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Sustainable and Trend-Driven Denim Share the Spotlight at Coterie

Bringing together advanced women’s contemporary brands, retailers, experts and influencers, Coterie was back in full swing this week at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. 

The Informa Markets Fashion-owned event was home to an immersive sustainability experience created with Arcadia Earth and a digital fashion activation with DressX, a digital fashion marketplace. It was also the stage for pure-player denim brands to showcase their Spring/Summer 2023 collections dense with creative designs, sustainable ingredients and products they know best.

“Coterie is really that show to come to, to see what’s happening in women’s fashion,” said Kelly Helfman, president of Informa Markets Fashion. “We’re not just a show with booths and brands. It’s really about our education, having resources talk about sustainability, and having activities [that bring] the community together.”

Mother Earth

Coterie unveiled a section dedicated to products and brands made using more responsible ingredients and processes, underscoring how sustainability is now an omnipresent theme in brand collections. 

“When I took over, I realized there needed to be an evolution of what we’re doing here,” Helfman said about Coterie’s emphasis on sustainability. “We needed to represent what’s happening in the industry. So, I called the squad of some of my leaders in fashion to discuss change, and that’s how it came about.” 

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Mavi exhibited in the new section. The Turkish denim brand’s All Blue initiative makes water- and energy-conserving jeans with recycled cotton, organic cotton and vegan trims. This season, the brand is incorporating basil seeds into plantable hangtags. One of Mavi’s best-selling All Blue styles for the season is the Barcelona high-rise wide-leg jean.

“We were trying to be sustainable in every division of the brand as it’s part of our DNA,” said Alissa Friedman, senior marketing and public relations manager at Mavi. 

Mavi Rivet

DSTLD, a newcomer to the show, is finding its own sustainable way forward as well. The Digital Brands-owned label featured a denim collection made mostly from deadstock denim fabrics and recycled cotton. Garments are outfitted with eco-finished hardware using about 70 percent less water than traditional components, according to Georgia Eliades, sales manager at 8th Story, the brand’s showroom. 

New York-based DL1961 is doing its part to pioneer a more sustainable future for denim by sourcing fabrics from Pakistan’s ADM, which has partnered with Spanish tech firm Recover to produce high-quality recycled cotton fibers made from post-consumer textile waste.

The women-led company hasn’t lost its eye for fashion, however. For S/S ’23, DL1961 focused on more relaxed silhouettes, like its Zoe wide-leg jeans. The brand updated it for spring with utility details like cargo pockets, which Sandia Sivilla, VP of global sales at DL1961, noted is a “really strong trend going into 2023.” 

The collection is also bright with touches of flamingo pink, limeade and sand.

What’s selling

Appealing to retailers looking for original and unique pieces, Driftwood highlighted its signature embroideries. “Everything we produce is hand-drawn in house in our New York office by our designers, so everything’s completely original,” said Alex Pazulinec, account executive at Driftwood. “I think embroidery is really personal, and that’s why it stands out to people.”

Driftwood Rivet

Driftwood maintained its bohemian free-spirit aesthetic for S/S ’23 with a collection floral garden embroideries on skinny and flare jeans and embroidered jackets. The brand also leaned into the ongoing Western trend with embroideries depicting desert landscapes. The collection retails for $98-$248.

Fabric, fit, finish. That’s the motto of Los Angeles label Fidelity which is stepping outside the skinny jean box to play with different fits. Holly Lemckert, sales director at Fidelity, said wide-leg and straight-leg jeans, lower rises and pants with utility pockets are “widely trending” in addition to neutrals like ecru and beige. 

Brands are conservatively embracing non-indigo colors. Los Angeles label Unpublished presented its new Fluidity collection, a line of comfort-stretch bottoms in an array of colors including gray, yellow and black. Its most popular style, however, is the 12-inch rise Gemma jean. 

Unpublished Rivet

“Since we’re such a small brand, we want to stay focused and consistent when we put out new collections, so everything here is in line with that,” said Rae Douk, director of sales at Unpublished. “However, we always try to introduce a few pieces we see trending without steering too far from what we’re known for.”