative strategies.
In the 1990s, business soared for them. They gained many loyalists. Even today, fashion conservatives are still looking for Hydraulic Jeans, trying to find some of their old products that once dominated the market.
In the 2000s, however, Hydraulic Jeans’ expansion fluctuated. While fast fashion thrived, the brand refused to move on with the times and introduce other segments. They also stuck to their initial designs, the holy grail of the 90s fashion.
To make up for a dwindling market, Hydraulic Jeans started its E-Commerce sector to accommodate the growing interest in online shopping.
The move worked decently for them as well, with a large number of their orders being placed through the internet.
Refusal to Adapt
As Hydraulic Jeans refused to move on with time, their market share grew considerably smaller. They still had a niche market who were interested in purchasing vintage clothing. However, they lost the youth.
In the fashion industry, all brands must always look into what the youth wants, as they make up the majority of the market. Hydraulic Jeans failed to understand that concept.
Over time, their sales and profitability decreased. Even their online orders dwindled under the increasing pressure of fast fashion trends.
Unfortunately, Hydraulic Jeans did not make any effort to rebrand or rethink its strategy in the long run. They, however, continued to market their products online through Instagram and Twitter.
They did not have any large following left. But the brand loyalists still followed their page. That was till 2014, the last time when someone heard anything from the official pages of the long-surviving brand.
While Hydraulic Jeans started as a dominating player, they couldn’t grow outside of a potential they created for themselves.
Their refusal to adapt to the changing market trends inhibited their progress. Ultimately, they started going in the reverse direction. When profits dwindled, the company ceased all its operations.
Third parties like Etsy and eBay, however, picked up from where Hydraulic Jeans left off, still circulating the products that once defined a generation.