Leading denim brands gathered in Las Vegas this week for the first time since February 2020 to present their Spring/Summer 2022 collections at Project.
There, the Rivet team shopped the show floor to uncover the best in denim across seven categories: Best Sustainable Collection, Best Men’s Collection, Best Women’s Collection, Best Showpiece, Editor’s Choice, Best New Brand and Best Storytelling.
From modern interpretations of heritage and utility, to industry stalwarts embracing sustainable solutions, the third edition of the Rivet x Project Awards recognizes the brands bringing newness and creativity to the denim market.
Congratulations to the following winners.
Best New Brand: Morrison Denim
With a $58 wholesale price point across its entire collection, 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. Its first collection arrives in stores next spring.
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 speak to vintage-loving consumers. 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 the authentic qualities of denim design.
Best Men’s Collection: Oak & Acorn – Only for the Rebelles
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, including reversible hand-dyed vests, quilted joggers and boiler suits. Ahead of presenting at New York Fashion Week in September, founder Miko Underwood is rolling out a comfort-driven resort collection that offers harem pants and a black coverall with a tapered fit as well as a studded jacket and jean set and a quilted chore jacket with a cinched waist.
Best Women’s Collection: Midheaven Denim
Midheaven Denim is former model Kathryn Boyd Brolin’s solution for tall women who, like her, were troubled by the lack of inseams long enough to fit their lengthy frames. Made with high-quality Italian denim fabrics and classic fits that rival premium brands like J Brand and Frame, the brand has garnered notable fans like Cindy Crawford and Nicole Kidman. Collaborations with designer Cynthia Rowley have help amplified the brand’s profile as well.
Serving women size 24-32, Midheaven Denim offers jeans with inseams that range from 33-inches to 38-inches. This year, the brand is broadening its consumer base by 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.
Best Sustainable Collection: Mavi
Featuring organic cotton, recycled cotton, Tencel and blends of these better fibers, Mavi’s S/S ’22 collection is an example of how an established brand can evolve into a leader in sustainable manufacturing. The 30-year-old brand makes sustainable denim look good with a dual-gender collection that spans women’s pastel straight-fit jeans and wide-leg fashion statements, to men’s athletic-fit jeans and beach-ready shorts.
Best Showpiece: Royal Revival x Alla Berman
Denim heads know well the gems that can be unearthed in thrift stores and flea markets. A new collaboration between Royal Revival and Alla Berman, however, brings new meaning to the phrase “a diamond in the rough.” The two brands 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.
Best Storytelling: Dickies
Dickies packs 100 years of design and storytelling into its Spring/Summer 2022 collection. The U.S. heritage brand, which will celebrate its centennial anniversary in March, pays homage to its workwear roots and the youth-oriented subcultures that adopted it as part of their uniform in a dual-gender line of classic yet relevant fits.
A three-piece set highlights Dickies’ early days as a denim bib producer. The men’s set includes raw denim overalls, a chore jacket and carpenter jean punctuated with white contrast stitching and a special anniversary patch inside the garments. A men’s twill uniform set speaks to the brand’s evolution as a purveyor of durable work uniforms. A special anniversary T-shirt outlines Dickies’s journey with a design that riffs on concert merch shirts.
Along with wide-wale corduroy bottoms and graphic tees making up the new Dickies Skateboarding range, the S/S ’22 collection signals a new approach to the women’s category. With utility, coordinating sets and overalls dominating as trending themes in women’s, in general, the brand is building out some of its heritage pieces to appeal to the fashion consumer. Highlights include a salmon pink cropped work jacket and matching trousers, and a shorts coverall with pop accent colors. Prints and patterns such as paisley and crosshatch help enliven other coordinating sets.
Editor’s Choice: Silver Jeans Co.
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.
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 and special pocket bag designs with the tagline and the name of the brand’s new campaign, “Thirty Years Young.”
The brand’s biggest achieve, 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 become 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 to advance its efforts.