For the inaugural Rivet Awards, the Rivet team shopped the floor at Project in Las Vegas this week, to uncover the best in denim design, product development and sustainable innovation.
From premium denim stalwarts in expansion mode, to a newcomer that has retailers’ ever-changing needs in mind, Rivet chose to honor these six brands for bringing newness and creativity to the men’s denim market.
Best Sustainable Collection: Mavi
Premium denim brand Mavi is taking a major step toward sustainability with two new lines for Spring/Summer 2020. The brand 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.
The sustainable collections include some of Mavi’s proven fits as well as seasonal fashion pieces. For women, the brand offers sustainable versions of its popular Cindy mom jean, the Alissa high-rise curvy skinny and the brand-new Star super high-rise straight. For men’s, the brand is betting on a sustainable version of its Jake slim leg. Additional styles will be introduced for Fall ’20.
“We have always felt responsible to do what is necessary to leave less of an environmental footprint and we collaborate with top denim industry manufacturers to reach these goals,” said Arkun Durmaz, president of Mavi North America.
Not exclusive to the organic and recycled collection, Durmaz noted that as a jeans brand, Mavi is committed to decreasing water, energy and material consumption, and increasing the re-use of resources throughout the manufacturing process.
“We use the top water filtration technology to clean up and re-use 99 percent of the water utilized through the re-steaming and drying process in denim laundry,” he said. “We used 62 percent less water and 28 percent less energy compared to last year, and 49 percent of our total denim production is done with laser technology.”
Best Collaboration: Raleigh Denim x Bleu De Chauffe
Raleigh Denim’s collaboration with French label Bleu De Chauffe is a story about kindred spirits. Despite an ocean between them, both brands favor handcrafted, timeless designs over trend pieces. And both are manic about details—a shared trait that is evident in the duo’s first project together, a denim bag inspired by an old French mailbag. Made in France, the tote combines Bleu De Chauffe’s natural veg-tanned leather with Raleigh’s “OG” raw selvedge from Cone—which the denim brand stocked up before the mill shuttered in 2018. Both materials, said Raleigh Denim’s co-founder and designer Victor Lytvinenko, were chosen for how they break in and wear over time.
Back in North Carolina, the collaboration continues. There, Raleigh Denim is indigo-dyeing belts made with Bleu De Chauffe’s leather. And more collaborative products are to come when the team from Bleu De Chauffe pays Raleigh Denim a visit in October.
Best Men’s Collection: Liverpool Los Angeles
Whereas other brands are chasing streetwear and vintage trends, or tweaking portions of their collection to appeal to demographics outside of their wheelhouse, Liverpool Los Angeles is one brand that appears to be confident in its own skin. In its third year, Liverpool 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.
Part of the brand’s success lies in its consistency, which can be attributed to co-founder Jill Perilman’s experience in fabric development and fit. Offering four inseams, the brand cross-fits its jeans across multiple body types to ensure the jeans fit proportionally to every shape. And it does this for each of its styles, meaning whether a customer reorders their favorite jean or tries a different fabrication, they can expect the same fit.
For Spring/Summer 2020, there’s more to love from Liverpool, including jeans with new gray washes, black over dye effects, clean rinses and subtle fades sans distracting whiskering. Chino trousers and twill shorts with a modified tapered fit introduce more seasonal color to the collection. 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. And the brand’s first range of tops hints to Liverpool’s future as a lifestyle brand. The line spans slub cotton V-neck tees and weighty jersey crew necks, to short- and long-sleeve Henleys.
Woven tops and the brand first sustainable effort in jeanswear are to come later in 2020.
Best New Brand: Devil-Dog Dungarees
Consumers nowadays have more options for what they buy and where they buy it and General Sportwear-owned Devil-Dog Dungarees is covering all the bases. The heritage brand, which re-launched as a direct-to-consumer brand this summer, made its Project debut with an expanded collection and a new digital wholesale portal that caters to the specific needs of specialty retailers. Through the portal, retailers receive real time inventory information, quick turn shipping and can place orders for as little as one piece—a perk made possible because General Sportwear owns its own manufacturing facilities.
And Devil-Dog Dungarees carries this sense of ease into its range of uncomplicated denim. Targeting a demographic that spans 25- to 55-year-old men, the brand 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 will add a slim tapered fit, as well as a line of utility workwear, like carpenter pants made with fabrics including stretch canvas. Devil-Dog Dungarees is also experimenting with darker washes and tonal stitching for a more elevated look.
Best Showpiece: Bonum
Known for upcycling vintage denim, Tokyo-based Bonum exemplifies the artistry and vision required to transform something old and unwanted into a one-of-a-kind garment that feels new and inventive. And a love for all things indigo enhances this feeling. The collection at Project spanned hybrid jeans and mixed media jean jackets, to a patchwork denim robe, but a single shirt summed up Bonum’s respect for denim’s global heritage. As the brand’s showpiece, a vintage Wrangler western snap shirt served as a base for elements like panels of African indigo cloth and Japanese indigo fabrics, a deconstructed Lee back pocket and a nod to Americana via a classic red bandana on the front and back.
Editor’s Choice: DL1961
Spring/Summer 2020 marks DL1961’s foray into men’s ready-to-wear with pieces that balance streetwear and tailoring. And the brand’s commitment to its menswear business is evident in the collection chock-full of modern classics that puts fabrics first every step of the way. An expanded range of knit denim echoes the DL’s laser-sharp focus on delivering comfort and softness, while its tailored chino program 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. Finally, the collection is set to a fresh palette of desert-inspired hues, like mint, rust, tan and egg shell.