Denim by PV, the trade show dedicated to denim and jeanswear specialists, was held once again at Les Docks in Paris. The summer edition, which ran from Jun. 3-4, offered new trends for the F/W 2010/2011 season and welcomed various insiders from the jeanswear industry, including significant personalities such as Adriano Goldschmied, Piero Turk and design teams from international brands including Guess, No.Li.Ta. and Rare.

There were several drawbacks. On the one hand, too much space seemed to be given to laundries and garment manufacturers, which in all could have been more effective had the show hosted more international denim producers. And the market continued to show little sign of improvement (according to some insiders, denim manufacturers are losing sales down to 50%). On the other hand, insiders were also optimistic and expected a general turnaround beginning in September 2009.

Many of this season’s innovations had the environment in mind. Tavex presented a new finish, Alsoft® Amazontex by Tavex, a sustainable softening finish obtained through an Amazon fruit, while Jeanologia, the Spanish developer of new finishing technologies, offered a series of new environmentally-friendly techniques that could age garments with lasers and without the use of chemicals. It also debuted a special technology that recreates the effect of sea water and sun aging effects.

The company also presented within the trade show “Truth & Light,” an exhibition of vintage jean garments presented together with new ones, yet treated with aging techniques. The difference between vintage and “new” was quite surprising since one could be easily substituted for the other.

Invista presented a new Lycra Lasting Fit offer of fabrics, a series of denims made with T400 Lycra fibers that guarantee higher resistance to hard treatments and maintain their shape even after repeated wear.

Lycra’s Marco Lucietti, explained: “We noticed that in recent times, despite the difficult moment, Invista registered a double-digit increase in sales thanks to T400. For this we decided to create a commercial name that this fiber was missing. And actually, after a series of studies we discovered that customers, especially women, are ready to spend more (about €7-9) if that can guarantee them garments that maintain their shape and last longer.”

Denim by PV also got a preview of Okinawa and TRC’s newest initiative. Okinawa and TRC, a denim specialist which usually does not participate in trade shows, is teaming up with Bread & butter. Visitors can soon order a made-to-measure, limited edition personalized jean, made with TRC’s newest selvage denim range, Okinawa labels, Fixo buttons and MIC yarns. The special edition jeans, designed by Adriano Goldschmied, will be sold at about €60, with proceeds going to the charity, Medici Senza Frontiere. At the same time, Okinawa presented its Jacroki material that looks and can be treated like leather, though it is made from cellulose fibers.

According to some companies, it is time to focus on high-end products rather than more commercial ones. As Alberto Candiani, Global Manager TRC, said, “We are starting to offer a series of ring-ring selvage denims because we believe it is time to raise one’s offer rather than targeting lower-end markets. And one can only do it with very exclusive products.”

Thomas Disslich, CEO Vicunha, disagreed. “In the last several years there has been an exaggeration of the luxury craze. “People want to go back to more normal things. For instance, one can approach the environment by offering recycled cotton products,” he said. “This way we offer an environmentally-friendly product that doesn’t cost too much. We have to serve more different markets wth different products.”

—Maria Cristina Pavarini