Denim isn’t dead, in fact, it’s not even on life support. For the past couple of years, we have been bombarded with the term ‘athleisure’, the trend which was all about gymwear which could also be worn during casual outings. Now, according to a report by the market research company NPD Group, sales in the US men’s and women’s jean market grew by 4 per cent in 2016 and the global jeans market is expected to continue in this vein.
“It’s not that athleisure is going away,” said Dio Kurazawa, denim director at WGSN to the Business of Fashion. “It just means that folks are choosing not to have six different pairs of Lululemon tights and they’re opting to settle back into their denim.”
“Millennials are driving the changes,” he added.
High fashion brands like Calvin Klein, Balenciaga and Vetements have been credited for nudging along denim’s comeback by customising them for a millennial crowd. “We’re seeing a huge revival in ’90s-style fashion and ‘near-now nostalgia’ sentiment,” confirms Karyn Hillman, chief product officer at Levi’s to BoF. The legacy denim label is uniquely poised to capitalise on the surge in interest and has hence, begun investing in services which cater to specific customisation requests.
Nostalgia is going big right now as a preferred aesthetic among the youth and hence, denim brands are amping up their services to meet the demands for authentic, vintage products. “One of the latest capsules that we’ve done with Lee is we’ve gone into the archive to reproduce a retail product from 70, 80 years ago,” explains VF Corp’s jeanswear president Massimo Ferrucci in an interview with BoF.
Another reason for the rise in interest in denim is because workplaces have been more forgiving of casual wear in recent years. This gives denim the platform to be an everyday wear instead of reserving it for a specific occasion.