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Dopamine Denim and Wide Fits Trend at Project Las Vegas

Project Las Vegas was home this week to denim brands like Mavi, Calvin Klein, Scotch & Soda and more. As one of the first major in-person industry events since the pandemic forced postponements and cancellations, denim made a strong showing despite fashion’s overall shift to comfort and loungewear.

Some brands welcomed the concept of dopamine dressing into their collections with a heavy focus on color, bohemian embroideries and other optimistic flourishes. Other brands centered their focus on delivering classic cuts that will endure seasons.

Here’s a look at what trended on the show floor.

Dopamine denim

Royal Revival and Alla Berman linked up to create a capsule collection centered on vintage denim. The line consists of repurposed denim jeans, shorts, skirts and jackets, each hand embroidered with a diamond pattern accentuated by small crystals. Along with reflecting both brands’ SoCal glam styles, the collection taps into two trends favored by Gen Z: Y2K bling and upcycled fashion.

Denim brands made a strong showing at Project Las Vegas with timeless staples and joyful designs.
Royal Revival x Alla Berman Angela Velasquez

Denim decorated with nostalgic characters and DIY looks brings joy to Spanish brand Desigual’s collection. The company showcased its licensed capsule collections with The Original Smiley Brand, which included BCI cotton jean cutoff shorts with smiley face patches and a contrasting yellow back pocket, tees and swimwear. Some pieces featured the phrase, “A smile is better.”

Desigual also teamed with Disney for a line of Mickey Mouse-themed skinny jeans, jackets and tote bags. The collection’s defining detail is a Mickey Mouse appliqué made with scraps of tonal patchwork denim. The brand applied this same crafted approach to a deep range of embellished denim, spanning mixed-media jean shorts and skirts, denim embroidered with daisies and jeans accented with tropical floral pattern patchwork.

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Women’s brand Eleven Paris received the memo on joyful fashion, too. A white Trucker jacket decorated with retro flowers featured the phrase “Happy is the new rich” on its front and back. The free-spirited statement piece tied back to other colorful items like a washed blue mini skirt with an uneven hemline and 100 percent cotton jeans in a fresh pink hue. A bleached drawstring short taps into the comfort trend, while boyfriend and high and loose fits were among the brand’s top sellers.

Folkloric details wash over Seven for All Mankind’s S/S ’22 collection called “Blue Skies Ahead.” Floral and avian embroideries featured across jean jackets, white wide-leg jeans and cutoff shorts. Pops of lavender denim and colorful acid wash add a summery look and feel to the collection, while straight fits, shorts with a relaxed fit and full-length bootcut silhouettes offer consumers updates to their everyday wardrobe.

Denim brands made a strong showing at Project Las Vegas with timeless staples and joyful designs.
Seven for All Mankind Angela Velasquez

The denim range is complemented with white knit tanks that have a handmade look, and a duo of sheer blouses that mimic the appearance of denim. The tops’ ruffles and gold metallic Lurex thread nod to the Beyonce– and Dua Lipa-approved glam rodeo trend.

For Shaft Jeans, S/S ’22 is an opportunity to explore the sartorial nature of denim. The brand’s overdyed ombre Tencel dress smacked of carefree boho vibes, while its wide-leg flare jeans with a sharp center crease toed the line of ’70s and Western.

Scotch & Soda embraced the sunny side of summer fashion with jeans embellished with embroideries inspired by desert sunsets. The novelty pieces coordinated with the Dutch brand’s long-line and lightweight tank dress with a flouncy hem and wide-leg trouser jeans with relaxed front pleats. A denim snap shacket with a dramatic front yoke introduced a cowgirl vibe to the collection.

While designers have mused about reinventing denim for decades, Gladys Tyler did just that with a conceptual collection of jeans with interchangeable legs. Consumers can mix and match legs if they wished for a bold look, though the design’s provocative zipper that zips front to back is attention-worthy alone. The line also includes new cropped jean jackets.

Heritage and classic

In terms of silhouette, everything is becoming wider for Fidelity Denim. The Los Angeles-based brand’s collection is also betting on the return of mid-rises, coated denim and back pocket details, albeit more wearable and low-key than the flashy designs of the early aughts.

Fidelity’s lower-priced sister brand, Modern American, centers on similar themes. Its collection includes wide and relaxed fits as well as jeans with cut hems and denim shorts in ’90s colorways like mauve and yellow.

