The Dutch indigo blue capital has hosted another successful edition of Kingpins Amsterdam at the Gaswestergasfabriek venue on April 13 and 14, 2016. Since the early morning hours the show was crowded by denim and jeanswear insiders from all over the world. And the number of visitors attending remained constant throughout the whole first day. Also good was the presence of visitors on the second day and the positive mood prevailing at the show with over 40 denim and fiber manufacturers exhibiting.

Also positive was the debut for the newborn Why By Kingpins Show hosting 25 companies focused on branding and also including label, trimming and garment manufacturers in addition to other experts and insiders, all specialized in promoting the strong focus on brand identity among jeans makers..

Kingpins' exhibition space at the Gaswestergasfabriek venue
Kingpins' exhibition space at the Gaswestergasfabriek venue


Talking about denim
A series of talks and seminars focused on new products or featuring various experts and industry insiders was offered throughout the two days of the event. Especially interesting was the talk held on April 14 in conjunction with Why. The seminar entitled “Branding 101 – Past, Present and Future Branding”, hosted by Nickj Williams, graphic designer and owner of 4th Avenue, was moderated by Kris Dumon of Why. It emphasized the importance of differentiating jeans and brand by using distinguishing elements such as logos, leather patches, hang tags, flags and other trimmings and detailing as a means based on which getting customers’ attention while gaining their loyalty. It showed how branding has changed from the past until today and how it could evolve into the future.

Why by Kingpins show debut
Why by Kingpins show debut


Authentic and open are back
Among major trends evident for fall/winter 2017/2018 was a return to authentic denim, vintage looks and the comeback of open-end yarns and optics. Other companies also focusing on these trends are Tavex, Orta, Berto and ITV.

Irregular surface denims are hot as presented by Tavex, with a series of nappy denims and ITV, focusing on a micro bouclé denim – either in blue hues or more workwear-inspired duckbill orange. A special chenille denim by ITV is also cool.

Heavyweights are another must some manufacturers increasingly believe in. Berto – as part of their Blue Selvedge most authentic selection selvedge denim offer – has launched a series of 15 oz 80 cm-wide selvedge denims. ITV also launched their 15 oz. “lighter” denim that, once they are washed, have a soft feel and lighter consistency than a usual fabric of this weight.

Orta Anadolu at Kingpins Amsterdam
Orta Anadolu at Kingpins Amsterdam


Knit effects and functionality are must-haves
Knitted effect denims continue to be hot as microdesigns and microstructures denims – as presented by Bossa, Berto and ITV. Calik also developed a highly stretchable honeycomb denim whose reverse side of the fabric acts as a kind of micromassage on the skin.

Various denim manufacturers presented new uses for the Emana fiber. Orta opted for 24/7. Thanks to how it interacts with the wearer, this fabric absorbs body heat and returns it in the form of long infrared rays. These rays can help blood circulation and help fight cellulitis. Canatiba also offers denim made with Emana fiber that is enhanced by very soft-to-the-touch quality. They are also testing new denims made with the same fiber, though aimed at men and supporting their muscle power.

Open-end denim by Berto Industria Tessile
Open-end denim by Berto Industria Tessile


Cuddling and warming effects are the new cool.
Bossa launched its new Cuddle Concept, a new group of fabrics made with cotton and Miyabi, a special man-made Japanese microfiber. This fiber is finer than cashmere and has exceptional softness, lightness and warming characteristics. Berto launched an entire selection of denims that employ up to 65% wool for very smart looks and warming denim. Invista also launched two new warming technology (see also ….)

Bossa shirts at Kingpins Amsterdam
Bossa shirts at Kingpins Amsterdam


Sustainable looks
Royo focused on a series of sustainable fabrics. Some of them made with cotton and wool, others with hemp, which they consider the wool of tomorrow and a fiber with a far smaller environmental footprint. Various fabrics made with organic and recycled cotton are also part of their new project.

Another new development is a project promoted by Archroma. The goal of the project is to start producing denim according to more environmentally friendly criteria. Archroma and other partners such as Lenzing, Royo and Garmon launched their “Roadmap to rational denim” project. This new project  strives to produce denim garments according to more sustainable criteria, such as reducing water and energy consumption as well as cutting back production waste and other parameters.

Jacket by Tejidos Royo at Kingpins Amsterdam
Jacket by Tejidos Royo at Kingpins Amsterdam


Stretching beyond the limit
Stretch denims continue to play an important part for many manufacturers. Calik launched their Curve denim. Thanks to their new technology they can help obtain push-up effects while enhancing the silhouette and making the wearer look more slender.

Candiani has introduced the use of elastic fibers rather than in the weft in the warp with the aim of better supporting jeans’ stress areas such as the knees, waist and and around the bottom. They also developed a Shaper finishing technique that – when added to fabrics with stretch warp and weft – can help create maximum adherence of the fabric to the body and allow maximum freedom while ensuring overall shrinking stays below 5%.

Candiani stretch denim
Candiani stretch denim


A non-book for denim lovers
During Kingpins the garment finishing technology expert Tonello marked its 65th anniversary by presenting a non-book publication "From Here to There – Denim in Motion". Curated by longtime denim market veteran Piero Turk, the book traces the history of denim from its origins until today while considering its future development. The publication presents photographs by the author, a novel by writer Giorgio Falco, some ironic graphic portrait sketches by illustrator Marco Zanta of company shareholders and members of the Tonello family as well as of Adriano Goldschmied, Piero Turk, Mariette Hoitink (HTNK), Maria Cristina Pavarini (Sportswear International), Koizumi Sumio (Edwin Co.), Bart Sights (Levi Strauss & Co.) and Andrew Olah (Olah Inc.) and their own vision of key aspects within the denim market.

'From Here to There – Denim in Motion' publication visuals by Tonello
'From Here to There – Denim in Motion' publication visuals by Tonello