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Rivet x Project Awards: Meet the Winners

The Fall/Winter 2023-2024 buying season has begun. At the Las Vegas Convention Center this week, retailers and brands are gathering at Informa Fashion Market’s Project trade show, taking stock of what’s next in denim.

There, the Rivet editorial team selected the best in F/W 23-24 denim across six categories: Best Women’s Collection, Best Men’s Collection, Editor’s Choice, Best Collaboration and Best Sustainable Collection.

The Rivet x Project Awards highlight the many ways brands approach winning designs this year. Some pay homage to the classics and design for longevity, while others focus on offering variety to help consumers find their perfect fit. 

Congratulations to the winners.

Best Men’s Collection: Nudie Jeans

Nudie Jeans challenges the traditional seasonality of fashion collections and the number of SKUs a brand needs to succeed. Known for its organic cotton denim and classic fits, as well as its repair and resale initiatives, the brand played a video showing how it creates “tomorrow’s vintage” and addressing questions about the effectiveness of sustainable capsule collections. Are capsules more of an attempt to clear the consumer conscience than to truly reduce the industry’s environmental impact? Does the frequency of sustainable capsules encourage consumers to discard clothing just to buy more? 

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Nudie aims to slow down consumption with a Fall/Winter 23-24 assortment that has the eccentricity of a vintage shop. Nothing matches exactly yet pieces go with one another. Key denim items include the Dry Onyx Selvedge jean that mirrors the slim/straight fit of a jean from the 1950s. A heavy indigo selvedge jean is washed down so the wearer doesn’t have to go through the process of breaking them in. The bottoms pair with pieces that have a retro twist, including a padded Buffalo check jacket, a black leather jacket with zipper pockets and a rodeo shirt with rabbit embroidery. 

Best Sustainability: Mavi

Small but meaningful steps add up to big wins for Mavi and its sustainability journey. The Turkish denim brand was recently named to the CDP’s 2022 Climate Change A List. Only 283 of the 20,000 companies worldwide that responded to the CDP made the Climate Change A List in 2022. Mavi is the first and only apparel brand from Turkey to make the list. 

Mavi’s sustainability efforts have also been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Accordingly, the company has committed to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 70 percent from the base year 2019 to 2030, and Scope 3 emissions by 55 percent in the purchased goods and services category, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Approval means that the targets developed by the company are based on science and conform with SBTi’s target setting criteria.

All Blue products—garments that follow Mavi’s sustainability strategy encompassing people, planet and products—account for about 84 percent of the brand’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection in the U.S. and the brand anticipates it will be larger for F/W 23-24.

Helping Mavi’s efforts is Recycled Blue, a new women’s jeans collection that incorporates Tencel with Refibra technology. The technology gives a second life to pre- and post- consumer cotton textiles (which would otherwise be sent to landfills or incinerated) by upcycling them. These scraps are mashed into cotton pulp and then mixed with wood pulp, a renewable raw material sourced from sustainably managed forests. The closed-loop process uses 95 percent less water to produce than conventional cotton, Mavi says. For this collection, Mavi blended the Tencel with Refibra with recycled cotton, resulting in jeans that have a vintage look with a soft handle. 

Other sustainable stories in the F/W 23-24 collection include Pro Dark Tech, a rinse wash jean made with recycled polyester that doesn’t fade, organic cotton selvedge jacket and jeans for men, and the continuation of clay-dyed jeans and shackets for men and women. 

Best Collaboration: Hudson

Fashion icons are made in arena sports tunnels and Hudson wants in on the action. The brand teamed with Brandon Williams, celebrity stylist to some of the NBA, MLB, and NFL’s most fashionable athletes, to create a capsule collection of elevated denim streetwear. 

The F/W 23-24 co-branded range centers on coordinates and wide bottoms. A boxy navy blue work shirt matches navy cargo pants with bungee cord hems. A vegan leather jacket coordinates with cargo pants. A cream knit top matches knit bottoms with released hems for a bootcut effect.

Standout denim pieces include super wide-leg jeans, available in dark indigo and vintage washes. 

Best Women’s Collection: Liverpool Los Angeles

Variety is the spice of life and it’s also one of the reasons why consumers keep coming back to Liverpool Los Angeles. The brand, known for offering standard, petite, tall and plus sizing, launched in 2012 when the women’s market was ruled by skinny jeans, but Liverpool learned how to evolve with its clientele. While the “death of the skinny has been overblown,” according to a rep, “nothing too tight” is having a moment in the spotlight.  

Liverpool’s F/W 23-24 collection introduces the “not-so-skinny” skinny, its “cool-girl” take on a straight/slim jean available in high and regular rises. The brand also touts a variety of inseams. “The seasonality of inseams is changing,” a rep said, adding that full-length, crop and ankle sell year-round.

After a slow start, girlfriend jeans and boyfriend fits are breakout stars. The latter satisfies demand for relaxed and slouchy fits that feel vintage. Liverpool’s boyfriend jean is designed with a button-fly and larger pockets, however it is introducing its first zipper version for F/W 23-24. The brand ships them cuffed for styling, but not tacked. 

Black and gray, raw hems and clean dark washes with minimal destruction round out the denim collection. The bottoms are complemented with garment-dyed tops and belted shackets—items that allow consumers to play with new proportions.

Best New Brand: Noend

Celebrities like Halsey are not the only ones noticing Los Angeles-based Noend. The four-year old brand’s deconstructed approach to fashion denim caught the eye of buyers at its first time exhibiting at Project as well. 

Made in L.A. with fabrics sourced from Turkey, Mexico and Japan, Noend balances women’s classic staples with the patchwork and pieced statement pieces that denim fans love. A collection of skirts is made with patchwork denim, resulting in a mashup of washes and handkerchief hems. Jeans are pieced with various washes spanning bright indigo to bleached out denim and a strapless top with a zip-up front is made with bands of different colored denim. 

Meanwhile, twill jumpsuits in utilitarian colors, denim jumpsuits with an ultra-soft vintage hand, flare jeans and high-rise straight crop jeans are among the brand’s most wearable and versatile pieces. 

Editor’s Pick: Joe’s

Joe’s F/W 23-24 collection for men and women is an example of how denim plays nicely with other fabrications. For men, the brand expanded its assortment of Air Soft, a collection of French terry jeans that combines the comfort of loungewear with classic 5-pocket styling. The concept soft launched in S/S ’23 with core indigo washes. Gray and rust red are new for fall. 

Washed cargo pants in green and gray, brown-tinted jeans and washes with dimension add interest to men’s bottoms without relying on destruction and echo the market-wide shift to cleaner looks. The bottoms are complemented by a cozy chore jacket, a corduroy varsity jacket in earth tones, a suede Trucker and a suede shearling coat. 

The cropped bootcut Callie and the wide-leg Mia are part of Joe’s coated denim story for women. The brand offers the Mia with a 34-inch inseam for a long and fluid fit. Indigo and rust versions of the Mia have pintucking on the front for a retro nod. A cropped Mia is also available in vegan leather. The leather alternative is also featured as a short trench coat, puff-sleeve blouse and dress with a knotted front. 

A goldenrod corduroy blazer and flare trousers are Joe’s coordinates of the season. Details like split hems and shiny gold hardware give the matching pieces an editorial edge. Dark rinse cargo jeans, black cargo trousers and rigid denim with a soft brushed surface round out the versatile collection.