Boosted by several new initiatives and special sections, the latest edition of Kingpins New York concluded its two-day run on a high note last week.

Artistic Milliners shogun denim
Photo: Christopher Blomquist
Artistic Milliners shogun denim

The show, which features the best of denim manufacturers and suppliers and will celebrate its 15th anniversary next summer, was once again held at Basketball City on the Lower East Side and showcased about 70 exhibitors from across the globe.



Eric Kvatek Photography wall at Kingpins NY
Photo: Christopher Blomquist
Eric Kvatek Photography wall at Kingpins NY

Among the new more entertainment-based attractions was an outside cash-and-carry Shopping Bazaar, a series of tented vendors selling vintage or original denim pieces. “We wanted to entertain the people that come here on a different level so it’s not like a traditional show where people just come in,” said Kingpins founder Andrew Olah about the new section. “We wanted to amuse them by having product here and perhaps inspire them before they even open the front door.”

Shopping Bazaar at Kingpins New York
Photo: Christopher Blomquist
Shopping Bazaar at Kingpins New York

And inside the complex there was Kingpins Curiosity Shop, selling unique denim or indigo-inspired knick-knacks and other items from across the world, the Kingpins Creatives section featuring specialized industry insiders ready to share their advice and a display of photographer Eric Kvatek.

Curiosity Shop at Kingpins New York
Photo: Christopher Blomquist
Curiosity Shop at Kingpins New York

The Kingpins Creatives area also included trend forecasting by longtime denim insider Christine Rucci (aka Godmother) who used her onsite vintage pieces to predict that the years 1950, 1976 and 1984 will be the most influential in forthcoming denim design.

Vintage pieces from Christine Rucci in Kingpins Creatives
Photo: Christopher Blomquist
Vintage pieces from Christine Rucci in Kingpins Creatives

But in the end the general leitmotif of the show and its exhibitions of denims for the fall/winter 2019 season was sustainability. As show producer Andrew Olah told SI, “The biggest trend is the most obvious one: Sustainability. It’s what people are talking about and it’s never going to end. We are only going 30 miles and hour and we have to go 100. Those days are over. This is not the ’80s. Everybody has to be really, really activated or they are not going to sell their stuff. So the momentum continues on sustainability and all of us are really just digging deeper and deeper into the kernels of what is sustainable and what is not and what we can do more as an industry.”

Cone Denim's Graffitti Jacket
Photo: Christopher Blomquist
Cone Denim's Graffitti Jacket

Kara Nicholas of Cone Denim, one of the show’s top-notch exhibitors, agreed. “More and more people are asking about it [sustainability],” she said.


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