Nothing less important than “The Future of Denim“ was the topic of a panel discussion that took place yesterday at Pitti Uomo hosted by denim producer Isko who for the first time presents itself at the renowned trade show in Florence.

Staged at Isko’s booth a handful of denim experts gathered for the panel including legendary denim designer François Girbaud, Isko’s Global Marketing Director Marco Lucietti, Avery Dennison’s Global Head of Sustainable Branding Solutions Philipp Skal, Antony Morato’s president and creative director Lello Caldarelli and Vogue Italia’s Senior Editor and head of Vogue Talents Sara Maino.

They all answered some fundamental questions asked by presenter Maria Cristina Pavarini, SPORTSWEAR INTERNATIONAL’s Senior Editor.

Here are some of the key statements that mirror the complexity in which the denim segment finds itself currently torn between exploring new technologies and segments, yet including sustainable aspects.


Maria Cristina Pavarini/senior editor Sportswear International; François Girbaud/denim designer; Sara Maino/Vogue Italia’s senior editor and head of Vogue Talents; Lello Caldarelli/Antony Morato’s president and creative director; Marco Lucietti/Isko’s global marketing director; Philipp Skal/Avery Dennison’s global head of sustainable branding solutions.
© SI Team
Maria Cristina Pavarini/senior editor Sportswear International; François Girbaud/denim designer; Sara Maino/Vogue Italia’s senior editor and head of Vogue Talents; Lello Caldarelli/Antony Morato’s president and creative director; Marco Lucietti/Isko’s global marketing director; Philipp Skal/Avery Dennison’s global head of sustainable branding solutions.


François Girbaud, denim guru:

“It’s always the same. Everybody says there are new fresh denim designers, but I don’t see anyone. There are simply no fresh ideas coming-mainly when it comes to production ideas. The best designer actually was Fukoshima (the catastrophe happening at Fukoshima’s power station, the editors) because this made people stop and think what they do with the environment.

It’s the same with the water waste. We all know that we need to save water NOW, but still denim production goes on the same way as it has before-even though the machines are ready to produce in ways that would not harm the environment. No one wants to change anything. Instead people always want to know what we did in the past. But it would be much more important to look at the present and the future, to adopt to what people’s lifes look like today and tomorrow.“


Sara Maino, Vogue Italia:

“I deal a lot with young designers and I see that this new generation loses the concept and the feeling for materials and craftsmanship. That also affects the denim world, of course. It’s important to give them inspiration to do better, because the market is ready for new products. Society is changing which means also denim has to change. But everyone is copying today. The memory of fashion is really short-term and designers quickly forget that everything had been there already.“


Lello Caldarelli, Antony Morato:

“The approach for our collections was always not denim itself but denim as part of an outfit, as part of the whole collection. It’s about using denim in new ways, finding combinations of a look that you have not seen before, for example how to wear denim as an evening outfit, how to wear it with classical menswear. In that sense for me the question is all about the mix, it’s all a question of styling.“


Marco Lucietti, Isko:

“When it comes to consumer relevant innovations it’s about three things: 1. Responsible innovation – the term ’sustainability’ is outdated, but of course it is important to consider environmental matters. 2. Wearable technologies because these will change the whole game, and 3. Exploring new obligations for denim itself, which means to shape different new roles of denim, for example its role for sportswear, its role for classic apparel or its role for wool.
As someone who is responsible for selling a product in the end I must say that it’s hard to find new talent in that respect. There is not enough sense for creating something innovative that is also wearable and sellable.“


Philipp Skal, Avery Dennison:

“Denim for me is fun – it works just like music. Just like in music also with denim it’s all about the right mix. We need to find a new mix. And I know there are innovations. I always see it happening when my R&D people come and tell me that something ’is impossible’ to be produced. Then I know there is still a future.
In general, we need to realize that it’s only the fast fashion chains that sell big volumes today. It’s hard for a brand to produce something that is innovative and sells in bigger volumes at the same time.“