Blue is the unofficial color of New York City. From the NYPD’s uniforms, to the New York Yankee’s pinstripes—blue rules. And, this weekend it is indigo blue’s turn to takeover.
New York Denim Days will make its blue debut this weekend, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, shining a spotlight on the global denim scene from a completely New York perspective. Based on Amsterdam Denim Days, the consumer-oriented festival invites students, families, denimheads and fashionistas alike to experience denim-focused seminars, workshops and demonstrations, as well as opportunities to shop for new and vintage denim. And, in doing so, shake up how consumers relate to retail environments through hands-on experiences and opportunities to meet the people behind the jeans they wear every day.
Buzz surrounding the three-day festival is building in the city and on social media. “Denim Days will be our Woodstock,” said Adriano Goldschmied, denim industry veteran and the latest creative collaborator for Edwin Jeans.
Events kick off on Friday with Denim Talk, an invite-only session of seminars at the Katie Murphy Amphitheater at FIT. The half-day of denim lectures will feature a roster of speakers including Goldschmied; Stefano Rosso, CEO of Diesel USA; Scott Morrison, founder and designer of 3×1, Paper Denim Cloth and Earnest Sewn; Stefan Siegel of Not Just a Label; and Sanjeev Bahl, president of Saitex, the benchmark garment factory and laundry of the future.
Festivities continue Saturday and Sunday at the Metropolitan Pavilion where the first New York Denim Days Festival will take place. Here, consumers will discover up-and-coming brands, meet denim artists, pose for photos at the Rivet x NYDD photo pod and mingle with denim personalities. The two notable denim bigwigs and authors, Amy Leverton and Piero Turk, will host book signings for their latest books at the festival.
On Sunday, the fun spills onto 18th Street for the Denim Days Street Festival, where attendees can catch live music, food trucks, kid-friendly activities and more independent denim artisans and designers. Children can decorate their back-to-school denim with the help of Artistic Milliners, which will set up an emoji denim station.
Baldwin, Hudson Jeans, Edwin, Mavi and Brooklyn Denim Co. are the latest brands to join the festival, along with New York stalwarts like Jean Shop, which will offer leather stamped bracelets. Jean Shop Founder Eric Goldstein’s repair company, Denimrepair.com, will also offer free repairs to the first 30 visitors to their booth. Meanwhile, New York-based brand 3×1 aims to make a big impression. The premium denim brand will try to fit as many people as possible into a giant pair of jeans.
New brands and heritage labels will co-mingle. Detroit Denim Co., which manufacturers Made in USA selvedge denim, belts and aprons, will make its debut, while Wrangler will present its 70th anniversary collaboration with Peter Max, a ’70s-inspired, psychedelic capsule collection for men and women. Los Angeles-based children’s brand Beru Kids will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Levi’s Trucker jacket with revamped vintage jackets for kids.
Izome People, known as Indigo People in Europe, will share their love for traditional craftsmanship and natural indigo with a collection of indigo bandanas and scarves. Atelier & Repairs will bring old military items to the fair, reworked and reintroduced as new items that complement denim. For more one-of-a-kind designs, Blcksmith from Greenpoint, Brooklyn will offer chain stitching. Cone Denim will partner with 3×1 to make denim aprons and drawstring bags onsite that can be customized with embroidery, patches and stitching.
Before heading to Art Basel, British artist Ian Berry will present his original artwork made with recycled scraps of denim. Berry, recently named one of the “Top 30 Artist Under 30 in the World” by Art Business News, will present work from his Behind Closed Doors collection.
Carved in Blue, which launched an online shop on Sept. 18, makes a leap from clicks to bricks at New York Denim Days with a pop-up shop featuring denim made with Tencel branded lyocell fibers. “Consumers started to ask us, ‘Where can I buy denim with Tencel fibers?’ so we realized it was time to make it easy for consumers to purchase,” said Tricia Carey, Lenzing’s director of global business development for denim. “We now can seamlessly tell the stories behind the designers, brands, and products while making it simple for any consumer to purchase denim with Tencel fibers.”
The pop-up will have garments on display for customers to try on and purchase online from brands like Bella Dahl, DL 1961, Hudson, NYDJ, Mara Hoffman, Mavi and Warp & Weft among others. “We are pleased to be part of the launch of the Carved in Blue Denim Shop at New York Denim Days. We have been using Tencel fibers in our denim for many years and find customers respond to the smooth, soft shape it provides,” said Sarah Ahmed, DL 1961 creative director. “There are so many ways to reach the consumer today and the use of social media and blogs is key.”
Mills are building a deeper connection with end users through creative and innovative installations. Pakistan-based Artistic Fabric & Garment Industries debuts the world’s first 360-degree virtual reality tour of a denim factory at the festival. Denim lovers attending the event will be able to experience how cotton turns into jeans by immersing themselves into a virtual factory. They’ll experience the roaring sound of hundreds of weaving looms and encounter the “denim snacking monster,” which eats recycled clothing to help the mill’s LEED-certified factory turn old jeans into new jeans.
Turkey-based Calik will also takes attendees on a 3-D tour of its entire denim fabric manufacturing process, from the processing of the cotton to quality control of denim fabric.
Artistic Milliners taps into the city’s love for denim and street art with a collaboration with renowned New York street artist Hektad. The graffiti veteran, who introduced his “Love Drunk” hearts throughout the city in 2013, will share his new message “Love, Always” at New York Denim Days, using denim from the Pakistan denim mill as his canvas.
Turkish denim mill Orta and Vintage Showroom from London will offer for the ultimate giveaway—a look from their “Future Hunter Gather” collaboration. The two-part collaboration is based on designs from the London-based vintage emporium, re-imagined in Orta’s modern fabrics. Attendees can enter to win their favorite piece from the collection by taking a selfie in the outfit. The photo with the most likes will win.
And as all things with denim, fit will be a hot topic. Alvanon and veteran denim designer Christine Rucci, also known as Godmother NYC, will team up to help attendees discover their perfect fitting jeans through one-on-one consulting and Alvanon’s 3D scanner that determines data from 2,000 points of the body.
Expert stylists, including Rudy Reed, Daniela Jung, Jamie Frankel and Erika Nunez, will also be on hand to help attendees find the perfect pair. Consumers will be able to sign up in advance for 30-minute consultations and styling sessions. The stylist will walk them through New York Denim Days and offer style suggestions and shop the amazing brands with consumers.
Tickets to the New York Denim Days Festival are available for purchase online here for $10. Tickets will be available for $15 at the door. Student tickets are $5 with valid student identification card.