Customization, embroidery and nostalgia were the top trends for fall at the first New York Denim Days. The festival was a two-day shopping event held at New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion on Saturday and Sunday and included a one-day street bazaar offering food, art, entertainment and selfie stations.
The festival offered interactive displays, indigo dyeing stations, book signings and new products from denim brands and mills, such as Calik, Lenzing’s pop-up shop “Carved in Blue” and a 3×1 and Cone Mills collaboration. Brands showcased their collections — which are available in stores — to give consumers and “denim heads” alike a taste of the season’s distressed denim looks, Seventies-style T-shirts, painted saddle bags and embroidered jeans and jackets. Heritage denim brand Wrangler presented its 70th anniversary and Peter Max collections, which perhaps best encapsulate the festival’s prevailing nostalgic, retro trend: Think of colorful rainbow and cartoon graphic Ts, vibrantly colored pockets and original Seventies-style typography from Wrangler’s original art in that era. The brand describes it as a “wearable art” collection.
“Really what we’re seeing is a lot of nostalgia coming back and a lot of love for these iconic brands,” Jamie Fason, the category leader for female merchandising at Wrangler, told WWD. “There’s really this whole feeling around reinvention and I think it’s what everyone has been talking about in the industry. We’ve been in the cycle of the skinny jean and everything was about the skinny jean and while that’s still a very important fit in the market, we love seeing that other iconic denim brands are digging in their archives and pulling things out and kind of reinventing it. So we are kind of in this period of reinvention, which is really exciting.”
And personalization is key, as consumers’ demonstrated interest in custom looks has influenced denim brands to allow shoppers to get creative. Adriano Goldschmied, the “godfather of denim” and originator of premium denim, told WWD, “The good thing about denim, bottom line, is that it’s a white canvas for an artist.” Goldschmied continued, “Denim has been changing all the time into something different and that’s why denim has such a long life.” He added, “It has always represented the aspirations of the people.”
Tricia Carey, the Lenzing business development director for denim in New York, told WWD, “New York Denim Days was an incredible weekend bridging trade and consumers. I was so impressed at the range of consumers who wanted to learn about the denim industry and hear our stories. The event far exceeded my expectations and we look forward to the next edition.”
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