There’s a reason that the denim industry loves Kingpins and it’s not just the friendly, fun atmosphere or the range of international mills on display. It’s the fact that the show’s organizers clearly care about the ‘customer experience’ they are offering visitors and exhibitors, and continue to finds ways to make each show just that much better – in ways that buyers and suppliers actually find meaningful.
Expanded trend displays and quality catering enhanced the fair, but so did ample seating areas (some with tables) where visitors could take a break, write notes or chat with suppliers away from the hive of activity in the booths.
A growing selection of international mills showed at the recent Kingpins New York fair (November 29-30) giving buyers more options at a time when the market is clearly craving newness in creativity, as well as greater sourcing options.
- Lightweight jacquards - especially for high-end/designer collections
- Yarn-dyed solids are very hot! Outselling denim at some mills
- Heavier denim is coming back
- Reactive dyed indigo is coming back
- More stretch for men's denim (in the EU market)
- Rigid, open constructions for women's denim
- Vintage looks are huge! Everyone wants this
- Soft hand feel is a 'must' - even on authentic denim
- Post-consumer fiber is growing, especially for EU brands
- Power stretch is being replaced by comfort stretch
- Color is important - PFGD is gaining momentum
- Lightweight Chino fabric
- Shirting with colored or indigo neps
Bringing unexpected but welcome innovation were Taiwanese mills A&A Textile Co, 496 Fabric Lab, and Cheng Shiang. If you think Taiwanese mills are only about functional polyester fabrics, these mills will make you think again. As suppliers to some of the worlds leading designers (Chanel, Chloe, and others), these mills showed chart-topping fabrics that took denim from a standard casualwear fabric and elevated it to stand side by side next to any of the world’s best fashion qualities.
One of the key sales drivers for the high-end mills is the fact that leading international designers have added denim to their collections. Andrew GN, Chanel, Chloe, Stella McCartney and others have taken denim and worked it into ready-to-wear collections, taking denim in entirely new direction from its roots in jeans and casualwear.
“Designer brands are using more denim, with about 5-10 percent creating their own denim ‘sub-collections’,” said Jonathan Chen at A&A Textile Co. Ltd. (Taiwan).