In an open "End of Year Letter" to the denim community, Andrew Olah, founder of Kingpins, previews the denim show's planned events in 2021–both digital and back in physical form.

As for digital formats, Kingpins will continue its series of online events begun in 2020: “We will do more online shows starting with an event in February to serve the U.S. market and another one in April for Amsterdam and Europe. Our online shows should not end once physical shows return. We love the idea of digital information and the challenge to find new and inspiring individuals to share their stories or their products or inventions,“ Olah explains.

He and his team also want to further continue to work on Kingpins’ Exchange platform, which will be made available in more languages such as Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese and will feature more enhancements to make the online fabric viewing a more functional tool for sourcing. Kingpins Exchange is Kingpins’ online marketplace launched in October 2020. It originates from a recently signed partnership with Material Exchange, a Swedish company working with several international retail apparel and footwear brands to analyze, optimize and digitize their material sourcing and development processes.

As for Kingpins’ physical events, Olah foresees a return to normal in September: “We look forward to being back in action in China in September, Amsterdam in October and in NYC in the late fall of 2021.”

Kingpins plans physical events for September 2021
Photo: Kingpins
Kingpins plans physical events for September 2021
Still, he stresses that uncertainties and challenges, also for Kingpins, will remain a topic in 2021: “At the Kingpins Show, we see ourselves the way successful restaurants view themselves. Before the pandemic, we served our clients and our clients appreciated what we provided. With the pandemic and the lack of ability for our customers to use our services, we had to shut down our physical show, which stressed our financial wherewithal to the brink. We constantly asked ourselves ‘is a good restaurant a great product after the pandemic?’ And this question motivated and inspired us to survive [...]. What still remains to be seen over the next eight months is how restaurants or hotels or tradeshows will survive.”

Overall, Olah stays optimistic that by mid 2021 the global effects of the pandemic could be under control: “The vaccines that are becoming available I’m told are excellent and reliable and this allows one to imagine that by the end of next summer a large part of the world will have immunity against the current virus.”