By  on March 16, 2009

Denim has been an oasis of strenghth in the current retail downturn. Here, form trade shows in New York and Las Vegas, are seven key men's trends set to take off this fall.

“The jean jacket has been a staple in fashion for decades, and every man and woman should have a good denim jacket to call their own,” says Brice Partouche, founder and designer of the überhip Parisian brand April 77. While it’s hard to beat a vintage Levi’s or Wrangler model, Partouche has tweaked his version with enough innovative details to make his stand out from the pack. The style shown here is fashioned from Japanese red selvedge denim, infused with 2 percent stretch to allow for a little flexibility in the slimmed-down fit. The denim-heavy April 77 brand was founded in 2001, and has made its way into top specialty retailers like Barneys New York, Seattle’s Blackbird and Los Angeles’ American Rag. April 77’s cotton jacket.

After several seasons of clean denim dominating trend headlines, vintage washes have returned in a big way for fall. Not only have some consumers tired of the plain raw look, the heavier denims used in fall collections tend to be more suitable for intense treatments. “At Prps, distressed denim has always been a signature of our brand identity. Heavily destroyed denim and washed jeans are tried and true and never get outdated,” says Donwan Harrell, founder and designer of the New York-based brand. His “Barracuda” jean, shown here, is an updated version of a 1940’s Levi’s painter pant. “It’s enzyme washed and stone washed, with an irregular tight slub and hand bleaching and distressing,” explains Harrell, an expert on vintage washes and treatments. “It also has a hidden applied patch with repaired single-needle stitch. The great thing about this piece is the snag ripping effect instead of the standard fray, and the hint of paint splatter.”

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