After the success of the digital edition of the Kingpins Denim Fair in April, their most recent edition in Amsterdam also followed suit. One of the key highlights at KP24 Amsterdam emerged to be a presentation on the top denim trends for the Spring / Summer 2022 season, delivered by Amy Leverton of Denim Dudes.
From social influences and a focus on process over product to investment dressing and a new sense of responsibility, the Spring/Summer 2022 denim trends reflect and expand upon the current global social climate.
Below, we expand on the top 4 trend directions set to dictate the course of denim in the season to come.
Work In Progress
Consumers of late have been quite keen on knowing the Behind-the-Scenes processes of the products they consume. The Work in Progress trend is about the idea and inspiration behind the product. According to Leverton, these two points increase the value that consumers place on the final product.
Ways to achieve this goal are many: the process of improving the idea and inspiration behind a product can be done through mixed media with digital and 3D design, and also through techniques such as upcycling or layering.
This trend places emphasis on both the creative production methods, and also on the story behind the product. This includes cultural references, political approaches, and at the same time, also the creative people who relay the story behind a design and especially come to the fore through collaboration.
The trend follows a wide colour palette featuring a variety of influences, and is communicated via strong and playful tones.
This trend delves into the details – it is all about an eye for detail and quality. Design aesthetics tend to be more minimalistic than flashy and busy: It is not the large labels and all-over prints that appeal to the consumer, but rather small details such as a special zipper or the buttons that would accentuate the product.
The quality aspect also relates directly to the production process- where does the material come from and how high is its quality? So manufacturers have to ensure that they are really safe and happy with the product and take time to get this done rather than rushing to get the product on the shelves as soon as possible.
In Leverton’s own words- “As the system of the global apparel industry is changing, we are less concerned with a time frame that puts quantity over quality. […] Responsibility must come first.”
In terms of style, the Lowkey trend revives the era of the ’80s and ’90s: ‘Smart casual’ with jeans and a blazer or a matching ‘two-piece’, but also oversized basics and a wide cut.
What also suits the reserved style is the colour palette, which tilts towards white, beige, brown, but can also show a bit of colour such as red, green and blue.
Devolution (contraction of digitisation and evolution) essentially focuses on systematic change. Brands that follow this path, place social responsibility, structural equality, the environment and craftsmanship above consumption and the economic aspect.
The change of our society to a ‘better world’ places itself in the foreground. The health crisis created as a result of the ongoing COVID-19, has given us all, humans and nature, a positive, alternative lifestyle, Leverton stated.
Even in this trend, the background of the product plays an important role: where does the product come from and how is it produced? However, the focus goes beyond sustainable production and is about waste and how much residual production is left behind after producing a design.
All in all, this trend seems to take us back to basics and focus more on the craft art: from upcycling to homemade textures such as batiks, painting or traditional techniques – there are no limits.
This trend highlights the importance of investing more in a good product.
However, the focus on money should not take the lead. Rather, the aim is to invest in modern technology that makes denim production more circular and sustainable. A sound example of this is ‘Relz Black Denim’ – a sustainable black denim fabric developed by G-Star Raw along with Artistic Milliners and Archroma.
This also includes new possibilities for prints such as laser printing or the use of regenerative fibres.
But product development does not play an essential role in isolation- sales is also important. Options such as resale and rental of clothing become increasingly popular as consumers become more mindful of their purchases.
The colour palette for the Investment trend is very varied – from pastel shades to washed-out colours created by recycling, the trend offers great opportunities for creativity to bloom.