Denim Dudes founder Amy Leverton took the stage at Kingpins Amsterdam to share her denim forecast for Fall/Winter 2024-2025.
Practical and pragmatic staples clash with souped-up statement pieces designed for social impact in the season’s four themes. However, Leverton said the themes respond to the uncertainty that consumers continue to face.
“I feel like I’ve been saying that since 2016,” she added.
New energy is coming from younger creatives who are empowered to push past the old system and create new ones. “As with all the times of great flux and adversity, there’s been this huge surge of creativity going on for the last few years,” Leverton said.
Though the noughties have been a dominant source of inspiration for the new generation of designers and consumers, Leverton said they’re taking ownership of it and being more creative. “They’re taking it to a completely different realm,” she said, adding that social media is democratizing how brands find their audience.
Avant-Y2K turns nostalgic relics—from low-rise jeans to sparkly embellishments—into contemporary and modern pieces.
This translates to denim styles with distorted and twisted seams, sexy cutouts and second-skin body-hugging fits. While one part of the theme calls for effortlessly pared-back ’90s minimalism, another relishes 2000s streetwear’s baggy proportions and bold branding elements. Rodeo references create a “neo Western” vibe, while faux finishing and sheer or burnt-out fabrics elevate denim looks, Leverton added.
Garments are finished with yellowed tints, textured acid washes, extreme fades and artful sprays in localized applications. Aggressive bleaching clashes with glossy rigid fabrics that have a clear coating or midnight-hued foils. Chunky silver hardware nods to utility fashion.
As consumers become aware of their overconsumption and budgets are hit by “economically turbulent times,” demand for quiet and understated fashion grows.
Enter Recessioncore, a theme that Leverton said speaks to global wealth disparities and Gen Z social media stars trying to de-influence followers from buying certain products. The appeal of being a “regular Joe” and part of a community instead of being a “main character” is growing as well.
Though the trend speaks to the “quiet luxury” movement driven by shows like HBO’s “Succession” and labels such as Loro Piana, this back-to-basics theme plays out with “gender and status neutral” designs, high-low styling and tailored silhouettes with a languid, relaxed fit.
Fits with impact are also present. Leverton described “double giant denim,” stacked lengths, cocoon silhouettes and pleated volume as shapes to watch. Denim serves as a “protective shell” with winter weights, curved seams, quilting and lining.
The loungewear jean is reimagined in indigo knits and fleece, while chunky stitching and bellow pockets enhances the cozy feel. The theme considers comfort as a form of luxury. Subtle colors, tonal pairings, soft acid washes and matte overdyes give garments the visual appearance of comfort.
However, imperfect details underscore the theme’s effortless, nonchalant style. “Intentionally undone hems are the ultimate flex,” Leverton said.
Synthetic is the antithesis to Recessioncore’s ability to blend in.
Leverton described a duality between optimism and escapism driven by advancements in technology and “big kid energy.”
“This digital explosion is starting to really affect the way that we even see design,” she said, noting that gamer-inspired outfits and digitized textures are stepping into real life.
Playful combinations are pulled from pop-punk and Harajuku street style. JNCO-inspired A-line jeans and other attention-grabbing silhouettes are designed to go viral on social media. This fashion, Leverton added, is made for content.
Synthetic colors also dominate. The theme’s nostalgic teenage palette leans into bright bubblegum hues. Raver subculture shines through bursts of neon colors and optical illusion prints are used all over. “Cheeky details” like 3D bows and heart- or star-shaped patchwork can be found on back pockets.
The heaviest theme of the season, Underground, explores the rejection of our current state of being, Leverton said.
“It’s embracing the fear for humanity’s future and channeling that into active alternative solutions. It’s kind of positive but it’s very realist as well,” she said.
The rebellious theme calls for sustainable materials and regenerative agriculture. With “no glitz and glamour” and no AI-produced designs, Leverton said Underground is about “humans just trying to do their best.”
Pulling from various countercultures, the dystopian theme taps into grunge styling and the off-the-grid fashion seen in HBO’s “The Last of Us.” Winter protection, in the form of heavy, technical, weatherproof and reinforced fabrics, are key.
Garments feature multiple waistbands. Upcycled styles are rough and uneven. Others have unconventional layers like pants on top of pants. There’s also an unexpected focus on practical and functional pieces. Degraded surfaces, abstract artwork, spray tints and contrasting colors and textures add to the angsty concept.