The fashion industry likes to discuss the decline of denim. Of course, this is proving to be just talk. After the round of menswear trade shows in New York City last week, including Liberty Fairs, Capsule and Agenda, it is crystal clear that denim is not going anywhere, it never was and it probably never will.
However, the era of the standard blue jean for men is over. Where skinny fits, patterns and abrasions were once processes primarily saved for women’s denim, men are happily and fashionably adopted them.
Cult of Individuality, the brand referred to as “The Jeansmith to the One,” was out at Liberty Fairs in full force. The complete line, which is over 200 pieces, was on display showing some of the major—and often complicated—trends igniting the jeans market.
A standard pair of Cult of Individuality jeans can take up to 24 hours to make. Some entail a series of steps that requires the jean to be washed down to perfection, unstitched for abrasions, lined with contrasting materials and then re-stitched.
This hand-finished, step-by-step approach to denim is unique to Cult of Individuality, but it goes to show how demand for distressed jeans for men runs high. The days of men’s jeans appearing naturally rugged and worn in are long gone. If men want rugged and distressed look, they choose to do it with a sense of style.
Neuw Denim, a denim company that produces stylish dark washes in artisan mills, made a statement with a collection highlighting dark washes. For women, the brand has implemented a new silk touch fabrication with a soft hand feel and superior recovery. For men, Neuw Denim is focused on air washes.
On the other end of the denim spectrum, brands like Cheap Monday are tapping into more sporty looks with jogger bottoms and new proportions. Tailored, slim fits are a mainstay, but the brand is playing with wider legs and baggier fits once made popular by the hip-hop community. If there is any evidence denim will always be here to stay, it is when certain styles make a comeback.