Leading men’s and dual-gender denim brands gathered at Project in Las Vegas this week to present their Fall/Winter 20-21 collections. From jeans made with sustainable ingredients to purpose-driven concepts, the collections from both newcomers and heritage names represent the denim industry’s mission to design outside the traditional confines of fashion.
The second Rivet Awards honor the best denim brands at the trade show across six categories: Best Sustainable Collection, Best Men’s Collection, Best Women’s Collection, Best Showpiece, Editor’s Choice and Best New Brand.
Best Sustainable Collection: G-Star Raw
No stranger to innovation, G-Star Raw brought its most sustainable stretch denim to Project. The collection, which debuted last October, is updated and designed for re-use, featuring 100 percent recyclable iconic G-Star styles.
Women’s styles include skinny, slim, boot, boyfriend and relaxed jeans, and men’s styles include skinny, slim, straight, tapered and relaxed. The collection promotes circularity and builds off prior innovations developed in partnership with DyStar, Saitex and Artistic Milliners. All of these products are Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold.
The denim collection also featured a development with Candiani on a regenerative indigo dye concept, which merges EarthColors by Archroma derived from upcycled cotton waste with Hydrosulphite-free Nitrogen Indigo technology and Kitotex. Furthermore, waste from this process is designed to be used as fertilizer, underscoring G-Star’s emphasis on circularity.
A champion of collaboration, the brand encourages others to adopt its innovations, and makes their technologies openly accessible so sustainable practices can be implemented at scale.
Best Men’s Collection: Diesel
Diesel continues to push boundaries in men’s denim with statement styles that are as wearable as they are bold.
The F/W 20-21 men’s collection tells an eccentric story, with pieces featuring tie-dye effects, zipper details and utility elements, as displayed in a pair of black wide-leg jeans with horizontal zippers above the knee for a peekaboo effect. Even the dye techniques tell a story: Named after a worker in the laundry department, the Celestino effect consists of a swirled design created by twisting the denim before washing.
An assortment of velvet denim is also a collection highlight. The high-stretch jeans offer a soft, velvety touch. Available in warm tobacco and slate, the jeans offer an alternative to black denim for the holiday season.
Best Women’s Collection: 7 For All Mankind
The brand that helped introduced the world to premium denim celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and its latest women’s collection pays homage to the milestone. 7 For All Mankind celebrated by bringing back styles from the year 2000 and reimagining them for today. The collection offers items like a patchwork light-wash jean updated with a high waist and pieces made from the brand’s original ultra-soft 080 fabric.
But it wasn’t all throwback pieces for the brand. Coated denim took center stage for F/W 20-21, updating women’s skinny and wide-leg jeans with luxe shades of merlot, burgundy and caramel. A pieced mini skirt, designed with black coated denim on the front and traditional indigo denim on the back, was a collection highlight.
Denim shirting rounded out the women’s collection, with triple-needle stitching and flirty puffed shoulders.
Best Showpiece: Trinidad3
Trinidad3 was founded by Trinidad Garcia III, a former marine and Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise graduate. That fact alone makes for a compelling brand story, but the company’s newest jean—the Barron—has a touching story of its own.
Named after veteran Josue Barron, the slim-fit men’s jeans feature zippers on each leg that extend from the pocket down to the knee cap—and while they add a stylish component, their purpose extends beyond fashion. Barron, like other veterans injured during combat, is able to use this feature to adjust his prosthetic limb as he sits and stands up.
The veteran was onsite to model the jeans and demonstrate their usability. The style is available in three washes: raw, black and washed denim.
Editor’s Choice: Tommy Jeans
New to Project, but not new to denim, Tommy Jeans displayed a reboot collection featuring nostalgic pieces that celebrate the brand’s rich history, and reminded everyone why the brand was beloved in the ’90s.
Tommy Jeans displayed its classics, including a light-wash denim jacket with its famous flag logo on the left pocket, as well as a light-wash denim shirt gutted and replaced with red plaid. The end result is a patchwork-inspired denim shirt that merges nostalgic grunge styles of the ’90s with the classic American stylings Tommy Jeans is known for. Another standout piece was a men’s straight-leg jean in a classic blue wash with an enlarged logo on the back pocket.
Best New Brand: Modern American
Launching in March, Modern American hasn’t even hit stores yet and it’s already generating a buzz—and it’s not just because of its classic-cool styling.
The sister brand to Fidelity Denim, Modern American was founded on the same locally made practices—both brands are some of the last remaining companies to cut, sew and wash all of their denim in-house in L.A.—and updated for a younger, more experimental consumer. Its debut collection is available in both men’s and women’s, and features water-saving technologies that use one liter of water per jean. Additionally, the brand uses organic cotton grown in the U.S., and hardware, trims and tags are all made of recycled materials.
The men’s collection features three different fits, including a slim straight, slim and skinny jean available in a light, medium and dark wash. The women’s range is more robust, with seven fits including a high-rise skinny, cropped, tapered, narrow, boyfriend, bootcut and wide leg, as well as cutoff and long shorts.