Fools can't stop talking about Joe's Jeans (Nasdaq: JOEZ). Me, I just want to know who the heck Joe is, and whether I should want his jeans -- or his stock.

CAPS blogger 20Percent PM outlined the fascinating history of Joe's Jeans in April. Longtime Fool Rich Duprey also mentioned it as one of Wall Street's unknown stocks. However, he also pointed out that its apparel is "the flavor of the month" for many celebrities, and that it's embarking on a risky path of opening retail stores. Fellow Fool Eric Bleeker dug deep into Joe's Jeans' most recent quarterly results as well

Joe's Jeans' form 10-K describes its 1987 birth as Innovo, which manufactured canvas and nylon products. It became Joe's Jeans in 2007, evolving into a premium denim provider, distributing its wares mostly through high-end retailers and boutiques at $120 and up. There actually is a Joe: the company's creative director, Joe Danahan.

High-priced denim was a hot niche for a while, but now it just sounds so 2007. Jeans are a crowded market, with Guess? (NYSE: GES), Liz Claiborne's (NYSE: LIZ) Lucky Jeans, True Religion (Nasdaq: TRLG), and VF's (NYSE: VFC) 7 for All Mankind all clamoring for a spot on shoppers' lower extremities.

Many retailers are now painfully aware of "the new normal," as consumers shop on tight budgets. Perhaps not coincidentally, Guess? shares plunged yesterday following its lackluster forecast. The second half of this year will be similarly difficult for many high-end brands and retailers. Can a relatively obscure name like Joe's buck the ugly trends?

I understand that a small company with a penny-stock price and lots of buzz might seem promising to some investors. I also see that Joe's is expected to generate impressive sales growth this year -- along with a precipitous drop in earnings. How sustainable is that sales growth? And is the expense of opening retail stores worth the risk in such a poor economic climate? American Apparel's (NYSE: APP) recent fall from racy grace may be a good example of how quickly a promising growth story can go bad.

I'm leery of Joe's Jeans' stock, myself. I have to wonder whether the brand will enjoy long-term strength, or prove to be just another jeans fad. Even the company admits in its 10-K that it doesn't hold a dominant competitive position. Unlike a stylish pair of pre-torn jeans, it's not always a good idea to buy any stock whose investment thesis already has a few holes in it.

Let us know what you think about investing in Joe's Jeans in the comment boxes below.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool owns shares of Guess?. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Fool has a disclosure policy.