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Denim Premiere Vision Urges Designers and Mills to Break the Nostalgia Rut

Denim needs to evolve with the changing times. At Denim Première Vision in London Wednesday, trend specialist Marina Couteau shared the show’s vision for Spring/Summer 2020, sending a clear message that the denim industry needs to escape its focus on the past.

No more re-imagined ideas, re-issued collections or re-designs. “We need to move beyond that cycle,” she said. “We need to step outside the normal framework and create a type of chaos.”

But denim isn’t stepping out alone. The framework has already been created by young generations. From new gender ideas and perceptions of beauty, to the “giant need” for personalization, Couteau said denim needs to keep up with the rapidly changing mindset of young consumers.

Here’s a look at four key S/S 2020 themes, materials and color trends that will help set the tone for denim’s next phase: a celebration of originality.


In Discover, effortless fabrics and carefree tie-dyes allow the wearer to be at ease in their own skin. “Fashion is an attitude,” Couteau said. Lightweight, and feather weight fabrics add a breezy fluidity to silhouettes. That fluidity is carried into the trend’s mash-up of cultures, which transpire into fabrics and trims with indigo prints inspired by Moroccan and Portuguese tile or laid back hippie tie-dye effects. Other prints are distinguished by soft, ombre effects that add a blurry, or watercolor aesthetic.

Denim Clothing Company
Denim Clothing Company

Create and Share

Now that fashion is finally showing concern for the environment, Couteau says the ecological alternatives are endless. In Create and Share, mills introduced a bevy of recycled fibers to denim fabrications—from cotton, polyester and nylon. And they are doing this with a level of refinement Couteau says wasn’t possible a few seasons ago. Washes add a heightened feeling of suppleness to fabrics, while heavy yet relaxed fabrics feel substantial in the hand, she said. “There’s a gentleness that emphasizes the delicacy of fabrics,” Couteau said.

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Denim International
Denim International

Performance Perspective

The line between fashion and performance is a distant memory. In Performance Perspective, fabrics perform a service that supports the wearer.

“These fabrics are an everyday hero in real life,” Couteau said.

Fabrics with a high percentage of elastane are a must, as well as fabrics with built-in strength, like Dynema. With new modes of transportation popping up in cities around the world (think bike and scooter sharing programs), Couteau said fabrics must guarantee flexibility and durability. The trend story also invites new opportunities for designers to play with pocketing, including cargo pockets, kangaroo pocketing and detachable pocketing.



In Personalization, Couteau said, “there’s a nod to fantasy” and there’s a “unique spirit.” Fashion is a form of expression, so “be you,” she said.

For S/S 2020, mills and trim suppliers are pumping up the ways to make a statement with over-dye denim in bold colors like lime green and purple, offbeat prints, metallic stripes and splashes of color. Transparent fabrics, excessive embroidery and heaps of embellishments (sequins, patches, buttons and charms) cohabitate, making this one of the season’s most eclectic and youth-driven trends.

Artistic Milliners
Artistic Milliners Angela Velasquez