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FW22: Denim Core Items

By analyzing the magnitude and evolution of several denim trends on Instagram and Fashion Shows, Livetrend has uncovered the products, washes and details that will be relevant for FW22.

In a challenged market, Denim remains a reliable category. Jeans not only resonate a sense of durability, timelessness and reassurance- but- the comfort pieces incorporate versatile properties that make them easily styled up or down. Conscious denim also remains an important driver. Searches for sustainable and eco-friendly denim have increased by 100% over the past month. For FW22 this means increasing the sourcing of organic cotton and updating old harmful processes of dying and washing. Now, more natural or retro inspired styles are becoming important. Inspirations of the 1970s-1990s, finding interpretations within reworked archive and thrifted styles, are undeniable as consumers look for a sense of nostalgic comfort within their wardrobes.

Bildschirmfoto 2021-04-22 um 18.48.24

Key Jeans Fits

The Straight Leg

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The Straight Leg Jean is a well established trend that has been recognized over the past year and was increasingly adapted by consumers. The quick adaption rate affected not only the young and fashionable consumers but has driven the trend across all audiences. Over the past 3 months, wider legs have been growing by +140% on Instagram, compared to the same period last year. Despite the fast growth of loose styles, the visibility of skinny jeans is not over as the fit retains its highly commercial potential.

The Wide-Leg

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The Livetrend Trend Tracker has spotted the Wide Leg Denim one year ago by our Trend Tracker and it has continued to grow ever since. Once an edgy trend, the large-shaped-leg is now counterbalancing the usual fitted leg within the trouser category. Over the past year, wide leg jeans have grown by +28% on Instagram. Certainly, the style remains a trendy shape and should be used wisely to properly enrich the denim assortment.

The 70s Styles

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With tastes for the joyful 70s increasing at rapid pace, the flared jeans shapes are certainly the most feminine and easy way to interpret the trend for wider-legged fits. The almost uniquely flattering quality of this style keeps the trend commercial. Seventies inspired shapes are a stable direction for FW22 with solid growth rates shown on Instagram. To fully embrace the look, high-waist is a must here. The level of contrast between the fitted thigh and the level of flaring, will either create new basics or new statement pieces. It's your turn to play!

The 80's Fit

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For FW22 this typical late 80's shape, ranging between carrot and slouchy-fits, is rising. This increasingly popular shape is meeting the requirements of popular comfort fits, that customers are used to wear and do not want to get rid of. Sometimes enhance by front pleats, the vintage silhouette can be used very versatile in casual or more dressy looks. Remember, that searches for vintage denims have risen by 68% according to Lyst. Consequently, authentic vintage inspired jeans, thrifted-pieces and archives are more and more going to influence the shapes of new garments.

New Must-Haves

The Shaket/ Overshirt

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The over-shirt, well-known as the shaker, fuses properties of shirts and jackets. It has been a bestseller piece of FW20 and due to its practicality and versatile qualities remains as a newly favored staple across the market. For the previous season, Livetrend data had analyzed an astonishing growth index of +230% versus FW19, compared to FW21 the piece has increased by another +48%. It is henceforth forecasted to maintain its visibility for FW22. Thanks to the integration of new fluid lifestyles, the adaptable shacked is sure to perform. Different interpretations, which incorporate more surprising materials will update this style for FW22. Consider some of the new denim-finishes at the end of the report to similarly boost the denim overshirt.

The Slit Skirt

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Front Slit Denim Skirts are celebrating their big comeback. From Instagram to Streetstyles, this product is starting to rise in popularity. As tracked online, slitted skirts in midi and knee-length silhouettes are the most favored interpretations. The style has increased by +342% since last year. Currently, it still retains a relatively small visibility rate, but due to its fast emergence and commercial properties, the slit skirt incorporates high potential. Now an early sign, the trend is forecasted to be stable in FW22.

The Vintage Volume Jacket

stable trend

Not only pants are experiencing their retro update. The Eighties shaped jacket has similarly increased across Instagram during this trimester. Certainly, the appeal for such vintage inspired volumes is coming alongside new aesthetics and tastes for curated vintage pieces , where authenticity remains key. The analysis of FW21 catwalks has confirmed this early signal trend as well. The challenge for FW22 is to interpret this shape commercially but maintaining its feminine and rock style.

The Full Look / Set

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The momentum o matching sets does not make hold of the denim category - on the contrary. Designing for FW22, you should begin to think about full denim looks. Whether you go for overalls, shirt and pant combinations, skirts with jackets or dresses, the more enhanced the denim, the better. Sophisticated designs might even be able to be worn as a fresh go-to-the-office styles. Similarly, new matching sets can also be interpreted more boldly, through added print (+162% printed denim) or patchwork details (+10%).

Key Details

Front Pockets

Distressed Finishes & Raw Edges

Seductive Slits

Detailed Super High Waist

Key Washes & Finishes

Mindful Laser

Statement prints and patterns were certainly important on the recent A/W 21-22 catwalks, even though prints are continuously giving way to new textures. Livetrend’s Trend Tracker has also detected the relevance of printed denim on Social Media with a +162% index of growth YoY. Using geometrics or florals, current prints are aiming to create 2D motifs for a feeling of dimensionality. With aspects of more eco-friendliness in mind, laser prints are a favored option to create statement styles for the next season. Not only offering a wide range of creative interpretations, the less chemical process enables you to position your brand as not only conscious but forward and tech-thinking. In terms of motifs, commercially successful florals are a key pattern for laser prints. Such printed florals provide a sense of comfort but experience new freshness by integrating a digital edge. The taste for geometrics is also suitable for holograms. Don’t forget to transform your logo in graphic all-over textures to assure its commercial appeal. For more trendy clients, laser-printed matching sets can be favored as they incorporate a bold, joyful and full-look style.

