On the second day of Denim Premiere Vision, on 27 April, the Denim Masterclasses held as part of a collaboration between Denim Premiere Vision and Sportswear International Magazine, hosted Stefano Aldighieri, founder of Another Design Studio, based in Los Angeles, USA, on the topic “Tomorrow’s trends”. Aldighieri is an expert denim insider who is now consulting for the Indian mill Arvind and in the past collaborated, among others, for Levi’s, 7 For All Mankind and Hudson.
Here we sum up some of his key statements:
“Many trend specialists often speak on stage in front of people, present cool images and list the 24 trends we can all start working with. Sorry, I’m not that kind of person.”
“According to Canadian economist John Kenneth Gallbraith, there are two kinds of forecasters - those who don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know. I think I belong to the first group.”
“If in the past one attended some of the key fashion shows (Gucci, Saint Laurent and similar ones) and saw a few more collections such as Diesel, Replay, and another few ones, a few months after those trends would have characterized products that are sold in stores. Now the dynamics have changed and everything is completely upside down.”
“We are looking at fabrics that are supposed to be in stores for f/w 2018, but thinking that we may predict what will be cool in 18 months is not possible as I don’t have a crystal ball and not even those in the business have it.”
“Questions like ‘What are the key denim trends?’ or ‘What are the most important fits?’ and ‘Will skinny remain?’ are very legitimate questions but what are the answers? Things have dramatically changed in the last years and cannot go back to plannable seasonal trends. Today if Kim Kardashian decides to go out wearing a pair of pink pants billions of people and friends on the internet will think that is the trend and will run to the stores and buy them. Companies cannot produce huge amounts of pink trousers because by the time they are ready and arrive in stores they will be out. So trends in the old way we thought of are finished. We have to look at reality in a different way.”
“There are today also trend forecasting companies, but as every insider is accessing the same sources and if they say, for instance, the next trend will be orange velvet, everyone will be offering the same odd stuff. But that’s not what we need. If I see in a shop window of a fast fashion chain of stores selling trousers which look great but that can only be worn by two girls on the whole planet - that is also not right.”
“I prefer to speak about micro-trends – which last for a very short time - and macro-trends that last longer for at least about some more months. And these are the things affecting our lives much more. There are many facts affecting our lives. For instance, this craze for the super new products is over. We see it in music, for instance. They said: ‘Vinyl is dead’ when CDs and MP3 came out, but now they are producing them again. Same with digital photography: people are getting back to shooting with film as they discover the beauty in it. Vintage cars and vintage motorcycles are back once more. The whole world around us is changing and the signal that is getting strong is that it’s time to slow down a bit.
“Similarly to what I said before is that in the last ten years we got used to buying cheaper and cheaper and cheaper, but maybe that’s not the best approach.”
“I believe in three macro trends which will last for the next few years. The first one is a Levi’s motto: ‘quality never goes out of style,’ as I think that honestly made products and authentic good quality denim can last for long. The second one is environmental consciousness, despite every mill says they are following sustainable practices – even if this word has been overused – but I think many are jumping on the bandwagon as you can’t consider a collection made with 5% organic cotton sustainable. Despite this, it is true that many companies are trying to harm the environment less but I think the right way is to try to minimize resources and recycle, as 80% of what we buy ends up in the trash. Third trend: in today’s fashion there is an increasing influence coming from sports and athletic apparel. People now expect their garments to perform in many different ways and to be always comfortable. This is being poured in denim, too, but it has to provide real performance as we have to give the customer real value.”
“I have a few more requests I want to ask you: Please stop offering super-high waisted jeans that look good only on very few people. Also, stop showing blurred knees. I first saw them around once or twice but now they are everywhere. The best thing to do if they are blurred is to repair them. Also, stop making mix and matches of pieces in the same garment. That’s also very bad and the border between fun and fashion is very blurred right now. Ok, it can be cool breaking the rules once or twice, but first you have to learn to be very good at making great products. ”