Although the fashion market is facing a difficult time the first edition of Denim PV Milan, held May 28-29, 2019 at Superstudiopiù, had robust and international attendance, a friendly and happening atmosphere, a high level offer of trend research and top-drawer exhibitors and seminars.
“People liked this Milan edition–both exhibitors and visitors. The show was very dynamic and numbers speak for it,” said Guglielmo Olearo, Denim Première Vision director and Première Vision’s international exhibitions director. The show drew 2,524 visitors, 8% more than the December 2018 edition held in London. It also registered high attendance from foreign markets as 42% of its visitors were international with German, American, Spanish and Turkish attendees leading the non-Italian pack. Fewer visitors came from France as the show took place just before a bank holiday there.
Alongside with the event’s positive vibes and its hype on f/w 2020-21, the show’s organization announced that its next December edition will no longer take place at The Old Truman Brewery (OTB) in Shoreditch, but to a slightly more distant location, Printworks London, near the Canada Waters tube station. “We chose this location as we like to always evolve and surprise and also because it is larger than OTB,” continued Olearo. “It is not a far location as it is three stops south from Shoreditch and two stops from London Bridge. It is highly inspiring and much appreciated as it is a meeting point for many Londoners over the weekend, though also very characteristic for its modern architecture buildings.”
Some rumors circulated about where the show might happen in 2020, and–very probably–it could take place in Stockholm, Sweden. When asked to confirm the rumor, Olearo simply said: “It’s on our list,” though he didn’t add any further confirmation or denial. Also when asked if the show might return to Milan he commented: “It would be silly if we didn’t profit from this edition’s success. Though some real novelty will be visible starting from December 2020.”
Despite the success, Denim PV has some clear aims in mind. “The change is just behind the corner. Despite difficulties in the US they are facing a slow recovery with new formulas coming up. Consider how Levi’s is successful again, Tommy Hilfiger is launching new projects in the US and some Italian brands are starting some real cool projects. The market needs to explore new market areas like China where denim is becoming the new dress code for every context and occasion.” He continued: “Our task is to offer new business opportunities to this market as in numbers we trust.”
Here are some of SI’s favorite highlights from this Milanese edition:
The trend area
The trend area showed truly contemporary and fresh directions mixing interactivity and technology with some cool new denim directions. Forget the authentic old Western memories and old decades’ comeback. New surface effects obtained by using laser innovatively, lots of coatings, glass-effect surfaces, multicolor strata and reinvented surface irregularities were protagonists. XL-size garments were around showing that the future will be comfy-cool.
The must-have piece
Seen in almost every booth and also on the show’s hostesses and stewards and some visitors–mostly women with impeccable shape–were overalls. They were plain raw blue, vintage-like, badly aged or sporting reinvented animal prints. Others were bright blue variants or in a vast series of colors.
Colors and metallics shine
Many companies developed their own range and interpretation, though, definitely, colors are back again. Fluorescent yellow and black or red are some of the new musts at Albiate 1830. Innovative acid-washed shocking pink denim, flock velvet applications, glass-effect coatings and metallic surface effects were key at PG Denim.
Our fave collection
A vast selection of fabric collections offered great ideas and product, though SI’s favorite collection was Berto. Cotton, wool and silk mixed in the same fabric offered a very sophisticated denim–as did a stretch wool one adding performance to soft hand and optics. A sophisticated/cool bonded denim added with a scrapped golden foil drew the attention of many visitors. Multicolor or single hue impurities create interesting surface effects on both the front and the reverse of the fabric. A special jacquard denim in camouflage and various other patterns was the cherry on the cake.
Eco-friendliness and new craftsmanship
Every company offers collections focused on sustainability like Berto launching its Ecorepel ecological water and dirt-repellent treatment and La Campana Colori hosting workshops on treating fabrics with natural and bio dyes. Great attention is also given to craftsmanship. Pattern maker Alessio Berto reinterpreted vintage sportswear pieces à la Balenciaga and produced patterns for made-to-measure jeans for visitors taking part to his workshops. Chottani offered a selection of pieces added with different color stitchings and Turkish garment maker Strom applied typical US blanket handmade decors onto jeans.
It’s app time
Technology is flooding our lives and the industry cannot ignore it. For example, Calik presented its app that shows trends of the seasons and fabric novelties, though it can also be used for ordering samples of fabrics.
Meeting the industry
Among the most interesting seminars were those spotlighting brands taking innovative directions. On the first day Sophie Hardeman, creative director of Hardeman, presented her work focused on a collection of deconstructed, gender fluid clothes. On the second day, at a seminar also featuring Roica and Candiani Denim, Closed presented its Better Blue sustainable denim project. Other guests included Federico Corneli’s Haikure and Andrea Rosso’s Myar.