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US jeans retailers revamping their denim business

"America’s biggest fashion retailers including Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein are now looking at a revival of blue jeans while losing out to athleisure wear which has overpowered jeans in recent times. The US Census Bureau recently pointed out last year, imports of elastic knit pants surpassed those of jeans for the first time ever. To bring back the vigour, these companies have renewed their thrust on denim manufacturing lately. The biggest reason for such a deterring performance is stagnant designs or lack of uniqueness. While microtrends such as cropped flares and ’80s throwbacks pop up here and there but the skinny jean has remained the dominant style for more than a decade."

 

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America’s biggest fashion retailers including Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein are now looking at a revival of blue jeans while losing out to athleisure wear which has overpowered jeans in recent times. The US Census Bureau recently pointed out last year, imports of elastic knit pants surpassed those of jeans for the first time ever. To bring back the vigour, these companies have renewed their thrust on denim manufacturing lately. The biggest reason for such a deterring performance is stagnant designs or lack of uniqueness. While microtrends such as cropped flares and ’80s throwbacks pop up here and there but the skinny jean has remained the dominant style for more than a decade.

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Levi Strauss & Co. too struggled for years to attain profit amid performance wear growth. With the company posting an 8 per cent increase in revenue in  2017, here’s some good news for fellow jeans manufacturers to buck up their performance. In line with this, Downtown streetwear brand Off White’s washed jeans drew a lot of interest for reworked denim, just as the patchwork jean styles from Vetements led the trendy label to collaborate with Levi’s. Brands are utilising technology to lure shoppers who demand more stretch and moisture-wicking, integrating fibres such as elastane and lyocell.

Emanuel Chirico, CEO, PVH Corp., which owns Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, points out an ‘incredible improvement’ in its jeans businesses worldwide. Chirico believes the revival is due to the popularity of ’90s style, and PVH putting its marketing dollars behind it. As far as Calvin Klein is concerned, he says the limited jeans product that the company has focussed on rolling out is paying huge dividends for them. Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren Corp., also plans to catch the bandwagon and will refocus on jeans wear. Denim represents just 2 or 3 per cent of the company’s total revenue, and the management intends to increase the numbers. Beyond big ticket brands, mass-market labels such as American Eagle Outfitters Inc., are also gearing up for the good times with their volumes registering an uptick. At J Crew, denim led its sister brand Madewell to 

record sales both in stores and online last quarter. Madewell continues to report double-digit increases in comparative store sales, thanks to jeans. Art Peck, CEO, Gap Inc., also reported good performance of the women’s denim. Gap even conducts internal ‘denim summits’ to improve its jeans across all its brands.

 
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