NEW YORK — Companies involved in garment development, washing and finishing are welcoming the return to washed down vintage denim styling with improved technology that reduces the environmental impact.
Exhibitors at the boutique denim textile show Kingpins, which ran here July 15 and 16, welcomed the vintage looks after several years of denim being dominated by dark washes and untreated raw fabric. The style shift should translate into more business, and will give companies involved in washing and finishing a chance to better differentiate themselves through unique techniques and treatments. Advancements in technology were a major element in many exhibitors’ offerings.
Spain’s Jeanologia is using laser technology to give jeans vintage looks that it believes are indistinguishable from naturally worn jeans. The company’s booth consisted of vintage jeans from the 1950s and 1970s hung side-by-side with its reproductions. Designers and buyers were challenged to identify the reproductions.
“We have come with a new technology to clone jeans, to reproduce vintage jeans,” said Enrique Silla, president of Jeanologia.
Lasers have been used to finish jeans with whiskers, holes and shading for about five years, Silla said. “But what is new is the software that makes the light of the laser reproduce exactly a garment.”
Jeanologia uses its own denim archives to reproduce looks. A picture of the original garment is taken and imported into photo software that converts the image into a pattern that the laser is able to replicate in less than a minute.
“There’s a perception in the market that we are on a mission to dispel, that if you use a laser in production of the jeans it will look fake,” said Michelle Branch, creative director at Jeanologia. “Many think there’s no way to make it look authentic, and 10 years ago that was true.”
Branch noted that using the laser offers several advantages. Jeans are traditionally finished and sanded by hand, a process that requires considerable time and skilled labor. The laser also can replicate looks normally achieved by using permanganate, a chemical abrasive. The company is working with brands such as Levi’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Polo and Edwin.
Dystar, a chemical supplier and one of the largest suppliers of indigo to the denim industry, has introduced a line of low-impact dyes and new methods that require less bleach.
George Cook, regional business development manager, said many designers and buyers still had questions about what qualifies a garment as environmentally friendly. Cook said Dystar is encouraging people to consider the entire process of making the garment, from selecting the cotton to the wash process.
“Some people think natural indigo is a really great, ecologically superior way to go and actually it isn’t,” Cook said. “Our synthetic or produced indigo is really a more ecologically friendly dye” because it doesn’t have heavy metals typically found in natural indigos.
Novozymes is pioneering treatments utilizing enzymes that are environmentally safe. The company introduced DeniBleach at the show, a process that decolorizes indigo with an enzyme. The product allows better control of how much color is stripped away.
“You typically get a sky blue color with bleach,” said Julie Clemmons, technical sales representative with Novozymes. “This is not as drastic a change, because it just removes the indigo without bleaching the fiber.”
DeniBleach also maintains the strength of the fiber and can eliminate the need for stone washing.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)