There isn’t one major designer or celebrity that denim brands should be looking to for trend guidance. At Bluezone in Munich Tuesday, Monsieur T founder and creative director Tilmann Wröbel shared the trend direction for Spring/Summer 2021, emphasizing the need for mills and brands to be unique and focused.
“In our denim business, we should stop dreaming about the next Diesel or the next G-Star because these things will not happen again,” he said.
In the future, Wröbel said, “small and different” will be the new “big and similar” in business.
Instead, he urged each manufacturer, mill and brand to have a precise direction—not one trend for everyone. “Find what is right for your enterprise,” he said.
Here, Wröbel describes seven trend stories that go beyond basics aesthetics to evoke feelings and moods.
In Sharing, sustainable and recycled components are key to the makeup of jeans, but there’s an underlining message of good, too. “Show your altruistic side,” Wröbel said. For instance, some jeans are made with fabrics by mills that support women’s empowerment in business.
“We all need to think about the fact that when we’re working on future trends, we also need to think about the other people,” he said. “How can we help the people who work on our garments and the people who actually wear the garments?”
As wider fits come back into style, Wröbel questions how much stretch is actually needed for those designs. In No Stretch, fashion addresses how designers can enhance wide silhouettes with comfort through compact weaves and brushed surfaces.
With stripes, plaids, florals, fluorescents and more filling the canvas, Clashing Contrasts is the most visual theme for the season. It’s a trend that premium and luxury denim brands have honed and ultimately changed the way consumers view color, prints and mix-and-matching.
Whereas the combinations would be laughed at just five years ago, Wröbel said fashion nowadays is “really forward, in terms of matching and mixing prints.” This “bad taste” fashion is “fresh, young and new,” he added.
Power dressing began in the late ’80s and early ’90s as a way for women to show their managerial side in the business world. And the style still resonates. “Today, we’re kind of back into [power dressing] because politics go wrong. And we all have to stand strong,” Wröbel said.
The formal denim theme has two sides: fluid lines and garments that make the wearer—male and female—feel strong and empowered. “We do believe that strength in garments [and] angular [designs] are very important in shaping your garments in the next seasons,” he said.
Blue Wellness is a chance for brands to introduce soft fibers and comfort to jeans that somehow feel like they are taking care of the wearer. The trend, Wröbel said, is an opportunity for the entire denim industry. Extremely soft surfaces and smooth blue casts without a lot of contrast live here.
Sartorial Punk is a youthful riff on Power Dressing. The younger generations have their own idea of how they want to look and appear in society. Here, jacquards and plaids are mixed with black denim to create a cool and rebellious look.
Acid pastels are not a new concept, but Wröbel said there’s opportunity for the trend to grow. And the flood of sustainable dye and washing techniques are adding a new layer to the story.
“The whole story has been pushed further, and we think that it is important to maintain certain themes,” he said. Brands, he added, can spend less time chasing new trends by updating established stories with new prints and textures.