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At Bluezone, Collaborations Help Kickstart Creativity in Denim

Bluezone was a magnet for collaborations this time around.

The Munich, Germany trade show held last week was home to several collaborations that demonstrate how each player in the supply chain contributes to creativity and innovation in the industry.

From mills and trim suppliers, to the next generation of denim designers, here’s a look at some of the notable partnerships found at the show.

Creative collaboration

Bluezone’s trend curators at Monsieur T introduced a new layer to their seasonal forecast with the All Related Collaboration, a project that emphasized teamwork and creativity.

For the collaboration, Monsieur T head designer Lucie Germser Wröbel, tapped Bluezone exhibitors to work with designers to develop sustainable garments that interpret one of the eight Fall/Winter 20-21 denim trends in the forecast.

The collaboration resulted statement pieces, like a Gen Z-friendly one-piece with voluminous detachable legs, a denim gown embellished with rock ‘n’ roll grommets and a layered look covered with song lyrics in bold typography.

The idea for the collaboration, Germser Wröbel said, was to mix together Bluezone exhibitors—manufacturers, trims suppliers, label makers and mills—and to encourage exhibitors to view trade shows as opportunities to network, share ideas and “find new motivations.” The project, she added, represented how “we are all different but together.”

One-of-a-kind collaboration

Collaborations are popular among mega brands, but few individuals can count themselves as the center piece of one. Enter Ruedi Karrer, also known as the Swiss Jeans Freak and owner of the Jeans Museum in Zurich.

To mark Karrer’s 60th birthday, Candiani Denim teamed with the jeans enthusiast to produce a limited-edition jean made with custom fabric. The jean—a 15.5-ounce, 3×1, left hand twill—features a green cast and a back pocket inspired by the Piz Beverin mountains Karrer grew up near. The natural leather back patch is etched with Karrer’s face and each pocket bag shares his story. Karrer signed all 60 pairs of jeans in the capsule collection at Bluezone.

In a couple of weeks, Karrer will announce on his social media channels where denim heads can buy the jeans, which will retail for 299.70 euros—also the height of Piz Beverin—and proceeds will benefit his museum.

Sustainable partnerships

In partnership with Greek denim label Salt & Pepper Jeans Co., Pakistan denim mill Naveena presented a line of nostalgic-inspired jeans and overalls recreated with contemporary fabrics and sustainable processes. The result is a collection of unique handmade jeans that capture the spirit of American craftsmanship with a touch of European aesthetics and an environmentally-friendly process.

The capsule collection, custom made by Salt & Pepper Jeans Co., are made with Naveena’s Retro Tech fabrics, which are designed to provide the wearer comfort without sacrificing a vintage authentic look. The jeans were washed by Italian chemical company, Officina+39, using its Trustainable substances and technology. The Trustainable portfolio uses fewer hazardous chemicals, reduces power usage and conserves water.

Naveena also teamed with Lenzing and Chottani for the show giveaway denim sailor bag made of Tencel x Refibra Lyocell.

“By collaborating with our partners, we link progressive design with technical innovation, making innovative and beautiful products in a clean, transparent way,” said Aydan Tuzun, Naveena head of global sales and marketing.

Student participation

Bluezone was also a platform for collaborations between student designers and the supply chain. Turkish denim mill Calik presented the top three student designs from Parsons School of Design’s denim course “Fashion Materiality.”

During the course, students have the opportunity to learn about denim design and wash development. Students investigate denim from design to construction, and study the fabric’s history and influence in the fashion industry. Calik provides technical equipment and supplies all the fabrics for the class. Students also had access to its team of denim experts.

The top designs included Daveed Baptiste’s interpretation of jackets printed with aerial photographs of forests in Brazil; Steffan Akira Nagashima’s western jacket with sashiko stitching; and Jennifer Gregorio’s rugged take on 19th century French workwear aged with a reverse shibori bleach technique.

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