London Fashion Week kicked off Friday 20 February, inspiring buyers with the latest fashion items to include in their AW15 collections. One style that is now set to be listed on every retailer’s records is denim.
Though denim has always been a popular choice, a 70’s ‘folk revival’ is set to boost figures, with 150,000 denim products currently on the market. The 70’s theme is en Vogue for Spring and has been encouraged by ad campaigns from Saint Laurent, as 71 year old singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell models items from the label’s ‘Folk collection’.
Originating in the 1850’s when Jacob Davis persuaded Levi Strauss to develop his ‘durable’ invention, jeans have always been a firm favourite for cowboys, miners and later teens in the 1950’s. Lynn Downey, archivist and historian at Levi Strauss told the BBC, “If you were a 15 year old boy in 1953 you wanted to be Marlon Brando” (an avid fan of his Levi’s).
Over the years jeans have developed to keep up with changing consumer tastes. Rather than the original flared jeans, it is skinny designs that have taken over in the style stakes, with 76% of jeans on the market being skinny, compared to 4% flared. Danny Miller, the author of ‘Blue Jeans’, believes this popularity is down to jeans being, “the most personal thing you can wear…They wear to the body”.
However, if this year’s trends have anything to go by, flares will also be making a comeback, to incorporate the 70’s look. According to EDITD, a retail technology company, popular jean trends are boyfriend jeans in the US and the high-rise skinny in the UK, with women globally preferring the skinny version (based on data collected January 2015).
Mid market retailers are the front-runners for profitable jeans success, with the UK value market growing by 51% over the last 12 months, in comparison to luxury markets declining by 24%, due to costly $200-$500 price tags. ASOS is the number one provider for value jeans in the UK, shortly followed by House of Fraser and Debenhams. Popular colours include traditional blue and black, while grey, white and pink have started to see stronger performances.
Trends for retailers to avoid in 2015 include printed denim, grey denim and acid-wash denim in the UK, as consumers prefer simple fashion buys. These styles are still in stock despite receiving a 60%+ discount from January 27 2013. The future of denim looks prosperous, as the nations favourite leg wear has become a firm wardrobe staple. However, with more choice when it comes to styles, it is all the more important for buyers to get jean trends right. Two fail-safe styles to include this season are patchwork denim and wider legwear, ensuring maximum profit and limited leftover stock.