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New York Denim Days Proves Denim’s Appeal is Widening

New York Denim Days was proof of denim’s far-reaching appeal.

Yoga sessions, children’s fashion shows and one-of-a-kind goods made by indigo artisans drew an energetic crowd to the annual event held at the Metropolitan Building June 8-9 in New York City. The two-day event offered attendees opportunities to shop, create and meet the makers behind the jeanswear industry.

With the theme “Denim From the Ground Up,” New York Denim Days’ title sponsor, Tencel branded fibers by Lenzing, presented an interactive display and photo-op that showcased the fiber’s transformation from forest to fabric. Tencel brand partners like Mavi, By Marta Goldschmied, Triarchy and 3×1, which presented its new Nike collaboration, were also on hand with shopping opportunities.

Along with selling a special range of jackets made with its proprietary Crystal Clear clean indigo dyeing technology, Artistic Milliners teamed with acclaimed graphic artist Moon to create a whimsical art installation inspired by wildlife. For the project, Moon created two scenes with 3-D birds and lions made with swatches of the mill’s recycled and responsibly-made denim fabrics. The scenes were popular photo-ops for attendees.

Andagain, the Brooklyn-based brand that combines art and fashion, showcased its exclusive collection with Turkish denim artist Deniz Sağdıç. The collection includes three, $3,000 unisex varsity jackets, each with a unique portrait created by Sağdıç using denim scraps.

Deniz Sağdıç
Andagain x Deniz Sağdıç Angela Velasquez

For this edition, denim mills teamed with brands to highlight the unique qualities of the garments. Candiani Denim presented Blue of a Kind, the upcycled premium denim brand from Italy that it recently partnered with for a jeans collection made with fabric samples. Bossa teamed with Upcycle, a “Made in USA” recycled T-shirt company, to create a screen printing workshop. Attendees designed tees and totes made with recycled plastic bottles.

Naveena and CIE, the New York City-based sustainable denim brand known for upcycling vintage fabrics, came together to bow the brand’s first range of jeans made with new fabrics.

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CIE founder and designer Kelcie Schofield said she chose Naveena’s sustainable Horizon fabrics because they were the “most closely aligned” to her brand’s sustainable efforts. Horizon fabrics uses dramatically less water and chemicals, reducing effluent load while saving water, time and energy.

Widely known with denim-savvy consumers, thanks in part to partnerships with Madewell and Everlane, Saitex sponsored a curated showcase featuring sustainable artisans and denim brands. Attendees dyed shirts using flowers with Cara Maria Piazza. 1111 Clothing presented line of apparel made with 100 percent khadi cotton and dyed in 100 percent natural dyes. There, Naked & Famous founder Brandon Svarc displayed his denim origami skills with live demonstrations, and previewed the brand’s new collaboration with Dragon Ball Z.

Cara Maria Piazza
Natural dyeing with Cara Maria Piazza Angela Velasquez

The weekend was also packed with special events, including musical acts and a speaker series hosted by Advance Denim. Topics spanned denim influencers to cotton trends. Tencel co-hosted two outdoor yoga session with Athleta to showcasing the activewear brand’s performance denim. Participants received a free denim yoga mat and bag made in collaboration with Naveena Denim. A children’s fashion show the first day presented shoppable looks by brands like OshKosh B’gosh, Indi-Kids and Trico Fields. On the second day, students from the High School of Fashion Designs strutted their creations made with re-purposed denim jackets.

And Denim Days served as a kick-off event for Cotton Inc.’s Blue Jeans Go Green’s new initiative with Zappos.

The arrangement allows consumers to mail in old denim to Blue Jeans Go Green via a Zappos For Good prepaid shipping label that will be available to customers with a Zappos account. Now, all a prospective recycler has to do to discard their old denim is simply pack it up into any size shipping box, print off a label and drop it off at a local UPS location. The Blue Jeans Go Green team was on hand distributing shipping labels and free denim caps.