Designers and brands got a first look at the fall 2017 denim and fabric offerings from some of the world’s finest mills, fiber manufacturers and industry resources at the Kingpins trade show in New York last week, which concluded its two-day run at Basketball City on Thursday afternoon. Featuring about 80 exhibitors plus special seminars and displays such as the Global Denim Award one that spotlighted 2015 winner Candiani’s Sartoria Diletto collection, this latest edition of Kingpins was another success. It also saw the debut of two new sections: One dedicated to companies from Japan and another to fiber manufacturers.
Exhibitors revealed key textile trends for the season, some of which seem to emphasize opposite ends of the spectrum: for example, companies are making both modern soft-touch stretch denim along with retro heavyweight 100% cotton vintage-look denim, and both options are selling well.
Eco-friendly and natural treatments and dyes are also important and shirting fabrics seem to be experiencing a growth spurt as well. Palette-wise, brands are generally sticking with standard, traditional blue, with black and gray as secondary options.
Here are some highlights:
Asia-based Blue Farm is set for fall with various season-appropriate wool blends that are perfect for jackets and outerwear. The company also has a vast collection of denim shirting fabrics in numerous weights and designs. Its bottom fabrics include stretch tri-blends with good recovery and denim with yarns that provide dual effects.
The famous Italian mill is stressing its new 12.5 oz warp stretch with Tencel that provides 30% stretch, a supersoft hand and allows for tears and distressing. It also has two bi-stretch options and a denim with a salt-and-pepper look. On the other hand, its vintage-style denims remain strong for boyfriend styles.
Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, this US-based mill has a large offering of fabrics from its factories in the US, China and Mexico. New are wide width denims in natural indigo and the 1980s-inspired W80S selvage denim in 14 oz. It will also launch a new line of workwear appropriate piece-dyed cottons under the Carlisle Cotton Company label next month. Also new are technologically advanced performance fabrics such as Transdry denim with wicking properties and 100% cotton denims with anti-microbial and oil-repelling features.
The company has also recently launched its own direct-to-consumer online store, the White Oak Shop, where those outside the industry can buy the brand’s famous Made in the USA selvage by the yard.
A separate booth with historical White Oak Denim pieces and memorabilia spotlighted this development and also housed special guests Kim Ring and Renee Graff, two recent college graduates who won the NC State University College of Textiles White Oak Selvage Denim Design Challenge with a pair of stretchy, athletic-inspired bottoms and a matching puffer coat. Their winning design merges denim with athleisure/activewear and the two, who are about to embark on their first post-school careers, said that they were thrilled to be at their first New York fabric trade show.
Desert Studio (no website yet)
The Pakistani-owned, Dubai-based manufacturing and finishing plant was on hand to show its Hydro-Less Laundry treatment, which employs reusable plastic crystals instead of sand or other harmful materials for blast-like effects. Also impressive was its stitching details that look like they are done by hand even though they are machine-made and its innovative laser treatments.
The Mexican mill returned to Kingpins but as rep Michelle Branch explained it was “not calling out men’s versus women’s product this season” due to the fact that womenswear now employs traditionally male fabrics and vice versa. “The future is all about fashion on both the women’s and men’s sides,” she said, explaining that alternative silhouettes can be achieved with Global’s Tencel blend denims such as the Hollywood and Aspen and the 100% Tencel Carmel. Heavyweight standbys/carryovers, meanwhile, include the “perennial” Oakland, a 100% cotton denim that is 14+ oz.
The next Kingpins show will take place May 24 and 25 in Hong Kong.