BERLIN — Judging by the stands at this month’s German jeans shows, the high-end denim trend is going strong.
Vendors at the Bread & Butter and Premium events showed upgraded fashion assortments for the spring-summer 2005 season, offering women a wider range of silhouettes and creative takes on next season’s vintage finishing and detailing. The shows closed July 18.
Price appears to be no object, manufacturers claimed, with consumers showing little resistance to retail prices of 100 to 200 euros — roughly $120 to $240 at current exchange rates. Levi Strauss & Co. upped the ante, offering a denim collection, limited to 501 pieces, that will retail here for 501 euros — in excess of $600. The pieces in the collection are based on a pair of 501 jeans from 1886 featuring four pockets instead of five — two main front pockets, a small watch pocket and one rear hip pocket — no belt loops and a back cinch.
Reinhard Haase, manager of the Düsseldorf Unifa Agency, which serves as sales representative for 18 American brands — including Seven for All Mankind, Von Dutch, Chip & Pepper, C&C California, Rock & Republic and Juicy Couture — suggested the boom has continued because jeans remain a practical fashion choice.
“If you walk through the streets, you’ll see nine out of 10 women wearing jeans. It’s just the way it is,” he said at Bread & Butter, where his firm exhibited. “Denim is booming on all sides and the show has been busy for us across the board.”
He said his aim is to turn cult brands like Seven for All Mankind into a fashion commodity selling for the local equivalent of $240 in Germany. A further priority is to get stock levels to the point where customers can get their reorders within 48 hours.
“Premium isn’t slowing down,” said Tim Wheeler, president of VF Europe, referring to the price point. “The 100 to 150 euro area seems particularly strong right now, but it is getting competitive. There are new brands coming up every day.”
In addition to building up its premium line Earl Jean — acquired by VF as part of its August 2003 purchase of Nautica Enterprises — he said the firm “will look at other premium brands for sure, as well as potential internal developments.”
Hermès is launching a Laundromat pop-up shop in NYC - dubbed Hermèsmatic - where customers can bring their old scarves to be dip-dyed by an expert. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @donstahl)