Denim by PV, the specialised denim fair held in Paris, has just ended its December edition (Dec. 1-2). Despite bad weather conditions, the coldness of the show’s location Halle Freyssinet, and a general difficult market situation, especially due to the increased cotton prices and resulting shortage, the show registered significant attendance and a positive working atmosphere.

Recent bad weather seasons, a general reconversion of cotton fields into food cultivation, a shortage of raw material available, and the resulting speculation have led to doubling the price of cotton during the last year. “This situation brings a lot of uncertainty to the market,” comments Panos Sofianos, Product Manager, Denim Valley by Royo. “We also had to increase our prices by up to 20% and this whole problem will result in making one group suffer: us, the weavers.” Alberto Candiani, CEO, Tessitura Robecchetto Candiani, thinks that the next six months will be crucial in understang how the market will develop in the future. “With such increases, jeans manufacturers will try to cut costs as much as possible and, for this, they might soon focus on much simpler washes, less detailed garments, etc. This means that the whole manufacturing process will suffer including laundries, accessory manufacturers and other service providers.” According to Thomas Disslich, CEO, Vicunha Europe, a possible solution for the problems might appear by 2012 when, if no big climate disaster will happen, cotton stocks can be rebuilt back, even if Disslich already is noticing a slight recovery if comparing sales with 2008 and 2009.

Despite the difficulties, and probably also because of that, the market is strongly focusing on offering innovative products that can fascinate consumers and stimulate them into buying. “The present market is much more selective today,” commented designer Adriano Goldschmied. “It is smaller, and it is a stimulus to work better and make always more research.”

For this reason, companies are strongly focused on new product developments for s/s 2012. Tavex focuses on its new ‘Denim Couture’ range of products aimed at high-end fashion brands willing to offer their own jeans lines. They include silk-like lucid and smooth touch satin-like denims as well as denims blending cotton and cupro, cellulosic fibers, linen and viscose. Tejidos Royo launches its new Suave+Plus denim made employing Lyocell and other soft-touch fibers.

Moreover, organic and eco-friendly denims are a main interest at present. Bossa presenetd its Blue Garden area totally covered with organic cotton denims, treated with laser only and decored with organic substances like chlorophyll, marble powder, tea and similar substances.

A new collaboration signed between Isko and Marithé François Girbaud had its debut at the show. The French brand presented six garments all made with the Recall™, a maximum recovery range of stretch denims all treated with the special Girbaud Wattwash ageing technique that saves water by employing laser. “We believe in building up patnerships with major jeanswear brands that are leaders in their own niche,” comments Mehmet F. Akgunlu, Global Marketing Manager, Isko. Marco Lucietti, Global Brand Manager at Isko, adds: “We always focus on innovation and the market has given us reward. We aim to establish ourselves as a quality brand and we collaborate with all top denim brands by offering technology, innovation and creative solutions. M+F Girbaud is a top representative brand in the market and we are honored to work together with them.”

Also strongly focused on innovation, were Invista’s new fabric concepts such as the most elegant ‘Dress for Success’ range of fabrics devised to be used for smart lightweight models like the “trouser jean”, or – in a totally opposite direction, focused on functional denims perfect for skateboarding and tough sports such as cotton-Cordura denims, and similar though less expensive, Tough Max Lycra for a denim that is both abrasion-resistant and flexible.

In addition, colored denim is playing a significant role according to Vicunha. Thus, they offered a ready-for-dye cotton material that can be easily transformed according to market requests. Also innovative were some new blue shades presented by Hellenic Fabrics, like their new “Sugar Blue” shade, a greyish light blue denim, plus a series of different shades of blue reinterpreting typical workwear colors.

Last but not least, ITV applied innovation to workwear-inspired denims obtained by simply ‘smutching’ the yarns. That way, the denim obtained doesn’t need final additional treatment. They also developed surface treatments that neither weigh down nor stiffen fabrics. They can be applied to lightweight denims that are still so popular right now.

Next edition of Denim by PV will run May, 25-26.