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In Las Vegas, Women’s Denim Brands Wait for the Next Breakout Trend

There’s no shortage of variety in women’s denim collections for Spring/Summer 2020. With no single trend dominating the market the way skinny jeans did just seasons ago, denim pure players at Project Women’s in Las Vegas offered a tasting of nostalgia, dye effects, color and sustainable stories.

The OG of premium denim, 7 For All Mankind, presented a 20th anniversary capsule collection made with its original 080 fabric. The line includes nostalgic styles like ’90s-inspired low rise bootcut jeans, as well as nods to the brand’s signature “squiggle” back pocket stitching.

To counter the throwback collection, 7 For All Mankind’s new creative director Simon Spurr’s contemporary aesthetic came through fashion items like white and indigo flight suits embellished with ring zipper pulls, ecru jeans trimmed with contrast braiding and a dramatic pleated flare jean. Novelties included tie-dye jeans with a crinkled paper texture, the “70/30” that’s 70 percent indigo and 30 percent bleached and fresh crop of pink, yellow and mineral green denim.

Spurr also introduced non-denim items like a statement faux suede fringe jacket, linen pieces and a line of suiting and blouses.

DL1961 served major denim fashion moments in a Spring/Summer 2020 line that covered all the hot trends, like denim sets, color, tie-dye and utility. A toile printed denim tank and jeans offered an upscale take on denim sets, while duos like a cobalt blue jacket and shorts with white enamel hardware, and a texturized lilac jacket and short combo, provided a double shot of color.

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One-pieces remained a key part of DL’s line, including sleeveless white denim jumpsuit with skinny straps and exposed hardware, a dusty pink shorts romper and an eggshell romper with a self-tie belt and brass hardware.

The collection was rounded out by an assortment of new denim staples, like full length jeans, Bermuda shorts, high-waisted tapered Mom jeans and belted wide-leg jeans. Meanwhile, details like scalloped hems, front yokes, covered buttons and interesting plays on seaming elevated denim garments.

Along with taking home a Rivet Award for the “best sustainable collection” for its new line of organic cotton and post-consumer recycled denim, Mavi captured the spirit of the ’90s in its women’s collection. The brand’s show piece was a figure-flattering high rise, carrot-shape jean with front yoke details and a bleached-out wash.

Mavi balanced retro statements with utilitarian pieces, like cargo pants with tropical safari prints and jackets in its popular camouflage print.

Ética continued to surprise with its line of sustainable fashion denim. Water-saving E-flow technology by Jeanologia was used through the wash process for the Spring/Summer 2020 collection, as well as a mix of hand finishing and laser finishing. Michelle Marsh, Ética’s director of sales, said the brand layered the two techniques to achieve some unique vintage effects.

Most of the line was based on vintage-inspired denim with a modern sensibility, including rigid-looking fabrications made with heavier Tencel blends. Other fabrics had a 3-D quality achieved through twisted yarns.

Ética’s tie-dye garments were among its most eye-catching, including some colored with botanical dyes derived from chrysanthemums, coffee plant roots and cypress bark. The dye technique was used on jeans with deconstructed side seaming, boxy camp shirts with vintage snap buttons and tees with kimono-style sleeves.

Bohemian brand Driftwood diversified its line for Spring/Summer 2020 with new constructions. The brand, best known for its floral and tribal embroidery, carried the handiwork into a brand-new indigo knit joggers and a camouflage print twill jogger. Driftwood also presented a new full-length wide-leg jean, a jean skirt with red bandana inserts and its first line of T-shirts.

Australian label Rolla’s Jeans channeled a California girl look from the late ’80s and early ’90s with flare jeans with front patch pockets, skinny jeans (which a rep said is on the rebound) and classic straight jeans with an “Esprit vibe” with rises 11-inches or higher. Pops of ecru and bubblegum pink denim added novelty throughout the youthful line, especially as items like cut-off shorts and denim mini-skirts. A knee-skimming button-front skirt added shape to the collection.

Fidelity Denim embraced the wide-leg trend with both cropped and full length options. The jeans served simple sophistication, embellished with only cut hems. The boyfriend jean also remained a key part of the brand’s line, offered with destruction, deep cuffs and in a 100 percent Tencel fabrication. Fidelity’s boldest fashion statement came in the form of jeans with a clean coating for a wet-look finish.

Vigoss summed up what women would have worn to Coachella in the ’90s if it had existed as it does today. Highlights in the Spring/Summer 2020 collection included rainbow-hued acid wash jean shorts and cropped denim jackets and diluted neon sets. The brand also keyed into a utility look with olive green animal printed denim and an olive mini-skirt with cargo pocketing.

Paul & Joe Sister, the diffusion line of French label Paul & Joe, tapped into a retro vibe with 100 percent cotton high-waist straight fit jeans and short-shorts. The dark rinse pieces were embellished with lime green and orange-red floral embroideries. The brand’s signature cat print—modeled after the brand’s founder was also carried into a line of printed ecru jeans and tunic dress.

Lilac denim was the color of choice for Liverpool Los Angeles, which used the springtime hue for matching skinny jeans and denim jackets. Other sets included an acid wash jacket and jeans, and a beachy version made with beige pinstriped denim. Worn together or separately, Holly Arnesen, Liverpool executive vice president, said the goal is to give specialty stores more direction through “relatable fashion.”

In general, jackets prove to be a large opportunity for the brand, which is dabbling into more lifestyle products, Arnesen added. The Spring/Summer 2020 collection includes new stretch poplin shirts, more Tencel shirting and fashion jackets that can be dressed up or down.

To follow up the successful Fall ’19 launch of the Gia glider jean—a hybrid pull-on skinny with a 5-pocket look—Liverpool Los Angeles also added a new “cruiser” length that tapers just above the knee and a new skirt with the same easy waistband.