The denim bubble might have burst in 2006, particularly in the women's market, according to a report from research firm the NPD Group.
U.S. jeans sales by dollar volume rose 3.4 percent in 2006, and unit sales increased 3.9 percent, according to NPD, based in Port Washington, N.Y. The results showed a significant slowdown from the double-digit gains reported in 2005 and were driven by growth in the men's market.
Examining sales by market segment revealed troubling data in women's jeans. For the first time in five years, sales of women's jeans were down in 2006, falling 1.8 percent in dollar volume and 2.3 percent in units. Men's jeans posted a 5.4 percent growth rate in dollar volume.
The women's market serves as an early warning sign of where the overall market is headed, said Marshal Cohen, NPD's chief industry analyst.
"As goes the women business, so goes the denim market," said Cohen, noting that female shoppers not only tend to purchase more items, but also influence when items will be bought for men and children. "The women's market is a clear indicator of what is likely to happen in other segments."
Cohen said the data was more troubling, given that the population of single women over the age of 18 has grown. The spending of that demographic, however, has not increased in step.
Handbags and footwear have been the beneficiaries of denim's decline and have become what Cohen described as "signature items" on which women are willing to spend more money.
Cohen expects a cutback in denim to begin in the next couple of months, as retailers make heavy markdowns on the category in July to get rid of inventory.
"Those [retailers] that are diversified to deemphasize denim are the ones that are going to fair the best," said Cohen. "A lot of stores that really don't belong in the denim business will finally get out of it."
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)