Young consumers here are turning their backs on heavily embellished, distressed and boot-cut denim in favor of a clean, straight-leg look, with the more adventurous taking on the ultraskinny, drainpipe leg.
LONDON — Young consumers here are turning their backs on heavily embellished, distressed and boot-cut denim in favor of a clean, straight-leg look, with the more adventurous taking on the ultraskinny, drainpipe leg.
"We're seeing a move away from the boot cut," said Hayley Wiltshire, casualwear buyer at Selfridges, which carries labels such as Sass & Bide, James Jeans and Earnest Sewn. "There will always be a customer who's loyal to boot cut, as it suits a fuller figure, but we have definitely seen a dip in sales [in boot-cut styles], whereas Sass & Bide's Frayed Misfit jeans [a tight, skinny-leg jean] just fly out of the store."
Brix Smith-Start, owner and buyer at Start, a women's and men's wear boutique in London's Shoreditch area, which carries labels such as Rag & Bone and Superfine, as well as offering a denim fitting and alteration service, agreed. "In terms of trends, that flared boot-cut leg is over," said Smith-Start. "However, some customers can't get their head around the skinny and straight leg, as they feel pear-shaped, but if they balance out the silhouette with a voluminous tunic top, then it is an easier cut to wear."
Smith-Start credits the now-controversial Kate Moss, whose wardrobe is a weekly feature in U.K. celebrity magazines, with single-handedly pioneering the skinny-leg trend among young consumers. "[Moss] has fantastic personal style. Girls just copied her," said Smith-Start. "She is so important to the industry. The power of that girl wearing something is phenomenal."
An informal survey of students around Kings College, London, bore this out. While boot-cut jeans are clearly not over for all, their figures were dwarfed by the number of young women in straight-leg and drainpipe jeans, from brands such as Topshop, Miss Sixty and Levi's, in simple washes that ran from pale faded blues to very black and dark blue.
While younger mass fashion brands such as Topshop and H&M have recently brought out versions of straight-leg and drainpipe jeans, which retail at around $70 at Topshop and $53 at H&M, buyers report there is no resistance among young consumers to the premium denim versions. Newer denim brands, such as Sass & Bide, U.K. brand Superfine (reportedly Moss' favorite) and Swedish brand Acne are popular among young women, and retail for between $230 and $240.
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)