From denim trends to creative collaborations, Rivet covered it all in 2019. The year was full of stories that touched virtually every part of the denim industry, educating readers and keeping them up to date on all of the biggest innovations changing the fashion landscape. Here are the the most viewed stories from Rivet this year.
In 2019, fashion traveled back a few decades to the ‘90s, when trends like baggy jeans, neon colors and platform shoes dominated the streets. Underscored by fashion lines celebrating popular shows from that time—“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Friends,” to name a few—and the social media elite photographed in similar styles, the ’90s are back and stronger than ever.
The ’90s may be have been the dominant trend for 2019, but denim tradeshow Bluezone’s trend presentation indicated changes are on the way for 2020. For Spring/Summer 2020, fashion stories will include elements of prep, Western cowboy and tech-driven fabrics.
The film “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” caused a stir when it released in July. Set in Los Angeles in the late ’60s, the movie featured a wardrobe full of the decade’s staple styles—including a vintage denim Wrangler jacket that got significant screen time. Rivet caught up with Vivian Rivetti, Wrangler global vice president of design, to learn about the story behind the jacket.
The line between men’s and women’s fashion is blurring, and Generation Z is spearheading the movement. At this rate, the future of fashion is non-binary, and new brands are launching—and existing ones are slowly evolving—with that sentiment in mind.
In March, the U.S. arm of Italy’s Diesel filed for court bankruptcy protection after a period of hardship largely attributed to high overhead costs at some of its stores and a failed strategy initiated by the previous management team. But this isn’t necessarily the end of the brand—the team has a strategic plan for the next three years to make the brand profitable again.
With the resurgence of the ’90s, embellished denim took center stage, and crystal company Swarovski played a large role in what that looked like. The company outlined the ways it uses color—including nostalgic brights and calming neutrals—to spark a certain emotion in consumers.
Reformation, a Los Angeles-based brand best known for its sustainable practices, became more size inclusive in 2019 when it launched its best-selling jeans collection, Ref Jeans, for sizes 14-24. The brand launched the collection after its first extended sizing collection proved successful, and it plans to launch more inclusive sizing in the future.
Laser technology has changed the denim industry for the better, and it’s opened up a world of potential for customization. In July, Levi’s launched a platform that made it easier for consumers to personalize their garments with laser finishing, complete with more than 3,000 possible permutations.
For Dan Feibus, CEO of fabric startup Vidalia Mills Co., it’s not just about manufacturing premium denim in the U.S.—it’s about creating a blueprint for others to follow his lead. In July, he talked to Rivet about what that entails, and how he’s enforcing responsible production.
When it comes to sustainably produced denim, it’s not just the fabric that needs to be considered. Trims suppliers are also becoming more eco-conscious by developing sustainable practices and materials to make things like zippers and rivets. Companies including YKK and Nudie Jeans have already gotten involved.
Despite some warning that streetwear is on its way out, a report from The RealReal noted that it’s showing no signs of slowing down—in fact, it’s only becoming more popular. In this report, Yeezy, Off-White and Nike were the streetwear brands most commonly searched, and Gucci was a top contender on the luxury streetwear side.
Now more than ever, consumers are applauding brands with personality, and that gives companies the opportunity to get creative and attract a following based on ethos. Trend forecasting company WGSN noted that more shoppers are likely to choose brands that represent their own views—and they’re not afraid to jump ship if a brand missteps.
Spring/Summer 2020 fashion week in New York, London, Milan and Paris was full of bold fashion choices. Trend forecasting agency, Fashion Snoops, broke down the top trends of the season, including influences from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
Men’s fashion took a different form at London Fashion Week, featuring looser styles and influences of childhood, military and ski resorts. Looks included everything from rope prints to flashy gold necklaces, leaving an open canvas for designers to adopt and put their own spin on for Fall/Winter 19-20.
Cottonized hemp took center stage in a collaboration between Levi’s and Outerknown. The launch of the collection marked the first time a Levi’s Wellthread denim collection has consisted entirely of the fiber. A softer, more cotton-like version of hemp, the fabric also uses less water than standard cotton.
WGSN indicated men’s fashion in 2020 is bound to be colorful and versatile. Light and bright colors dominated the runways, as did looks that landed somewhere between casual and professional. And fits are becoming slouchier, as relaxed tailoring makes its comeback.
A new collaboration is launched seemingly every day, and the exhibitors at MAGIC have taken note. Some of the biggest denim trends displayed at the show centered on collaboration and the creativity that comes as a result of knowledge sharing. Innovations in sustainability, dye effects and more have come from industry leaders teaming up with one another.
With experience at both Levi’s and Patagonia, Miles Johnson’s career is equal parts denim and sustainability. That’s what set the foundation for his collaboration with Isko in September. The product of his eclectic experience, “Light on the Land” featured 34 pieces of mostly unisex pieces made with low impact denim.
The 2008 Great Recession had no mercy on denim, and caused many premium brands to lose their previous loyal customer base. Rivet talked to mills and brands affected by the economic demise, and they provided insight into practices for dealing with the next one that’s fast approaching.
An area of the country known for its frequent water shortages and environmentally conscious residents, California is home to a new wave of denim brands touting sustainable practices and transparency. Los Angeles-based brands such as Boyish Jeans and Triarchy Denim are committed to sharing information with others in the industry in the name of low-impact denim.