Sportswear International talked to Marco Lucietti, Global Brand Manager, Isko, about the new denim trends for f/w 2011/12 as seen during the last edition of Blue Zone/Munich Fabric Start in Munich (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1). When looking at the future of the denim and jeanswear markets, according to Lucietti optimism and innovation are the key elements to keep in mind.

How do you rank the present market situation after the show?
I think that the market is starting picking up a bit. You see that exhibitors seem to be a bit more laid-back than a year ago. 2010 was good so far and we feel we have left the economic downturn behind. And what is of course very important to us: also the customer’s mood is better.

This summer chinos were very popular again. Were you affected by this?
First of all, we offer a big range of products. So we also have chinos in our portfolio. And of course since trends are changing, you have to offer always something new. Nevertheless, at the end of the day clients go to a brand and order something the brand is known for. And since we are known for our denim products these still make up the largest numbers. Chinos are kind of the cherry on top of the cake, but the main business still is denim.

What about the premium denim market? Do you feel that this hype reached an end?
I don't think it has reached an end. If you offer innovative products in high quality you have a market for premium denim. I still believe in that. And there might be so many new brands every day that only live a short-term life that in the end the denim market can adjust itself. Current studies say that the denim market will still grow in the next years.

So what exactly are Isko’s innovations?
We offer great new jeggings in high-power stretch quality in very light materials down to 5 oz. that keep the flexibility and fit, so you will not have a so-called cellulite effect with bucklings because the fabric is worn out. Furthermore, we introduce the Soft & Drapy line with an extremely soft grip and a rather clean look so the denim appears more dressed-up. Another thing is the Jeather line that is denim with the looks and the feel of leather. It is quite stretchy and soft and the fabric does not have cracks after washing. For the German market also colors remain important, therefore clients can request special shades they need.

Where do you see Isko in ten years from now?
For me it is only about innovation, innovation, innovation. That includes the product itself but also aspects such as sustainability. If you always come up with new innovative products, clients keep coming. It is as easy as that. We invest 3% of the turnover in the R&D department to constantly offer new things.