Denim Days is preparing to go global with the debut of New York Denim Days this fall.
The three-day consumer-facing event—brought to the Big Apple by many of the same intrepid minds that have made Amsterdam Denim Days a success—is set to take place Sept. 29-Oct. 1, with a one-day speaker series and a two-day shopping event in New York’s Chelsea nabe.
Like the Amsterdam event, the festival will include interactive displays and workshops from brands, designers and denim mills alongside in-store events, a vintage denim market, parties and panels—all geared to give consumers access to their denim heroes and brands. As the Amsterdam production has proven with activations like denim art, on-premise repair, limited-edition collections and museum-quality exhibits, New York Denim Days exhibitors can get as creative as they wish.
New York Denim Days kicks off on Friday, Sept. 29 with an invite-only seminar series, Denim Talks, hosted at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Katie Murphy Amphitheatre. Fashion students, students of denim and press will have access to great denim minds, including Adriano Goldschmied, Diesel USA CEO Stefano Rosso, 3×1 Founder and CEO Scott Morrison, Not Just a Label Founder and CEO Stefan Siegel and Sanjeev Bahl, the founder and owner of Saitex.
The denim festival continues Sept. 30-Oct.1 with a ticketed event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea that combines a hands-on learning experience with shopping. The event will close out on Oct. 1 with a proper New York City street festival on 18th Street that will include food trucks, live entertainment, children’s activities and more.
Olah says attendees at the weekend event will see denim weaving, indigo dye techniques, embroidery, chain stitching and more. Leather good companies, vintage dealers, mills and other key players in the supply chain will set up activations and opportunities to shop and collect knickknacks. Tenue de Nîmes, which famously custom indigo dyes Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers during Amsterdam Denim Days, is rumored to recreate their set up here in the Big Apple.
Meanwhile, beloved Manhattan-based jeans stores, 3×1 and Jean Shop, have signed on as New York Denim Days’ first exhibitors. Jean Shop will be displaying rare vintage jeans, selling product and a leather bracelet that shoppers can customize with dye and hand-stamps. The retailer will also be indigo dyeing bandanas to add to the festival’s DIY experience. 3×1 will feature signature items.
“From my perspective, it should be the greatest days for shopping for jeans of the year.”
“Jean Shop and 3×1 represent what is great about the New York denim community,” Olah said. “They care about quality, craft and the essence of denim authenticity. To have them join us as our first participants is more than satisfying.”
Amsterdam Denim Days organizers Modefabriek and Kingpins Show in collaboration with House of Denim and HTNK Fashion recruitment and consultancy are behind the New York festival. Organizers began shopping around the idea of a New York event with U.S.-based brands and retailers last fall. Since 2014, Amsterdam Denim Days has become a must-attend event for global denimheads. In the last two years, the event has doubled its attendance to 10,000 visitors, drawing consumers, brands and buyers to celebrate and share their passion for denim, innovation and sustainability.
If Amsterdam Denim Days has revealed anything about the denim industry, it has confirmed that consumers are hungry for information and are enthusiastic about the denim they wear. Olah hopes that sense of enthusiasm translates to New York. “I think a lot of people love jeans and they have no place to go and we are creating a space where consumers can come to discover new and established quality brands that don’t revolve around fast fashion,” he said.
Olah believes a lot more can be achieved through consumer-facing events like Denim Days. “The idea has merit. We’re just scratching the surface. These are the kind of things you need to try. It is the future of our industry,” he said, adding that future New York Denim Days will coincide with Kingpins New York, similar to the way Kingpins Amsterdam and Amsterdam Denim Days are scheduled.
With the goal to showcase a completely New York perspective on the global denim scene, Olah believes New York Denim Days will have its own style. Whereas Amsterdam Denim Days appeals to diehard denim aficionados and “hipsters,” Olah believes the New York event will be a festival that anyone who likes a good pair of jeans will enjoy. “Jeans in America are not like that—we all wear jeans,” he quipped. “Let’s just have some fun.”
Tickets for New York Denim Days are available online for $10. Tickets will be $15 at the door. Brands interested in exhibiting at New York Denim Days can e-mail Andrew Olah at firstname.lastname@example.org.