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Men’s Denim Brands Diversify Their Offerings for Spring/Summer 2020

Men’s denim brands at Project in Las Vegas last week provided a full scope of menswear, presenting collections that go beyond the traditional blue jean to offer consumers a greater variety of colors, weights and non-denim bottoms.

Fidelity Denim added variety to its men’s collection with non-denim options—and with strong results, according to Fidelity’s sales manager Joanne Anderson. The Los Angeles-based brand is growing its knit denim component to include more authentic vintage looks and more color. The brand is also spicing up the collection with multiple shades of gray, color denim (tan, green and gray-blue) and lighter washes.

Classic 3×1 denim is still a big component, Anderson reported, as men are looking for traditional denim. Fidelity, she added, delivers on this with versions that have two percent stretch for comfort.

For Spring/Summer 2020, Fidelity is also introducing the Indie, a new fit that bridges the gap between a skinny and slim narrow and tapers down at the knee, offering men with athletic thighs a more comfortable option. Overall, Anderson says men’s denim is becoming more tapered. Whereas a 15.5-inch bottom opening was the No. 1 performer for a while, the brand is seeing more interest in 13- and 14-inch openings.

For Spring/Summer 2020, Mavi introduced jeans made with organic cotton denim, and another made with post-consumer recycled denim. Both are vegan, swapping leather back patches in favor of patches made with a paper-based material. For men’s, the brand is betting on a sustainable version of its Jake slim leg with additional styles slated for Fall ’20.

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Mavi also expanded its line of athletic knit weave fabrics—a popular line for travel—and added a lightweight vintage-washed jean jacket that has the hand feel of a worn-in shirt.

Heritage-inspired menswear brand Flag & Anthem kicked off the season with a new celebrity ambassador, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and an expanded lifestyle collection. The brand tapped into a western-meets-beachy look with double-layer flannels in springtime colors, indigo-dyed shirts and tie-dye graphic tee shirts made on Flag & Anthem’s proprietary blanks.

Chinos, available in a 5-pocket style or trouser silhouette in slim, straight and relaxed fits, remain a bestseller for the brand with strong repeat rates. The brand is also introducing novelty items like washed gray camouflage chino shorts with a lived-in feel.

For Spring/Summer 2020 jeans, Flag & Anthem is focused on lightweight fabrications with two percent stretch, light washes and washed gray denim. The brand offers slim, straight and relaxed fits, and at the request of Stitchfix, added a bootcut.

French label Serge Blanco launched Blue, a new line of relaxed vacation-friendly menswear with a denim component. The collection includes chambray shirting, a western denim shirt and a lightweight patchwork chore jacket. The pieces tie back to other casual items in the line like printed shorts and tees.

Garment-dyed denim, summer mélange fabrics and lightweight 8oz. denim were among the ways 34 Heritage refreshed its collection for a warmer season. The brand also offered a technical, no-rivets golf pant with a hidden zipper back pocket. The entire collection was updated with 34 Heritage’s new branding with cleaner hardware and minimalist labels.

For a second season, Silver Jeans Co. rolled out its contemporary denim collection geared toward a more fashion-forward consumer. Whereas the brand’s core denim styles are known for bold contrast stitching and detailed back pockets, the new line emphasizes cleaner washes, premium fabrics and the absence of decorative details. Silver Jeans Co. vice president of marketing Michele Bedrick said the men’s classic straight and slim are the brand’s strongest styles for the season.

Spring/Summer 2020 marks DL1961’s foray into men’s ready-to-wear with pieces that balance streetwear and tailoring. Among the key items is an expanded range of knit denim, which echoes the DL’s laser-sharp focus on delivering comfort and softness, and a tailored chino program that offers a contemporary alternative to denim. Meanwhile, the brand doubles down on outerwear with new bomber jackets with hidden pockets, and twill and denim hybrid shirt jackets with sleek utility pockets.

Newly revived brand Devil-Dog Dungarees made its wholesale debut with a collection geared to 25- to 55-year-old men who want tried-and-true denim that can be worn every day. The fuss-free line offers four fits—slim, slim straight, straight and athletic—in performance stretch fabrications that utilize Lycra DualFX and recycled polyester from Repreve. For Spring/Summer 2020, the brand is also testing a slim tapered fit and more elevated details like tonal stitching and darker washes.

Devil-Dog is also looking to break into new categories. The brand previewed a line of utility workwear, like carpenter pants made with fabrics including stretch canvas, and an expanded range of graphic T-shirts. With “devil dog” being a nickname for a U.S. Marine, Sean Connelly, the brand’s vice president of men’s merchandising and sales, said the logo tees have found a fan base with the “Semper Fidelis” crowd.

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Liverpool Los Angeles has built an ageless following for its garment dyed jeans (color is driving sales), comfort stretch jeans with superior recovery and rigid-looking stretch denims. For Spring/Summer 2020, the brand added jeans with new gray washes, black over dye effects, clean rinses and subtle fades sans distracting whiskering. The brand offers jeans with contrasting stitching for a more traditional look, or tonal stitching for a sleeker style.

With Liverpool being a source for color in the men’s category, the brand introduced more seasonal colors to its jeans, including a fleshy pink, salmon, beige and cool gray. Chino trousers and twill shorts with a modified tapered fit were also a canvas for fashion colors.

The collection was also a preview of Liverpool as a lifestyle brand. An expanded range of knit and twill joggers with belt loops, and new ponte knit trousers in weighty solids and lighter novelties like pin dots and plaids, offer men casual yet sharp options that can be dressed up or down. The season also brings Liverpool’s first effort in tops, including slub cotton V-neck tees, weighty jersey crew necks and Henleys. Jackets are to come in Fall/Winter 20-21.

Raleigh Denim keyed into the demand in menswear for craftsmanship and heritage. The Spring/Summer 2020 collection included jeans made with selvedge denim from Cone’s shuttered White Oak plant, stretch selvedge from Candiani and novelties like a Japanese selvedge fabric made with 30 percent banana fiber—a jean defined by its yellow selvedge line.

While Raleigh remains a go-to for specialty fabrications (Japanese indigo-dyed herringbone and indigo-dyed canvas were among the highlights), Raleigh co-founder Victor Lytvinenko said the brand is seeing a strong reaction to its color denim developed with Cone. New styles have a black weft, which creates a heathered effect. The brand also dabbled in tonal camouflage for the new season.

And to maintain its U.S. heritage story, expect to see Raleigh introduce more products made by domestic suppliers. The Spring/Summer 2020 line alone includes a range of vintage-looking sweatshirts made with fabrics from South Carolina and manufactured at a cut-and-sew facility in North Carolina, as well as more shirting, caps and chore jackets.