Sumptuous Quilting

Quilting and Padding is a relevant cross-category trend, which has emerged from the needs of protection and an interest in hand-made products. The softness of quilted denim is not just literally providing a smooth hand-feel, but similarly embracing a rather mild and calming look. The fabric is proposing versatility for outerwear-pieces as it transitions easily from early autumn into full-winter seasons. Apart from that, a blanket-like effect feels cocooning and enhances the volumes of enlarged and cropped jackets or vests. Quilted denim is maintaining a contemporary edge when used in more surprising contexts. Consider Ganni and how they demonstrate novelty via quilted denim skirts.

Perfectly Patched

Patchworks are a stable trend on Social Media. People want to express their individuality and position themselves as mindful regarding the environment and sustainable practices. A new aesthetic that feels more DIY and crafted has entered the market and taken-over a generation. The patchwork denim trend will keep being a key finish for the coming season. The aesthetic of authentic vintage patch and repairs is providing inspiration here. The literal reworking of retro archive pieces, of which some also combine different materials with denim, are highly popular across the younger audiences. For a more wearable and commercial product, find tonal indigo panels that embrace a similar re-used feel but maintain a well-finished and more sophisticated look.

Going Raw

The Raw Denim styles, which are currently gaining prominence on Instagram embrace this direction and explore the symbiotic relationship of nature and society. Consumers are making fresh connections and embrace a ‘less is more’ approach. Investing in better and longer lasting products seems key. The raw denim trend promotes responsible fabrics and a low-impact production, since it eliminates chemical washes and harmful dyes. The more rigid feel of raw denim matches well with more structural garments and is able to create voluminous silhouettes. While the resurgence of raw denim brings back a retro feel, the sharp outlines of top products, like dresses and enlarged pants or outerwear, maintain a more fashionable appeal.

Serene Off-Whites

The concerns surrounding the environmental impact of denim products results in a focus on neutral palettes. Ecru and Off-White nuances are one of the current top trends, which will continue to drive an un-dyed and bucolic story for the next winter season. Light denim elevates more workwear-driven designs towards a more feminine and soft direction. It’s homespun identity also creates a more intimate feeling. A subtleness that works well in new norm-core office and home-wear styles, but also transitions easily in to highly requested evening styles. Instagram is already fond of the versatile ecru denim and getting ready for a dreamy winter season next year.

Boosting Acids

The mood-boosting spirits of the past fashion shows, as people are looking forward to going out again, are translating into vivid acid washes. The style is successful in youthful pastel colors, as well as in traditional grays and blues. Overdyes can even update the look. The acid treatment is predominantly used on pants and jackets. Tapered 80’s jeans or slim 90s-fits in this wash feel most authentic, as the acid look underlines the vintage and worn feel inevitably linked to the history of those pieces. Colored Acid Wash can be interesting for prefall pieces, meanwhile snow effect will be adding texture to transeasonal Eighties shaped denim. Cropped Denim Jackets are another trend style for this resurfacing finish. Instagram is showing that while embracing a slightly worn feel, acids spark a maximum level of joy and fresh digital appropriation.

New Tie&Dyes

An environmentally conscious client is demanding for new, more sustainable dying technologies that enable less polluting practices at scale. However, those less harmful methods should not have to compromise current waves of more eclectic and individual looks. Brands like H&M or IsKo are already showing how to switch to flowers, herbs and vegetable waste to generate color and dyes. New all-over abstracts are now resonating a surreal and phygital style over Instagram. At the same time, the nature-driven processes result in slightly irregular aesthetics and embrace more unique structures. The resulting dreamscape dyes are a safe , yet edgy trend for FW22, mainly aimed at a Gen-Z digital native, yet mindful consumer.

Tie & Dye is maintaining its online-success, but experiences a solar update and new faded look. With a continuous need for screen-visibility, expressive dying techniques, that introduce color highlights and uniqueness, continue to make an impact on Social Media. However, the new tie & dye denim looks feel more soft as gradients are becoming more balanced and fading effects are moving to larger scales. The sophisticated look is generated by simply setting highlights with the dyes. Dipping techniques put hemlines and outlines of the garment in focus and thereby create individual yet tranquil pieces.

Starting with safe core trends

If the Livetrend Trend Tracker, that scans the trending styles on Instagram, has surfaced one key design message for FW22 denim, it is to either embrace a sense for mindful retros or a turn toward bold and expressive styles.
As millennial vintage shopping habits are transforming tastes and retail, authenticity and a slightly worn look are becoming key staples for denim as well. Embracing an imperfect and non-fuzzy archive look is crucial here. 80s inspired high waist pants, volume coats and acid washes are increasingly gaining momentum online. The ongoing taste for the joyful 70s is also influencing trends like front pockets, flared jeans, and midi-skirts on Social Media.
Instagram is also proposing new prints and dyes with a hand-made feel.  Natural textures and solar fades can be infused with boosting color hues. A more edgy notion can also be added through sharper cut-lines framing wider-legged pants, slits or matching sets.
Regarding the influence of nature, it can be said that both a more conscious and a made-by-nature aesthetic are adapting to a new client. Switching to greener alternatives is crucial to maintain believable and trustworthy branding and keep a woke client on board.  

16 May 2021