PARIS — Anxiety over southern Europe’s fragile economy was balanced with excitement over green innovations in denim dyeing and the fashion potential of ethnic motifs at last month’s Denim by Première Vision market here.
The two-day fair, held at La Halle Freyssinet, provided a strong platform for advances on the environmental front, including dyes that use less water and chemicals. At the same time, Arabic and Native American motifs drew interest from buyers looking for the latest fashion looks.
Italy’s Industria Tessile del Vomano is producing a new line of denim fabrics using wine rather than synthetic indigo, thanks to a patent it acquired from Ecoyaa, a Korean company specializing in natural dyeing techniques. The fabric samples presented at the fair were made with fiber producer Invista and used locally produced wine, explained ITV vice president Paolo Gnutti, emphasizing that the manufacturing process is environmentally friendly.
After launching its material made from recycled beer bottles, U.S.-based Cone Denim highlighted its new product made from reprocessed food trays. “Our ‘food-tray black’ is a nice, dark pastel indigo, with a recycled aspect to it,” said Kara Nicholas, Cone Denim’s vice president of new product and marketing. RELATED STORY: The Long Reach of Sustainability >>
Levi Strauss & Co.’s Levi’s brand, which had previously incorporated water-saving technology into its Water<Less program, is now using recycled bottles and food trays in a line of men’s and women’s denim, called the Waste<Less collection, set to hit stores in January.
Italian Tessitura de Robecchetto Candiani SpA presented N-Denim, a fabric using a sustainable nitrogen-dyeing denim technique, which delays the oxidation process and accelerates the penetration of indigo into yarns. The system also allows for a savings of up to 33 percent in water consumption and the avoidance of hydrosulfites and fixation agent usage, according to the company.
This novelty could help spur company growth. Gianluigi Candiani, president of the company, forecast Tessitura de Robecchetto Candiani will register a 25 percent sales gain in 2013 against this year’s estimated revenues of 110 million euros, or $143.9 million at current exchange.
“We mainly sell to Northern Europe and America, so we aren’t very much affected by the economy in Italy and Spain,” he said.
Other finishes garnered attention at the trade show, as well.
Mango buyer Javier Casado said he saw interesting new ideas, such as a resin coating that imitated leather and Modal fiber interpretations providing soft looks. Among what Casado was after for summer 2014 were “satin and more satin-construction fabrics, light denim shirts and superslim silhouettes contrasting with very fluid shapes.”
Première Vision’s fashion director, Pascaline Wilhelm, noted a trend in Arabic Mashrabiya motifs, such as those shown by Pakistan’s Artistic Denim Mills, inspired by interlaced wooden screen work.
As for ethnic influences, French brother-designers Hervé and Steeve Chiche said they were seeing jeans beaded with Native American motifs.
“I think Isabel Marant’s work with these types of Inca or Aztec motifs has an impact. She is a true reference,” said Hervé Chiche. “Her take on denim as a designer gives a new momentum to the market.”
He noted, “For women, it is all about very light fabrics. We make trousers that have a loose fit with shirts fabrics. We have been doing it for a while, but we are starting to see a very big interest from our clients.”
Kenny Kelly of Jack Wills, the British clothing and accessories brand targeting university-age students, concurred, saying he was looking for chambrés and very light fabrics.
Adriano Goldschmied, who is a partner at Citizens of Humanity and founded the GoldSign label, said the premium market is doing well in Europe and America, with celebrities having a distinct impact on the market.
“For instance, when Pippa Middleton wears our jeans, we see sales picking up the same day,” said Goldschmied, adding the European market is strategic for his company. “You have to have a presence there to be successful globally.”
To get to the customer at any level today, fresh ideas are a must. “If you bring innovation, you create your own market,” said Goldschmied.
“Whatever is new in the denim industry is a good thing — no matter if you dye with wine or snake blood,” commented Fredrik Folkesson, product manager at Tiger of Sweden, who was walking the show.
Organizers said Denim by Première Vision’s attendance was up 5 percent to 2,676 versus the November 2011 session. This included an 8 percent rise in Northern European visitors and a 20 percent increase in guests from the Netherlands. The number stemming from the U.S. was stable, according to trade show organizers.
Première Vision chief executive officer Philippe Pasquet said although the European denim market is facing challenges, the show maintained a sizable number of visitors from southern Europe and the main American players made the trip.
“Business is picking up in America,” he said.
The next Parisian edition of Denim by Première Vision is to be held May 22 and 23.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye