From zoom meetings to chat boxes, how denim brands are presenting their Spring/Summer 2021 collections to buyers may be different, but their focus on relevant designs remain sharp. Exhibitors showcasing their collections virtually on Project’s and Coterie’s online platforms powered by NuOrder are responding to the pandemic lifestyle with collections that are notably shaped by themes generated by Covid-19.
Nature-inspired prints and organic materials, comfortable work-from-home silhouettes and pared-down versatile designs are key points of focus for brands showcasing their collections on the online platforms, which run through Nov. 1.
Uplifting springtime prints like florals and gingham dot Blank NYC’s S/S ’21 collection, as well as motifs that reflect consumers’ desire to escape the confines of their quarantine world. A white denim jacket and matching shorts sum up this feeling with palm-tree prints and groovy travel-inspired phrases about the “Good Vibes” and “California Dreaming.”
Additionally, Blank NYC introduced new relaxed denim fits made with organic cotton and Tencel-blended fabrics—some of which were then finished with antiviral technology to appeal to the post-pandemic, hygiene-conscious consumer.
And in a move that reflects the demand for at-home fashion and the collection’s West Coast inspiration, Blank NYC expanded its loungewear assortment by adding activewear staples that are perfect for a heart-rate-boosting hike or a casual coffee run.
For women, DL 1961 channeled a “getaway” aesthetic as well through denim pieces elevated by a variety of floral, safari and striped prints reminiscent of resort wear. Wide-leg denim jeans and raw hems further underscore the collection’s adventurous spirit.
Sustainability is also a main component of the collection, as demonstrated by the brand’s Better By DL capsule collection crafted with minimum environmental impact and maximum upcycling potential. Its Ecru collection for S/S ’21 is made with natural, undyed denim made of Tencel or certified cotton and uses no rivets for easy end-of-life recycling.
With a new VP of design, NYDJ aims to start 2021 off with an edgier look that embraces the wanderlust felt by many. For S/S ’21 , the brand channeled the energy of New Orleans with prints, fabrics and silhouettes that celebrate the city’s essence. Pieces include a matching short-sleeve jean jacket and mid-rise jeans made with stretch ecru denim with pinstriped indigo yarns.
Comfort and color are other major focuses for NYDJ. Along with introducing a new range of lightweight stretch jeans, it bowed BlackLast denim, a line of black jeans made using a dye process that requires minimal water and maintains color.
And though Sabina Musayev’s S/S ’21 collection was designed before the pandemic, the designer was in a dreamy mindset, too. The collection boasts an earth-meets-sea concept with denim available in black and white, enhanced with textured gold hardware inspired by sea shells. Other items include a cropped jean jacket and a cropped fitted denim top with back lacing details.
Comfort meets denim
Comfort and performance were the main points of focus for men’s brand Flag and Anthem. The qualities were best highlighted in its Madeflex denim that incorporates recycled polyester yarns to help with thermoregulation. The company also expanded its line of knit denim which launched in Fall 2020. Flag and Anthem swapped dark washes for lighter shades of blue and gray.
Men’s denim brand Devil-Dog is shifting its focus to more casual items for Q2 2021 such as shorts. The company is also working to add more non-denim items like chinos and utility looks.
Nicole Miller is also diving deep into the world of comfort for women with more relaxed fits and softer denim fabrications for consumers working from home. The brand is working on adding more Lycra and bamboo to its fiber mixes. For fashion, Nicole Miller revisited the ’80s with new distressed bleaching techniques and embroidered denim jackets.
Known for a casual take on denim, Democracy incorporated even more of its signature comfort into its spring collection by adding more modal and Lyocell to select denim pieces. Stretch jeans that mimicked the appearance of rigid fabrics with surface textures, and novelty hems like raw hem with pulled strings, clean finished frays and jagged or chewed hems were among Democracy’s range of easy fashion items.
Looser fits are key for BeulahStyle, which introduced cozy styles such as its high-waisted, balloon-leg jeans with ties at the ankle to resemble joggers. A denim dress with cropped sleeves and a frayed hem is destined to appeal to the loungewear-focused consumer who has shifted to house dresses for an elevated casual look. The brand also released sweats with sustainable denim trims to underscore its marriage of denim and loungewear.
Aysha louise also merged loungewear with denim, showcasing comfortable “dressed up denim” styles that can transition from day to night. Pieces include a denim cape and a dark indigo denim sweat jacket with unique details like a contrast neoprene, a diagonal zipper and piping.
Not every collection was pandemic-centric. Designer Andrea Bogosian created her eponymous collection with the female form in mind, accentuating curves with strategic cutout designs. Her strategy is best reflected in a denim button-down shirt, which features cutouts at the waist and ruffles along the seam and sleeves, and paper-bag-waist jeans with cutouts along the ankles.
Micro ruffles, macramé and quilted embroidery are featured throughout the collection. Hardware such as large eyelets, chains, buckles and exclusive buttons also make the line unique.
Japanese denim brand Graphzero, which introduces new statement pieces each season to its permanent collection, debuted Yabane denim samue—a kimono-like wrap—and shorts. The brand is sustainably focused and uses 100 percent organic cotton and natural dyes, and upcycles scraps into pouches, tissue cases and, most recently, masks.
Simplicity was the key feature for designer Andreza Chagas, who noted that the collection was completely redesigned when the pandemic hit. Chagas significantly pared down the range to make it “accurate, lean and well thought-out.” The resulting apparel items were created with comfort and sustainability in mind, with many made using recycled polyester and BCI-certified cotton, as well as dry-dyeing processes to reduce water usage.
Denim ranged in style and wash, including high-waisted black denim culottes, dark-wash high-rise skinny jeans and light-wash high-rise jeans in a relaxed fit.
California-based apparel brand ONYRMRK debuted denim for the first time, consciously introducing the new category with just several classic silhouettes including a denim jacket with snap button closures and loose-fitting overalls with belted straps and oversized pockets. The brand uses natural materials such as 100 percent cotton and is produced in quantities determined by pre-sales and fabric availability.
Color and texture were the main points of focus for MVP, a big and tall men’s apparel brand. The label introduced colored and coated denim for spring with neutral and tie-dye palettes. Standout pieces include a matching blue and white tie-dye denim jacket and shorts set.
Scully, a brand best known for leather goods, showed off its denim craftsmanship with standout styles heavily influenced by the West. With fringe jean jackets and patchwork jeans, the collection plays up the denim and leather elements found in cowboy heritage style. Flared jeans and embroidered denim dresses also help set the stage for the Western aesthetic.