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Heritage Designs and Bold Finishes Trend at Liberty Fairs New York

Denim brands offered a first look at Fall ’19 collections this week at Liberty Fairs in New York. Many played to both sides of the denim market: the traditionalist and the rule breakers.

Naked & Famous, a brand known for developing fabrics with its mill partners, is building its court of extreme textures.

Following the Fall ’18 launch of “King of Slub,” a 23 oz. unsanforized Japanese selvedge denim with an extra slubby uneven texture, the Canadian brand introduced “Lord of Nep” at Liberty, a jean Naked & Famous sales representative Risa Saito described as the “neppiest jean in the world.” The jean boasts an ostrich leather back patch.

The brand is also launching a 4-piece collaboration with Dragon Ball Z, the Japanese anime television series with a cult following. Along with special patches, pocket bags and hardware, each jean in the collection features colors (including green weft or purple trim) and embroideries that represent key characters from the series.

No detail was overlooked in Dickies 1922’s Fall ’19 collection. The line pulled references from its workwear archive, including several pieces like a chore coat and button-fly denim work pants modeled after styles from the 1940s made with White Oak selvedge. Other highlights included a 7.5 oz. Japanese selvedge blazer, black and merlot wide wale corduroy trousers and blazers and a drop-shoulder button-down shirt—a nod to work shirt styles before gussets became de rigueur.

Dickies 1922
Dickies 1922 Dickies 1922

Ann Richardson, general manager and director of strategic initiatives for Dickies 1922, added that the brand is having particular success with a woven waffle thermal button-down shirt in gray.

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Ace Rivington, the Californian denim brand inspired by adventure and travel, previewed its first jeans for women and a foray into sustainability. For fall, the brand is introducing two women’s cuts—a high-rise skinny and mid-rise slim tapered—in a variety of washes. The jeans are made with organic cotton denim from Candiani—the brand’s longstanding mill partner.

President and founder Beau Lawrence said the women’s collection will also include some knit items, including the brand’s “softest tees ever made.”

Premium denim label Trinidad3 brought a line of Made in L.A. men’s jeans, jackets and T-shirts. The collection includes 100 percent cotton 14.25 oz. Cone denim jeans in slim tapered jeans hand finished by L.A.-based wash artisans. Jean jackets are splashed with bleach and T-shirts are hand-painted and adorned with a rivet.

Founded in 2016 by Trinidad Garcia III, a FIDM graduate and eight-year U.S. Marine veteran, the collection recreates elements of the Marine uniform. The brand’s red waistband on jeans represents the red stripe on Marine’s trousers. And T-shirts are adorned with “Read for All,” the motto of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. The brand aims to keep its storytelling authentic to Garcia’s roots by featuring veterans in the look book.

Donwan Harrell returned to Liberty with Art Meets Chaos, a new line of men’s denim with striking finishes. “It’s all about character and giving jeans life,” Harrell said.

Art Meets Chaos
Art Meets Chaos Art Meets Chaos

Whereas the bulk of new denim brands want to blend into heritage denim culture, Harrell wants Art Meets Chaos to stand out and be recognized from afar. The brand is defined by its exposed button-fly with glossy metal hardware, extra seam allowances that pop when washed down and premium fabrics from Candiani and Kaihara.

The brand had a soft launch for Holiday ’18 and will begin shipping spring styles—including reverse jeans and tie-dye jean jackets—to retailers like American Rag in Los Angeles and Capsule in New York City. The brand, Harrell noted, appeals to retailers that look for individualistic denim. “They’re open to taking a chance on new concepts and ideas,” he said.