Nods to grunge filtered through Calvin Klein’s edited denim selection. The heritage brand updated its Trucker jacket with subtle bleach splatters and jean shirts with frayed hems. The collection by new U.S. brand Roman Levitskiy echoed that vibe with distressed Italian-made jeans.

Celebrating 30 years, Mavi’s dual-gender collection spans women’s pastel straight-fit jeans and wide-leg fashion statements, to men’s athletic-fit jeans and beach-ready shorts. Bestsellers for women include a trio of shirt jackets with cut hems, a range of pale pink, yellow and blue jeans and L.A. Vintage, a new line of organic cotton jeans with vintage-looking washes. Denim jumpsuits, cropped kick-flare jeans and joggers, as well as a short-sleeve jean dress with a self-belt and girlfriend jeans with a side split hem round out the line.

Denim brands made a strong showing at Project Las Vegas with timeless staples and joyful designs.
Mavi Angela Velasquez

For men, Mavi is betting on athletic, slim and straight-fit jeans. New washes for chinos and Noah, a new short with a shorter 9.5-inch inseam and wider leg, offer a spring alternative to denim.

In a sea of men’s straight fit blue jeans, Oak & Acorn – Only for the Rebelles stands out with its heritage-meets-utility concepts. Though most of the Harlem-based brand’s designs are unisex, the collection brings inventive and sustainable denim statement pieces to the men’s market, such as reversible hand-dyed vests, quilted joggers and boiler suits.

Midheaven Denim, which former model Kathryn Boyd Brolin launched as solution for tall women who wanted premium denim, wants to be a name for a wider audience. This year, the brand is expanding into regular lengths. The new collection, which retails for $189-$298, includes olive and ecru wide-leg jeans and matching shirt jackets, maternity skinny jeans, striped flare jeans and more.

New brand Morrison Denim aims to keep the jeans business simple and steady for both retailers and consumers alike. The Los Angeles-based women’s brand specializes in comfort stretch denim essentials for sizes 24-32 with a contemporary spin.

Denim brands made a strong showing at Project Las Vegas with timeless staples and joyful designs.
Morrison Denim Angela Velasquez

Though classic in fit—skinny, straight, bootcut and boyfriend (offered in both slouchy and slim cuts) round out the collection—Morrison Denim veers into fashion territory that speaks to the pandemic consumer. Bleached-out novelty effects and soft yet rigid-looking fabrications are offered with vintage-loving consumers in mind. Distressed and printed patchwork styles key into the quarantine-born DIY trend that continues to gain momentum. Meanwhile, carpenter styles with contrast stitching, high-rise jeans with exposed buttons and bootcut jeans with deep front patch pockets embrace authentic qualities of denim design.

Fellow new brand Stonefield aims to deliver premium at a price point that hovers around $115 at retail. Designed for a broad demographic, the men’s and women’s brand specializes in new and established classics fit high-rise straight for women and joggers for men. Details like double needle outseams enhance jeans’ durability, while skewed seams adds a slimming look.

Celebrating three decades in the jeanswear business this year, Silver Jeans Co. is proof that growth is key to long-term success. Known for its original scroll pocket designs, heavy stitching, and curvy fits—styles that continue to resonate with its core Midwest consumer base—the Western Glove Works-owned brand is branching out with simplified designs built to withstand seasons and trends.

Denim brands made a strong showing at Project Las Vegas with timeless staples and joyful designs.
Silver Jeans Co. Angela Velasquez

Silver Jeans Co.’s Universal collection offers pared-back denim essentials like high-waisted shorts, ’90s baggy shorts, paper-bag-waist jeans with a self-belt and more. Additionally, a 30th anniversary collection features a new stitching motif that represents Silver Jeans Co.’s past and future, in addition to special pocket bag designs with the tagline and the name of the brand’s new campaign, “Thirty Years Young.”

The brand’s biggest achievement, however, is its sustainable journey. With 50 percent of the collection earning a green score from Jeanologia’s Environmental Impact Measuring software, Silver Jeans Co. is on a path to becoming more responsible. Partnerships with WRAP-certified factories and its use of organic cotton and CiCLO technology, which allows polyester fibers to break down in landfills and the ocean at rates comparable to a natural fiber, are helping advance its efforts.