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Consumers are Warming Up to New Denim Fits, Sustainability

The classic blue jean still has clout.

A new report from global fashion search platform, Lyst, confirms that blue jeans are still the most sought after fashion item more than 140 years after they were patented by Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss, with seven out of 10 online shoppers searching for blue jeans in the last 12 months.

For the data, Lyst tracked more than 60 million denim related searches over the year, crunching the queries, page views and sales data across 5 million fashion products from 12,000 designers and stores. And the results reveal several emerging trends and new opportunities for brands and retailers beyond the basic skinny jean.

Fit finder

As skinny jeans are downgraded from “It” item to staple, Lyst’s data shows straight leg jeans are gaining momentum, naming it the most popular fit at present. Relaxed fits like boyfriend jeans and mom jeans—which were searched for by more than 200,000 shoppers a month over the past year—are also gunning for the No. 1 spot. And more signs indicate denim is moving into an early aughts cycle. Lyst found that searches for low cut and hipster jeans have increased in the last six months.

Summer denim

While searches for blue jeans are strong, Lyst said searches for white denim rose 42 percent since the beginning of March. In fact, sales for white jeans came close to surpassing blue jean sales for the first time during the last week of May. And white denim isn’t the only answer to summer denim. Lyst saw searches for denim swimwear increase 27 percent, while Ray-Ban’s denim sunglasses continue to generate 400 views a day despite being on the market for four years.

Sustainable searches

Denim is intrinsically linked to sustainable fashion, thanks in part to the effort brands and the supply chain have put forth to communicate to the end consumer. Lyst found that when searching for ethical fashion, “sustainable denim” is among the top three most used keywords. The report states that over the past year, page views for ethical denim brands like Weekday, Re/done, Citizens of Humanity and Nudie have grown 193 percent.

Denim curious

When it comes to denim, sharable trumps wearable. Over the past two years, Lyst said it has seen a spike in searches for viral denim like Y/Project’s denim panties. Page views for the polarizing garment, which was dubbed “janties” on social media, surged 2250 percent ahead of Coachella. Ksenia Schnaider’s asymmetrical jeans, R13’s double layered jeans and two-tone denim also filled online shoppers need for oddball denim.