For The Love Of Denim

For The Love Of Denim

For The Love Of Denim 1440 428 Maxwell Miller

Denim is the best kind of fashion love story. On a recent trip, I was inspired by just how popular, personal, and forward-thinking denim has become. Everyone loves a well-told story, and I’m not quite sure there is a better writer in fashion than denim. In some eyes, an unsung hero, and in others a familiar face, the truth is we can’t understate the value denim brings to not just fashion but retail in general.

It’s a Never-Ending Cycle

It’s cliché, but what goes around always finds its way back around in apparel. We’re in a fashion renaissance where high-waisted jeans, patched denim, pin rolls, and cuffs are among the everyday. It’s almost like vintage doesn’t quite exist. If anything, it’s the most current aesthetic around. Band tees, good jeans, and a little attitude to round it all out.

The retro-modern aesthetic in play right now is a wonderful thing. Brands are upcycling old denim and refurbishing it for everyday wear once again. Shoppers are dusting off their retired jeans and putting them back in the rotation. This is a sustainability story in itself. Fabrics and materials continue to endure, and manufacturers are making magic happen with various pieces ranging from shirts to jackets and jeans.

As shoppers continue to search for purpose before purchase, denim always seems to stay in the mix. This is a testament to denim’s timeless position in fashion, and retailers are reaping the benefits. In the age of consignment, denim is in circulation like never before, whether it’s used or not. Every once in a while, shoppers pick up a piece of apparel with a history that precedes them, while others get the chance to start a story from scratch… and to me, that’s pretty cool.

Stories That Satisfy

You can probably relate if you think back on that perfect pair of jeans. We’re not 100% sure what it is about them, but they foster fond memories. Perhaps it’s the stage of life or the character development they’ve endured. Denim is the Robin to fashion’s Batman.

Denim is an aspirational product, whether in the window, in-store, or on a shopper. Think for a moment – where the Levi’s, the Lee’s, and the Wrangler’s live. They’ve built a reputation of tried-and-true products that any shopper can pick up and tell their story in. At the end of the day, that’s what shoppers are looking for when they pick up a new piece of apparel. That aspiration to feel confident in their duds, beating it into the ground and still trusting it when it matters most.

Creative Meets Innovative

Everyone is creative in their own right, and it’s beautiful to watch how people consume and create with denim. Personalization thrives in the world of retail where today it’s no longer an option but an expectation. People are taking a DIY approach to denim, creating pieces that push the category forward. Some come with patchwork, some are embroidered, and some even manage as interior décor.

Retailers are catching on and designing spaces to reflect consumers’ new interests and attitudes. During my trip, I stopped off at a denim shop Imogene + Willie that has stuck with me ever since. You could instantly tell they were passionate about denim and had a genuine story to their brand. Complete with a custom workshop, in-house tailor, and some beautiful products, this store embodied a moment where authenticity meets execution. It’s not uncommon for them to customize, repair, or help guests reimagine their apparel because that’s a part of their brand DNA. Retailers who offer personalization as just a service are missing the mark. For creatives to trust you, there needs to be a sense of both parties working toward the same dream. For Imogene + Willie, it’s not an inconvenience to be that partner, where as other retailers do it because it’s expected, and it shows.

Listen, all we’re asking for is something authentic. Authenticity is hard to find and even harder to maintain. It comes down to the brands who go the extra mile and not because it’s asked of them. There is something to be said about the relationships we form with our wardrobe, and retailers need to take a note.

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