29 May. 2012


The 10th edition of Denim by PV took place in Paris last week at the Halle Freyssinet on May 23-24. Despite the negative economic climate in Europe, halls were crowded and the show's atmosphere was lively. According to participants' first impressions, affluence was higher among European and Asian visitors and exhibitors than at last year's event. For example, among those in attendance was Metersbonwe's VP Xu Weidong; the Chinese vertical apparel chain boasts 9,000 stores in China, sells 20 million denim pieces per year and has a €1.4 billion annual turnover rate. 

Still, it's no secret that denim is currently facing a negative sales moment due to the fact that most jeans and sportswear companies have turned their focus to colored denims and ready-to-dye products as well as generally slower consumption rates. According to many insiders, however, recovery might start soon, thanks in part to renewed attention and greater technical advancement in eco-friendly products, new eco-minded vintage treatments and better recovery stretch denims. 

Added value products have become an absolute must - especially for jeanswear. Cindy McNaull, Global Marketing Director of Cordura, commented,“We think that purchase trends are moving toward higher-value products that can last longer and satisfy the consumer with their high-performance qualities.”The presence of Tencel, which was at the show for the first time this year, also confirmed this trend.“Out of the 83 exhibitors at Denim by PV, 20 have employed Tencel in their collections," reported the company.“We decided to participate because Tencel has become a number one complement fiber in jeanswear."

Different kinds of innovation continue to characterize the fall/winter 2013/2014 trends. Cone Denim, for instance, presented a new denim made with fibers of recycled food trays. Tavex opted for a special multi-directional stretch denim that was displayed by a live classical ballerina, showing how the tri-blend stretch fiber made with Lycra dualFIX technology conforms to the any bodily movement. Orta, meanwhile, presented a series of eco-friendly Alchemy denim items reinvented by The Vintage Showroom, a talented US brand inspired by a punk-eco-ethnic mood. 

Triblend by Tavex
Triblend by Tavex
Many denim companies riffed on the show's guiding theme - glam revival - by offering a series of glittery materials and shiny effect denims. Orta had two sophisticated white-coated denims, one in mother-of-pearl and the other in a soft, sparkly sequin-effect. Isko developed a special treatment on greige fabrics that, when printed, allow for an invisible pattern to appear on the surface of the fabric. Bossa presented a series of coated denims that react to ironing, washing or scratching while various laser print effects were shown by Lycra as well as by Artistic Milliners, who also offered colorful surfaces printed with micro-dots. 

Much attention was also given to jersey-meets-denim materials. Isko presented the second edition of its Future Face of Indigo fabrics, which resemble sweatshirt material and are now available in a ready-to-dye version, perfect for comfy and cool jackets and dresses. TRC presented a special material that is a cross-over between denim and cavalry twill; even though it's woven, it's as elastic as jersey and can lend itself to most different color interpretations and images, appearing as velvet, satin or denim depending on the finish and color employed. 

Stretch continued to garner much focus. Isko in particuar was the protagonist of a press conference where marketing manager Marco Lucietti presented the company's collaborations with Lycra Invista, Hudson, Haikure and a newborn capsule collection with Fornarina (see our news from May 22) and their unique approach to stretch, femininity and comfort. Isko also presented a series of innovations including a special new stretch fabric that has almost 100% elasticity while guaranteeing very good recall (8%) and resistance to use. Denims with neps as well as cotton-wool and cotton-cashmere mixes completed the offer. 

Finally, Tejidos Royo and Denim Valley by Tejidos Royo unveiled a set of experiments that have led them in different directions such as special coatings reminiscent of true aged leather. Denim Valley (apart from its Biker Denim, which offers functionality and protection) developed De Creu, a special series of denims that carry jacquard geometric surface effects such as woven white dots, small lines and 3-D motifs that look like Japanese indigo fabrics. Also new were the Tweeder fabrics, a family of denims carrying visible neps that, while very much like tweed and wool fabrics, added a new character and identity to the materials. 

Earthy colors like terracotta, rust and browns were presented by different companies along with Vicunha's special denim, which featured a blue exterior and colorful interior in various hues including yellow and red. Furthermore, weight generally increased for most manufacturers; both women's and men's products went up to 10 oz. and 13 and 13.5 oz., respectively. These are natural consequences as new product development is pushing more than ever to astonish the industry and hopefully the consumer as well.
Maria Cristina Pavarini

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