Project, the long-running menswear trade show produced by Informa, returned to the Javits Center in New York on January 19-21, 2020 and gave visitors a first look at the f/w 2020-21 collections in the contemporary, classic, lifestyle, footwear and accessories sectors. The show seemed smaller than previous editions and featured seven communities on the floor such as The Tents (elevated men’s collections), The Foundry (emerging brands), MRket (classic and better menswear) and new one, Denim Room, which featured seven contemporary jeanswear brands and a special display called “Artifacts” curated by Maurizio Donadi that featured vintage treasures from his personal archive.
Exhibitors in Denim Room included Liverpool whose $98 to $109 (at retail) bottoms are selling well according to VP of men’s sales, Mark D’Angelo. “There’s a lot more value priced product in the market,” he said. He also noted that sales of Liverpool’s colored twills surpassed denim last season. The LA-based brand is currently launching a new Eco Collection and expanding its top offerings with sweaters in three shapes: cardigan, Shaker knit and henley.
At Paige a Western “Urban Cowboy” vibe rules for fall with ikat plaids dominating shirts and a series of vintage washes producing different blue tones on jeans. Known for its fabrics, the brand is employing a cotton Lyocell blend and eco-friendly twills this go-round.
The big news at Fidelity is the birth of its new diffusion line, Modern America, which will launch in March, is eco-friendly and at $120-$160 at retail, is less expensive than the main line. For fall, the latter continues show the brand’s signature of dark and clean denim.
Another Denim Room exhibitor, 7 for All Mankind, continues to thrive under new creative director Simon Spurr. He has created studded jackets, plaid shirts and denim jackets with stitching in the shape of a “7” for the season. He has also played with frayed hems and other hem details–a trend that thus far has mostly been seen in womenswear.
Special fabrics and colored denim and twills in a semi-dark palette with colors such as burgundy are the fall highlights at Mavi. It employs Super Move with Tencel and Organic Move with a dry look and was totally on trend with the use of non-denim herringbone.
Other brands shined elsewhere on the show floor. Canadian label Loft 604 was arguably the most original brand at the show and charmed with its whimsical sweatshirts emblazoned with robot and shark patches and printed button-downs that featured microprints of caution tape, movie-theater items, sushi, skateboarders and a travel motif, just to name a few.
Meanwhile, Nifty Genius hawked its flat knits and cool outerwear and Serge Blanco showed colorful knits in 50/50 merino/acrylic and pair of killer five-pockets in velvet. Shoemaker Bed Stu introduced styles with chunkier soles and German bag brand Buckle & Seam debuted a large rollover sleeping bag–inspired knapsack and slick leather gym bag.
Newcomers to Project included the German label Kiefermann making its US debut, the Israeli footwear brand Fiocco Nero (“black bowtie” in Italian) and two Dutch accessories lines: bracelet maker Pig & Hen and Secrid, which has a patent for wallets that allow one’s credit and other cards to pop up with the push of a button. Also new was a wellness section in The Tents that featured grooming lines such as Fellow Barber and The Art of Shaving.
Special onsite events included panel discussions on all three days and a fashion model presentation/display of Italian offerings inspired by famous looks from the silver screen in honor of Frederico Fellini’s 100th birth year this year.
The next edition of Project will be in Las Vegas February 5-7, 2020.