Don’t count out the premium denim market yet, nor the jeans pyramid below it.

In late January, Paper Denim & Cloth announced plans to reposition the brand at a lower price point, reigniting debate over the future of the premium denim market. As the first quarter of the year approaches, signs of a shakeout of the crowded premium denim market have yet to appear and several are doing more than just surviving.

“While we have seen a disconnect between fashion and reality in terms of color, we have also seen the pundits who have called for the death of premium denim so far proven wrong in 2006,” said Eric Beder, a retail analyst with Brean Murray Carret & Co., in a research report issued Monday following a mall tour.

“We have seen no slowdown in denim, just a shift to less aggressive washes and tearing.”

For complete coverage, see tomorrow’s WWD.

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