The new technologies and innovations presented at Kingpins Amsterdam last week are bound to streamline denim manufacturing. However, the importance of fashion appeal for an industry that is competing with streetwear and activewear for consumer dollars cannot be overstated.
Here’s a look at some of the creative highlights from Kingpins Amsterdam.
Elleti Group, the full-service denim manufacturer based in Italy, tapped three budding designers and former students of Amsterdam’s Jeans School—Maxime Linn, James Bear Mottramto and Muhammad Umar Manzoor—to develop an aspirational line-up of jeans using the firm’s Earthkeepers package of sustainable technologies.
The goal, explained Elleti’s Riccardo Lovato, was to reshape the way designers consider vintage designs with a future-oriented approach and mindful consideration of the whole process, from fabric sourcing to treatments.
Earthkeepers includes low-impact chemical products, laser, ozone, ice-blasting and more.
Maxime Linn created high-waisted pants with double belt loops and a layer with undone edges. Inspired by sailors, James Bear Mottram reworked workwear as a tapered cropped jean with embroideries and patches. Muhammad Umar Manzoor devised a wide-leg jean with visible button fly and slanted front pockets.
Tonello found inspiration in vintage designs as well. The finishing company turned to Amy Leverton of Denim Dudes to develop a collection that blends its sustainable processes like Laser Blaze and All-In-One, a combination of Nostone, Ecofree 2 and Up technologies, with upcycled garments by iconic Italian brands.
The collection was a success at the show, and reinforced the youth-driven colorful and eclectic trends found in Leverton’s S/S 2020 trend presentation for Kingpins.
Lenzing teamed with sustainable fashion designer Pawan Kumar, denim manufacturer Saitex and more than a dozen global mills with sustainable initiatives to showcase the breadth of creative possibilities of Tencel Lyocell with Refibra fibers.
The fiber company presented “Midnight Blues,” a line that included a runway-worthy pleated gown and A-line tops for women and elevated denim shirts for men.
As color gains momentum in denim, mills and dyestuff specialists are ramping up greener alternatives.
For its new line of sustainable stretch denim fabrics called Re-Last, Candiani partnered with Archroma to develop an exclusive color from the chemical firm’s EarthColors product range. The gray-brown color is achieved from recycled cotton scraps and is traceable with NFC technology, complementing the mill’s efforts for transparency and sustainability.
Textile chemical company Officina +39 presented its circular solution for color dyestuff. The company showcased Recycrom, a range of color powders made from 100 percent textile waste.
Through an innovative and patented process, Officina +39 turns the fibers into a uniform and solid powder that can be used as a pigment dye for fabrics and garments made of cotton, wool, nylon or any natural and most artificial fibers and blends. Recycrom can also be applied using various methods like exhaustion dyeing, printing and spray. Coating is currently under development.
However, Officina +39 general manager Andrea Venier noted the process requires some flexibility from brands. There is no color card since colors are determined by the color of the scrap material, and each batch is unique, he said. Recycrom is also not suited for dark shades like black and dark blue. Rather, the technology is primed for vintage-inspired colors with a dusty or faded appearance.
Vintage-inspired Garmon Chemical’s new line of Old Vintage Dyes (OVD) were unveiled at Kingpins with a line of 22 direct dyes that require less energy, less water and less time than conventional reactive dyes. The dyes create the pure, vivid and authentic special effects brands are vying to achieve for their overdyed garments.
Along with reducing process time by 40 percent, water consumption by 40 percent and energy consumption by 35 percent, Garmon says the OVD dyes are eco-friendly and safe for people, complying with restrictive regulations and brands’ Restricted Substances Lists.
The emphasis on color at Kingpins was surely driven by the prevalence of ’80s and ’90s influences. From 1999’s blinged-out, futuristic vibe, to old school snow wash, the Kingpins trend presentation by Denim Dudes’ Amy Leverton and Samuel Trotman was chockfull of throwback styling.
Along with new lines of stretch selvedge and Tencel denim, Artistic Milliners’ California Roll collection offered a commercial option for brands seeking an authentic ’90s look.
Calik tackled the decade with Summer Slim, a line of lightweight fabrics with a ’90s aesthetic sans the bulk. The fabrics fall in the 8.5-ounce range. Meanwhile, the mill’s novelty line, Weaveland, favored vintage-feeling textures to give a lived and loved feel, especially in seasonal colors like buttercup yellow and burnt orange.
For S/S 2020, Kilim revisited the year it invested in denim manufacturing with a collection called 1986. The collection reflects denim’s evolution into a genderless and ageless staple.
Kilim’s Genderfree line offers stretch fabrics with high elasticity made with dual-core yarns between 7.5 ounces and 10.5 ounces. Color-coated overdyed fabrics with special finishes make up the mill’s Color Code line. The mill meets brands’ sustainable needs with a Re-Create line that includes fabrics made with natural fibers like organic, BCI cotton and Tencel, indigo-dyed fabrics with zero hydrosulphite and “cactus” fabrics that reduce water consumption by 93 percent.