With events like Amsterdam Denim Days on hold, major industry players in Italy are working to reclaim the country’s denim history.
GenovaJeans, a consumer-facing event that honors the Genovese origins of jeans and examines the garment’s future impact on the world, will debut Sept. 2-6 in the Italian city of Genoa. The event is spearheaded by Diesel and Candiani Denim and powered by sustainability consultancy firm Eco-Age.
Denim’s potential for environmental harm is the focal point for the event. It’s not only one of the most pressing issues surrounding the industry, but also the foundation of Eco-Age, which organizes the Green Carpet Fashion Awards as a way to celebrate the best in sustainable fashion. Production company Pulse, which produced the award-winning “Green Carpet Fashion Awards” film last year, will debut a movie called “Jeans-The Genoa-R-Evolution” at the event.
“Working on this project with the Eco-Age team, I have learned so much about the history of my favorite ever item,” said Livia Firth, Eco-Age co-founder and creative director. “I can’t wait to show everyone what can be achieved when there is true collaborative spirit in the name of sustainability and to be in Genoa with everyone celebrating this debut.”
Candiani Denim, which operates outside of Milan, will address the need for more responsible denim practices with an immersive experience that exposes the damage caused by unsustainable production. At the same time, it will highlight solutions that aim to do better—including its Coreva stretch technology, which disrupted the industry with its launch in 2019.
Made from organic cotton wrapped around a natural rubber core, the innovation is the world’s first biodegradable stretch denim. The technology is also the focal point of Candiani’s new concept store in Milan.
And the alleys of Genoa’s historic Via Pre will serve as a backdrop to La Via del Jeans, a showcase of legendary pieces from Diesel’s private archive. Guests will also be able to tour the Artejeans exhibition, a collection of 36 jeans donated to the city by globally renowned Italian contemporary artists.
GenovaJeans visitors will learn other elements of jeans’ evolution at the event, which is slated to run annually.
“We are proud to introduce, right here where jeans were born, sustainable innovations that allow us to clean up the industry and to keep wearing the iconic blue jeans without hurting the environment,” said Alberto Candiani, owner of Candiani Denim. “Jeans have invaded the world starting from Genoa’s port and today, once again, we want to export the new generation of jeans to all those who care about them and about our planet.”
Though the material has several hubs around the world, denim (or de Nîmes) fabric was first woven in the town of Nîmes in France, and sewn into jeans (or Genes) in Genoa. In 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis secured a patent to create work pants reinforced with metal rivets, transforming the garment into the 501 jean we all know today.
According to Manuela Arata, founder and president of GenovaJeans, the event taps into the “tremendous potential” of the city’s massive crowd of tourists who cross its ports each year. “They will find a charming historical area for shopping, entertainment, handicrafts and culture based on blue jeans,” Arata said.
GenovaJeans takes place one day after Bluezone in Munich Germany, the first denim industry trade fair to take place in Europe since the start of the pandemic.
Though the threat of Covid-19 is still looming in certain regions around the world, many events have returned in full force. In-person denim trade shows such as Project, Coterie and Liberty are hosting shows in Miami and Las Vegas later this summer.