‘Glam Deca­dence,’ Glitz Lead Trends at King­pins New York

WWD Digital Daily - - The Reviews - BY TRACEY GREENSTEIN

The two-day event ex­hib­ited spring 2019 col­lec­tions at Pier 36 in New York.

Glitz, sparkle, glam­our and a twist on new shapes and sil­hou­ettes de­fined the of­fer­ings for spring 2019 at King­pins New York. The two-day event was held on June 6 and 7 at Pier 36 in New York.

Rhine­stone-en­crusted indigo and color block­ing led the trends for the up­com­ing spring sea­son, lend­ing sparkle, sheen and re-ar­chi­tected shapes to a most creative and thought­ful se­lec­tion. Un­abashed ex­per­i­men­ta­tion man­i­fested in the form of shear­ling denim hooded sweat­shirts, lace-up jeans and panel mix­ing with an em­pha­sis on “glam deca­dence,” cater­ing to con­sumers’ new­found de­sire to stand out.

The show de­buted a slew of ex­panded of­fer­ings this year, with new ini­tia­tives such as its King­pins Cu­rios­ity Shop, which fea­tured indigo-themed ac­ces­sories, namely blue-col­ored jew­elry, bags and other spe­cialty items, as well as pop-up shops from the likes of Blue in Green and Cu­ri­ous Cor­ners. Ad­di­tional show floor ex­tras in­cluded its Vin­tage Show­room, Denim Re­pair Shop, Chain Stitch Work­shop and tech­nolo­gies from MYR, a 3-D soft­ware that stream­lines the denim de­sign process. And King­pins New York’s first-ever out­door fes­ti­val and Shop­ping Bazaar fea­tured 16 vin­tage deal­ers, hand­made goods, artists and denim ar­ti­sans, with ven­dors such as Hon­ey­moon Vin­tage, Ob­ject Amer­i­cana, Peo­ple’s Pride, Den­im­cratic and Denim Rush.

Sem­i­nars held at the event in­cluded “Denim Trends for Fall 2019: Fit, Fab­ric and Fin­ish,” led by “Denim Dudes” au­thor Amy Lev­er­ton; “High Stretch, Low Stretch, Bi-Stretch, Go Stretch!,” pre­sented by Jean Hege­dus, global denim di­rec­tor of In­vista, and “Bust­ing Up Denim Myths,” a panel fea­tur­ing An­drew Olah of King­pins, Ste­fano Aldighieri of An­other De­sign Stu­dio and Bart Van De Woestyne of Su­perblue, that to­gether ad­dressed queries such as the true ori­gin of denim, as­sump­tions about pre­mium denim and new tech­nolo­gies that cater to denim’s growth in sus­tain­abil­ity.

Lev­er­ton styled the trend section on the show­room floor, an in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tion of gar­ments called “Fresh Denim Fore­casts.” Themes such as “Lost Youth” in­tro­duced a “mag­pie-like ap­proach to dress­ing” that fuses “emo, grunge, rave, punk and in­die” along­side Nineties skate and streetwear looks. “Off­beat Rodeo” blends “dec­o­rated sur­faces, satins and metallics” with “rich color, rhine­stones and stud­ding,” while “Mil­len­nial Blues” presents a more clean, util­i­tar­ian looks, rem­i­nis­cent of vin­tage Calvin Klein ad­verts and styles circa the year 2000, ac­cord­ing to Lev­er­ton. Per­haps most in­ter­est­ing is Lev­er­ton’s “Alti­tude” theme that com­bines a sports ca­sual feel with retro util­ity gear and col­or­ful Nineties streetwear, led by shape­less sil­hou­ettes made of tech­ni­cal fab­rics.

And while com­fort and bi-stretch or mono-stretch styles are in­fin­itely pop­u­lar among con­sumers, the on­go­ing trend to­ward nostal­gia and early Nineties denim looks — as well as “hard” denim with a bit of stretch — is an over­ar­ch­ing and pre­vail­ing trend. Pak­istani denim man­u­fac­turer Artis­tic Milliners an­swers this de­mand through its “90210” line that hear­kens decades past. Ebru Oza­y­din, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of sales and mar­ket­ing at Artis­tic Milliners, told WWD, “The ma­jor­ity of the re­quests are more [for ‘hard denim],’” she said. And Kara Ni­cholas, vice pres­i­dent of de­sign and mar­ket­ing at Cone Denim, also spoke of brands that seek stur­dier denim and its “Cone Strong” col­lec­tion. Ni­cholas told WWD, “For us, we’ve re­ally been work­ing with a lot of brands that are look­ing for added strength” and said that the com­pany has re­cently sup­plied “work­wear types of brands, that need to have that strength built into the gar­ment.” She added that the com­pany of­fers vary­ing de­grees and lev­els of strength for its client base.

Key themes of sus­tain­abil­ity and trans­parency have gained mean­ing­ful trac­tion, as legacy brands and denim start-ups are col­lec­tively piv­ot­ing to­ward long-stand­ing com­mit­ments to cre­ate and man­u­fac­ture denim ecologically and re­spon­si­bly. Olah, King­pins founder and show or­ga­nizer, told WWD, “King­pins is work­ing re­ally, re­ally hard on sus­tain­abil­ity and mov­ing the dial in the in­dus­try, and mak­ing com­pa­nies do more. It’s ba­si­cally King­pins mis­sion,” he said. “Sus­tain­abil­ity is re­ally vi­tal.” And also in re­gard to sus­tain­abil­ity, Tri­cia Carey, di­rec­tor of global busi­ness de­vel­op­ment for denim at Len­z­ing, de­scribed the cur­rent state of the denim mar­ket as “ten­ta­tive,” and added that “There is con­fu­sion about how to ad­dress sus­tain­abil­ity and how to in­te­grate tech­nol­ogy into new fab­rics and/ or gar­ments.”

Oza­y­din told WWD, “Nowa­days, peo­ple are ask­ing a lot of the sus­tain­abil­ity so­lu­tions and tech­nolo­gies,” with many Amer­i­can brands in the mar­ket seek­ing so­lu­tions for clean indigo dye­ing or post-con­sumer waste or re­cy­cle fibers, as well as a strong de­sire to achieve cer­ti­fi­ca­tions that de­fine a brand as sus­tain­able. To meet this de­mand, Artis­tic Milliners of­fers lines such as Cra­dle-to-Cra­dle and Crys­tal Clear, as well as its post-con­sumer waste prod­ucts.

Carey con­tin­ued, “After King­pins and [the] denim mar­ket gath­er­ing, there is a flurry of sto­ries. The mar­ket is talk­ing about sus­tain­abil­ity in all facets — some are true and some are a real stretch to ver­ify. There was more at­ten­tion this show to re­duced im­pact in sus­tain­able dyes.” She added, “From a style we con­tinue to see the creativity and per­for­mance of mul­ti­fiber blends in fab­rics. Sev­eral mills were show­ing denim fab­ri­ca­tions us­ing no cot­ton by us­ing other cel­lu­losic and syn­thetic fibers. There was also the in­creased use of color through­out col­lec­tions. There were more styles with text or words as peo­ple use denim for their per­sonal ex­pres­sion. So­cial move­ments are now part of denim styles.”

King­pins New York

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