Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street over the weekend, the two-day expo, with main sponsors Tencel and American Airlines, featured more than 100 exhibitors from big name mills and manufacturers inside the building to little-known labels and vintage dealers who exhibited and sold their wares in outdoor booths during the free open-to-the-public street festival that was part of the event on Sunday.
The upbeat and let’s-have-fun mood was buoyed by live musical performances from the likes of country singer Edan Archer (who took to the stage on Sunday wearing jeans that were originally designed for prisoners), numerous talks and roundtables with industry insiders, book signings and a somewhat guerilla-style student fashion show by New York’s Fashion High School on Sunday.
For many brands the event offered the rare opportunity to interact directly with consumers. Fabric mills such as Artistic Milliners and Orta made their names known to these everymen and everywomen by partnering with established labels that created sellable merchandise from their fabrics especially for the occasion. For example, Artistic Milliners worked with Rising Sun & Co for jeans and also sold stuffed denim shark toys to promote its ocean-friendly Crystal Clear fabric while Orta again teamed with The Vintage Showroom, which designed cool clothes for it. Other notable collaborations included Tonello and Officina +39 who worked with artists Clockworks Press and Deverazul to create printed handbags and T-shirts and Naveena who enlisted the brand Noorism to create Made in NY bucket hats which were sold for $50 apiece.
Making their debut at the show was the new men’s line Swonne designed by Katie Golinczak (who reported making great new contacts) and Get Made in NYC Denim, a new initiative spearheaded by denim insider Christine Rucci that will open a new denim factory in the Garment District in the coming months. Supporting her onsite to promote it was Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer who has been instrumental in getting the city government to help finance the project.
The next Denim Days will take place in Amsterdam October 27-28, 2018 followed soon after by the debut of Denim Days Nashville on November 10-11.