PARIS — Exhibitors at last week’s Denim by Première Vision show adjusted prices and looked to offer more versatile products in an effort to entice inventory-averse buyers working with smaller budgets.
The show ended its two-day run here on June 4, attracting 1,489 visitors, a 2.8 percent dip compared with last year’s June session, according to organizers. Weavers cited robust demand for superstretch fabrics, washes and artfully destroyed denim.
“We saw new ideas in patching techniques with embroideries,” said Carrie Yee, senior product manager of women’s denim for A|X Armani Exchange. “It was nice to see everybody’s handiwork, the way they’re tearing holes and the detailed abrasions.”
Creativity aside, the dire economy cast its shadow over the event. Several exhibitors said they had lowered prices, some by more than 20 percent, while certain designers cited smaller budgets.
“It pressures the designer to get creative on pricing and fabric,” said Stephan Szkotnicki, senior director of men’s denim, and men’s and women’s jewelry for A|X Armani Exchange.
Pockets of optimism came from the likes of French contemporary chain Zadig & Voltaire, which has seen denim sales nearly double over the past two years.
“We’re buying more and more — it’s a big part of our collection,” said Emilie Clement, assistant product manager for the brand, lauding JBG’s paint-splashed, colored jeans.
Among visitors shopping for inspiration was Salli Deighton, a freelance denim consultant whose clients include British retailers Marks & Spencer and Topshop. Deighton noted the emergence of heavier weights and more compact denims blended with fibers such as Tencel.
“It’s to allow for versatility in washing,” she said. “Everything’s about creating the right base for the wash.”
Other strong trends included colored denim, from brights to classic greens, browns and grays, as well as subtle sheens. Along with drainpipes, key silhouettes ran the gamut from carrot and bow-legged to engineered styles with twisted legs.
Bruno Van den Weghe, commercial director of family-owned Italian weaver ItalDenim, which works with the likes of Diesel, Miss Sixty, Replay and Tommy Hilfiger, said clients were comparing prices, tightening collections and opting for cross-seasonal weights.
“It’s the market that regulates [pricing],” he said. “It’s pretty tough, as our customers are suffering…decreases in sales of [up to] 50 percent.”
Spain’s Tavex, which bills itself as the world’s leading premium denim producer and churns out some 120 million meters of denim a year, recognizes clients are eager to keep inventories low. As a result, Tavex was among many pushing versatile fabrics suited to a variety of washes and investing in permanent inventories geared to short deliveries.
“The concept is important in a market like this where everybody is trying to avoid markdowns and also empty shelves,” said Natanael Kaminski, global commercial development director.
Tavex presented its new eco-friendly denim finish, Alsoft Amazontex by Tavex, at the event.
“It’s a well-rounded, eco concept and we’ve prepared material about how a brand can take advantage of that,” said Kaminski.
The fabric comes imbued with a cream obtained from the cupuaçu fruit, culled by fair trade cooperatives in Brazil’s Amazon region.
Japan’s Collect also introduced a denim weave with a vegetal collagen extract in its finish.
“After a day’s wear, your legs will feel moisturized,” said Rei Ichiro Yoshida from Collect’s sales division.
Ralph Lauren is said to have picked up on one of the firm’s new lamé denims.
Lycra launched what it terms a new industry standard in denim at the event, Lycra lastingFit. Using its T400 fiber, Lycra lastingFit is said to give a minimum of 15 percent stretch and a maximum of 3 percent growth. This represents the ideal denim fit, according to research commissioned by Invista conducted with female consumers in the U.S., Italy, Germany and China. A Lycra lastingFit trade media campaign in print and online banner format will roll out this month in Europe and the U.S., followed by Asia later this year.
Jeanologia, a denim research and development center based in Valencia, Spain, presented its Truth & Light concept, involving an enhanced laser technology developed to mimic the effects of wear and tear, and dry processing effects on denim using light energy. Using a scanned photo of a pair of old jeans, the laser burns out pigment on denim to replicate details such as whiskers on the thighs or the outline of a wallet around the pocket.
Enrique Silla, Jeanologia’s president, said the tool is set to bring the vintage craze to another level.
“Even more than vintage, the future of the jeans market is clones of real garments,” he said.
Around 8 percent of global high-end denim producers use the technology, according to Silla, who estimates this will grow to around 20 percent over the next three years.
“They’re using it for certain lines, but quite massively already,” he said of factories supplying the likes of Abercrombie & Fitch, Levi’s, Diesel and American Eagle Outfitters.
A laser capable of treating around 3,000 pairs of jeans daily costs around $200,000 he said. It takes around 90 seconds for a laser to complete one pair of jeans.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty