Robots, space cowboys and the late Princess Diana were among the diverse inspirations behind Bluezone’s Spring/Summer 2020 trend presentation.
Curated by the France-based denim consultancy, Monsieur T, the six-part trend forecast played to the denim industry’s strengths, while highlighting some of its weaknesses. “We’re selling a lifestyle,” said Monsieur T founder Tilmann Wröbel, “but are we sure this is the lifestyle that motivates a younger generation to buy denim?”
Here, Wröbel outlines the key fashion stories for Spring/Summer 2020 and shares why the denim industry needs to reconsider the way it approaches innovation and sustainability.
Bots & Nova
While heritage and vintage is important for the authentic denim tribe, Wröbel doesn’t see that club growing. “It’s a full family, it doesn’t have new kids,” he quipped.
Technology and fabric innovation is where he sees the future of denim, and not just in enhancements like stretch, Cool Max or Cordura. “We want people to think about denim as a practical thing for the future,” he said.
Wröbel urged mills to go beyond denim norms and consider developing denim with the thermal and electrical conductivity benefits of Graphene, glow-in-the-dark properties for safety and fabrics that measure UV rays. Or jeans that grow with children, and denim infused with bacteria that positively reacts to the wearer’s needs
He added, “How can we make denim be more exciting to kids who live through their smartphone?”
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Wröbel says millennials and Gen Z want nothing to do with the generations that served them unemployment and a heap of political, environmental and sociological problems.
The new consumer is ditching the rock ‘n’ roll denim themes loved by previous generations in favor for a new flavor of prep. Young consumers, Wröbel said, want to look back at a time when life was easy. “Hair was combed and rises were high,” he said. “Handsome is the new rock ‘n’ roll.”
Smooth fabrics, indigo-dyed corduroys, compact 2×1 weaves and sateens are key for the simple silhouettes like chino denim, A-line jean skirts and jeggings. The denim pieces, Wröbel added, look best styled with “cheesy belts” and knits.
The trend comes alive through bold use of pastel colors. Strong color combinations may not be part of denim’s DNA, but Wröbel said it’s part of the game, “so get prepared for that.”
Consumers are yearning for feel-good stories, which is why Wröbel said the denim sector needs to give comfort and wellness some serious thought. “There’s so much bad news, we want to feel positive,” he added.
Here, comfort and stretch fabrications take center stage. The staples are updated with visible grain direction. Slim and skinny jeans are not dead, but Wröbel said the biggest update is new lengths, including skinny jeans with extra-long inseam to create rushing effects.
Urban XL Inseams
Baggy jeans are on the way—you just have to be patient.
While Louis Vuitton, Off-White and Vetements have sent voluminous jean silhouettes down their runway for several seasons now, Wröbel pointed out that the styles have only lived on social media. “You think we’ve seen it already, but it’s not in the streets yet,” he added.
For the wide leg trend, brands need to hire pattern makers again to fine tune jeans with long vertical drapes. Streaky denim, logos and fabric piecing, along with acid washes, checkerboard jacquards and “lots of geometrics” have an opportunity to shine here, Wröbel said.
Laser finishing, Cradle 2 Cradle certified fabrics and fabrics made with resourcing-saving technology were among the sustainable products featured in Bluezone’s eco story, Green Closet.
However, Wröbel urged mills to stop treating sustainability as a trend. “For the third or fourth year in a row, we have an ecological theme in trends. This shouldn’t be the case,” Wröbel said. “When the Titanic went into the water, a trend reporter didn’t write that swimming is a trend.”
Nudie Cohn, the American tailor to Western film and music stars, serves as the inspiration this fresh western story. “We’re back into a proper western cowboy trend,” Wröbel said.
Ecru fabrics, indigo lace, golden dirty tints, brown fabrications and fancy weaves make an impact.
While tailoring, fringe and embellishments with a futuristic metallic twist bring novelty into an old theme. “Just shake it a bit,” Wröbel said. “Wake it up.”