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Denim Trends Nod to Nostalgic at Las Vegas Trade Shows

Denim brands at Liberty Fairs and Agenda Show in Las Vegas Monday balanced their core denim collections with tops, outerwear and novelty pieces that speak to consumers’ infinte desire for nostalgic designs.

Part of Bestseller, Copenhagen-based brand Jack & Jones made its big push for the U.S. with a robust line of men’s denim and sportswear. After a successful decade in the Canadian market, Lambros Potagas, the company’s head of sales for menswear, said the time was right for the brand to navigate the U.S. market. Its “accelerated fashion” model, Potagas said, allows it to service retailers with new deliveries each month, meaning it can hit the right trends at the right time.

Rooted in denim, Jack & Jones’ line of sustainable jeans includes four fits—skinny, slim, tapered and regular—in mostly comfort stretch constructions. The jeans will retail in the U.S. for $80 to $130.

The brand’s Spring ’19 sportswear collection taps into nautical, street and sport trends. A line of red, white and blue tops and lightweight outerwear offers novelties like sailboat prints and sailor stripes. A green and red collection hones in on retro polos and graphics of laurel wreaths. Other assortments key into a Miami vibe with pops of neon, vintage wash graphics and color blocked windbreakers.

Kato expanded its line of men’s chinos made with Japanese French terry fabric manufactured in the brand’s own Los Angeles factory. Sales rep Jin Choi said the four-way stretch slim chinos are the brand’s core business. The new collection includes summery shades of sky blue, pale lavender and green, plus neutrals like off-white.

The chino collection complements Kat’s line of four-way stretch selvedge jeans—a rare combination at the show—and its line of 100 percent rayon Hawaiian shirts. The button-down shirts have a shorter length and are a touch boxier than the rest of the brand’s shirting.

A collection of 100 percent organic cotton selvedge shirting offers a light and breezy feel. Kato counters that laidback, gauzy look with its first line of products made with durable Cordura fiber. The line of lightweight chore jackets is available in military green, dark khaki and soft black. The chore jackets are also available in linen versions.

Upcycle label Atelier & Repairs “demilitarized” military fashion by reworking deadstock camouflage cargo shorts with bright and cheery retro print fabrics. Each kitschy design is one-of-a-kind.

The brand also took a colorful direction with its line of reworked Levi’s 501 jeans. The classics were updated with multi-colored stitching, rip and repair and fabric patchwork.

Wrangler captured the retro trend with a robust line up of logo T-shirts for women. The designs spanned sun-kissed ’70s motifs through to the ’80s with black logo sweatshirts adorned in pink, purple and teal stripes.

A duo of one-pieces for women—a shorts romper with a nipped-in waist, and a dark rinse jumpsuit with a front zip—were standouts in Wrangler’s denim collection.

Levi’s held court with four separate booths at Liberty.

The Levi’s Vintage Clothing revisited the late ’50s and ’60s with a collection inspired by the space race between Russia and the U.S. The line’s range of men’s tops keyed into the nerdy, suburban dad trend noted in Fashion Snoops’ forecast for Spring ’19.

Knit surfer tees with retro stripes, ’50s knit polos with zigzag patterns, short sleeve sweat shirts with moon embroidery and logo tees with space-themed motifs reinforced the collection’s story of nostalgia. Button-down shirts had a worn and weathered look achieved through an archival fabric especially loomed for Levi’s.

Chinos in butter, mint green and rust added a jolt of color. A rust colored parka inspired by a shape from the 1940s, as well as a cobalt blue bomber jacket based on a vintage Western piece rounded out the collection.

The Levi’s Made & Crafted line took a Southwestern direction, blending denim with handcrafted, artisan details like beading, embroidery and leather rope belts.

Key women’s pieces included a Trucker jacket with summer blanket poncho sleeves, a denim corset top with unfinished hems, a bolero made from deconstructed frayed jeans, a field denim skirt and a pair of two-tone 501 skinny jeans that mimic the look of cowboy chaps. Emerald beading decorated the hem of white jeans. A white denim cropped jacket and matching jeans featured buttons down the legs and arms.

The men’s Levi’s Made & Crafted collection came to life with a coordinating woven linen striped pull-over and cropped pants. A series of crochet stitch polo shirts, distressed skinny jeans with mosaic tile-like embroidery and a deconstructed pant with a pleated trouser front and denim back, added texture to the line. A Trucker jacket remade in midnight suede, an oversized Trucker in “peacock pink” and a Trucker track jacket made for interesting layering pieces.

Levi’s Premium Men’s line celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Levi’s Engineered Jean with a 3-D knit jogger. The innovative construction was contrasted by a deep range of throwback styles, including tie-dye logo tees that pay homage to the brand’s San Francisco, hippie roots.

Other items looked to the ’90s for inspiration, too, including neon pink logo hooded sweatshirts and T-shirts with the Levi’s “Button Your Fly” logo.

For denim, the line offered a strong range of Trucker jackets, including a bold checkerboard jacquard version and an inside-out option. Jean shorts were slim, clean or distressed for a summer festival look. A cheetah print cargo short is bound to appear at next year’s Coachella.

Levi’s Premium Women’s line maintained that same emphasis on nostalgic designs with Mom jeans adorned with ditsy floral embroideries, ex-boyfriend Truckers with floral motifs and more logo tees.

Long-sleeve rugby shirts, a flowy, boxy take on the Western snap front shirt and a swim-inspired body suit diversified top options for women. Tops and bottoms decorated with ’90s bling were merchandised with glitter logo tees.

The women’s collection was emboldened with color blocking. A Line shorts, Trucker jackets and jeans featured contrasting shades of indigo and seasonal colors like pale yellow. A white button front dress and a bright red jumpsuit served as the line’s fashion pieces. Other notable items included button front minis and zip front minis and a long denim skirt with a high center slit.

Adjacent to Liberty, at Agenda Show, new brand All My Friends Are Animals bowed a quirky collection of men’s jean jackets, polos, swimwear, tees and accessories featuring original characters.

The initial Spring ’19 collection features three characters—a seagull, flamingo and giraffe—that are distinguished by their cheeky side-eye look. The brand plans to roll out a new set of characters each season.

The animals are chain-stitched on vintage denim button-down shirts handpicked from New York City vintage shops, or on the back of jean jackets as oversized patches. The brand taps into the ’90s T-shirt trend with screen prints; others have a more premium feel with die cut prints.

Baseball caps and tote bags that double as reversible checkerboard and backgammon boards underscores the brand’s playful, beachy vibe.

X Ray Jeans, a favorite among specialty stores, continued with its core line of moto jeans. However, account executive Veronica Rivano-Marcelo noted that the brand is beginning to see more interest in clean finishes with a focus on fabrics and washes with a crosshatch look. Jean shorts are also on the up and up, detailed with frayed hems and exposed rips.

The brand also bowed its first knit jean for spring, which Rivano-Marcelo noted doesn’t have the typical jogger look that denim brands tend to adopt. That interest in comfort and softness is carried into X Ray’s jeans with a peached hand touch and its expanded line of relaxed denim shirting.

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