“There has been a seismic shift in fits in denim,” said Catherine Ryu, the women’s creative director of Citizens of Humanity. “The skinny legging is now a true basic and is downtrending. The mid-rise slim straight leg and flares are becoming new news in fashion denim.”
This shift away from skinny jeans and toward ’70s silhouettes is strongly seen in the Citizens Fall ’15 collection, which embraces high-rise and mid-rise styles, slim trouser legs, relaxed boy fits, and vintage-style low-rise flares—some finished in clean, chic dark washes and others with more casual treatments like holes and mending.
But these throwback silhouettes aren’t the brand’s only references to the Me Decade. Inspired by raw deadstock denim from the ’70s that was originally used by brands like Levi’s and Lee’s, Citizens of Humanity has manufactured a 13-ounce fade-resistant non-indigo denim that references the past while incorporating stretch for a modern fit. It also brings the raw denim concept, which has shown to be so popular in men’s denim, to the womenswear market.
The brand has also improved the performance of its standard stretch denim, incorporating a Lycra weaving technique that improves shape and hold and reduces drooping and bagging. “The fabric contours and lifts the body, creating a perfect silhouette and long-lasting fit that will never stretch out,” Ryu said. The brand’s perennial Avedon, Arielle, and Rocket skinny styles will be offered in this stretch denim, as well as two flare fits.
In addition, the L.A.-based brand has created a new wash process to adapt to California’s ongoing water crisis. “In an effort to continue to reduce our carbon footprint—and also living through one of the worst California droughts—has made us think about the enormous water consumption of the denim wash process,” Rye said. “We have come up with an ozone wash process—a combination of electricity and gas—to create a wash that consumes less than a tenth of water usage.”
The typical pair of blue jeans, according to The New York Times, consumes over 900 gallons of water over its lifecycle, from the irrigation of the cotton crop to the manufacturing process and through to the owner’s washing habits. Citizens of Humanity seeks to make its LA-based factory more sustainable by reducing this number.
The Citizens Fall ’15 denim line will be rolled out online and in stores from early August through October, and will be complemented by sportswear pieces (including outerwear) designed to pair back to the denim.