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Decoding the denim market for 2018: Top selling trends

by Anjori Grover Vasesi

07-July-2018  |  1 min read

denim market

Over a period of last three to four years, denim has evolved from a staple workwear essential to a more transitional piece of clothing. Recent seasons have seen details such as ruffled trims, worn-out textures, embellished surfaces, and dramatic silhouettes replace the long sitting skinny jeans market.

It is safe to now say that skinny jeans are losing their market share after enjoying a good 10-year long commercial stronghold. Tonal skin fit jeans are being replaced by cropped and flared versions that are pronounced with ornamental patchwork and utilitarian details.

Another trend to take into consideration here is the extremely viable denim-on-denim look, which never really goes away from the fashion scene, but which saw a major revival in the previous season by experimentation on casual, daywear styles and more sombre, power suiting inspired looks.

There is a demand in the market for more transitional pieces and both designers and brands alike, are paying heed to this gap by introducing styles that can seamlessly evolve from workwear to daywear to nightwear, as the situation suggests.

With the menswear and womenswear shows past us, Team FFT has rounded up some of directional trends under the denim category, focusing on the silhouettes, techniques and treatments being given to this versatile fabric for the upcoming Fall/Winter 2018-19 season.

White Wash

Denim Market

As observed in the recent past, there has been a considerable decline in the variants of washes, when it comes to jeans. The trend has tilted more towards solid colour palettes with variations being introduced by means of patchwork or other details.

Apart from being a directional colour for the entire season, white has made its mark on the denim sector as well. Bleached out and all-white denims make a considerable chunk of the market share in keeping with both S/S 2018 and carrying forward to F/W 2018-19 as well.

Hemming Way

Denim Market

For the approaching winter season, designers and high-fashion brands are placing their bets on the hem.

Jeans receive eye-catching details and quirky embellishments on the bottom, ranging from, but not limited to, frays for a raw and jagged look, ruffled trims, embroidered patches and more experimental concepts such as seashells over the cuffs, as suggested by Tory Burch.

At Junya Watanbe, denim bottoms were adorned with colour, blocked with reflective tape; a nod hinting towards activewear influences.

Side Stripes

Denim Market

Streetwear inspired clothing is one of the key directional concepts this year.

Taking over the athleisure categories, streetwear has paved way for a more commercially viable approach to everyday clothing. Staples such as denims, have not been left untapped by this phenomenon and have in fact, increased their appeal by transitioning as rugged tracks. Racetrack-inspired prints and contrast stripes/piping running vertically across the sides of jeans lend a sporty chic feel to the pieces.

’90s Denim

Denim Market

It is no wonder that fashion is cyclical.

The nineties are serving as a vintage trend concept to attract millennials and Gen-Z alike, with every major brand and high-fashion designer trying to appease this particular audience by tapping into this nostalgic idea.

The ’90s were known as a period which redefined denim styles, and this season sees a massive revival of those sentiments.

A looser fit – varying from baggy, to mom and dad jeans and oversized silhouettes – are big for F/W 2018-19, while in the colour department, pale finishes such as classic greys are making a comeback.

Mono Chromagic

Denim Market

As the concept of seasons becomes more of a thing of the past, transitional concepts come to the fore.

The most distinct concept being that of the colour palettes being opted for, from bright yellows to marina blues to blush pinks, 2018 is all about untried colours in the jeans. A trend that started picking up during F/W 2016-17, pink, lilac and shades of red have already made their presence known in the market. The wide acceptance has led to designers and brands exploring more head-to-toe coloured denim pieces for the upcoming season.

Culottes Cloud

Denim Market

In a report cited by Edited, it is observed that skinny jeans have significantly been losing out on their market share over the past few years.

The focus this season is on showing off the ankles with high waisted, cropped and flared hem jeans. Wider leg styles are gaining ground, as anti-fit and comfort-first clothing rank as top concerns for shoppers worldwide.

Painted Denim

Denim Market

Inspired by the DIY-culture that has been doing the rounds since the past few seasons, designers and high-fashion brands have quite literally taken it upon themselves to paint the town BLUE!

Painted denim made its introduction for F/W 2018-19 at Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Public School, and Adam Selman, as a material that can easily double as a canvas. Inspired by flora and fauna, random splatters and abstract iterations, painted motifs popped out over denim jeans, jackets, skirts and shorts.

Into The Deep End

Denim Market

Fashion has bid adieu to acid washes and faded denims.

What has taken over is saturated tones of indigos, deeper blues and charcoal black over denim jeans, jackets, skirts and even tops. These deep hued washes are translated through techniques mimicking over-dyed effects over denim to create a moodier look.

Darker hued denim serves as transitional pieces that seamlessly switch from the daywear to nightwear pieces, which sits well with the current trend that surrounds comfort and utility.