PARIS — Nods to the Seventies — high waists, flared legs, boot cuts and plush fabrics — headline the news in European denim for fall.
This story first appeared in the June 22, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD touched base with a range of brands and retailers to divine what’s in store.
Alice Feillard, women’s wear buyer at Le Bon Marché, Paris:
Fall Trends: “Seventies denim pants with a high waist, but also the jegging in different textures (denim and leather); velvet pants, in both boot cut and slim shapes, with colors (burgundy, rust, emerald, navy).”
Denim Brands in Store: Notify, J Brand, Citizen, Seven For All Mankind, Current/Elliott, Levi’s, Acne.
Price Resistance: “Women want the perfect fit with the perfect cut and they are willing to invest a decent amount of money if it is the right one.”
New Labels: “We will carry C.r.a.f.t this winter, the biker jeans worn by Kate Moss.”
Franck Frémont, director of the buyer’s department for Citadium, Paris:
Fall Trends: “For women, a skinny silhouette. Washed, black and rinsed jeans, but not too destroyed. A return to flared jeans — every brand seems to have this trend. For men, regular slim fit, strong rinses, more destroyed finishes: A return to authentic denim. Also, there has been a development in jeans under 100 euros [$148 at current exchange] for a basic model, while certain brands are limiting prices to 150 euros [$222].”
Denim Brands in Store: “The store was remodeled last September. The denim space moved to the ground floor and clients generally go straight to our denim space. We’ve seen an increase in female customers entering the store.”
New Labels: Denham, the Dutch jeans maker, and more models from Levi’s Vintage Clothing and Lee Women.
Pascale Camart, head of women’s buying, Galeries Lafayette:
Fall Trends: “Skinny and straight fit have become the new standard. Boot cut is back in grace and the flared jean is coming back. Those two last fits tend to be favored due to their flattering effect. The boyfriend and sarouel trend is considerably slowing down. The most popular washes remain dark-rinse and all shades of black in waxed, satin, matt and glossy finishes. Seventies-style velvet and corduroy are making a breakthrough.”
Most Popular Brands: “In 2010, the ranking in jeans sales was the following: Levi’s, Pepe Jeans, Avant Première [Galeries Lafayette’s private label], Le Temps des Cerises and Guess. The leader is by far Levi’s. With its Curve ID, Levi’s tends to offer to each woman the jeans that suit her body type perfectly well. Our private label Avant Première has seen great success. Even though it’s not a specialized denim brand, it is number three in terms of jeans sales among denim brands. With a good price point and high quality, Avant Première jeans sales are getting bigger and bigger in our shops.”
New Labels: “The Bottom Up collection from Liu Jo brings novelty and glamour. One Green Elephant, for the color diversity and good price point.”
Known For: Founded by Jean Touitou in 1987, this French brand prides itself on simple, understated jeanswear.
New Stores: Boutiques are slated to open in Paris, Japan and Beijing and one on West 4th Street in New York for the fall.
Fall Trends: Vibrant navy and red.
From the Designer: “Being sexy with supposedly unsexy clothes is a fashion achievement to me,” said Touitou. “It does take talent to do it and a whole lot of work, too.”
Known For: Rock-inspired, vintage-look denim, created by Brice Partouche.
Collaborations: French folk-rock band Herman Dune inspired the fall collection of indie-rock jeans.
Fall Trends: Black denim. The focus is more on raw and faded indigo rinses and less on blue washings.
From the Designer: “The European and U.S. markets are globalizing and we see the trend for blue denim, raw, vintage and rock jeans coexisting,” said Partouche.
Known For: Skinny jeans.
New Stores: The Notify Atelier in Milan will open this month and its Paris shop will open in early fall. The Notify Atelier is a store with a made-to-measure service. Ron Arad designed the Milan unit while Zaha Hadid conceived the design for the Paris site.
Fall Trends: Boot-cut, flared and high-waist styles alongside new updated skinny jeans with fabrics including corduroy and sateen cotton.
From the Designer: “Every season [offers] the exciting challenge of seeking to transcend denim trends, experimenting with new washes, treatments and techniques,” said Maurice Ohayon. “Savoir faire and experimentation is what the denim market is now looking for.”
Known For: Urban jeanswear for men and women and seductive advertising posters with sports stars like Chelsea soccer player Didier Drogba or French rugby player Frédéric Michalak.
Fall Trends: Military themes inspired by the film “Platoon,” from the palette to the design. Rock ’n’ roll themes from the late Sixties in the spirit of “Easy Rider.”
Positioning: Part of the continued success and positioning is the quality and price making the jeans both fashionable and accessible. Retail prices start at 69 euros, or $102.
Marithe + François Girbaud
Known For: Inventing the stonewashed jean and the baggy.
Fall Trends: To push more denim that is not being treated with chemicals but produced using an ozone and laser method. Using more Wattwash denim. The Wattwash treatment is aimed at replacing traditional methods of stonewashing denim and conserving water.
From the Designer: “With new methods and innovations, we can conserve water and chemicals from being used in jeans,” said François Girbaud.