Blue: Sea of Jeans
After the frenzy of Fashion Week I would like to remind everyone to mark their calendars and attend one of the best trade shows to see, buy, and breathe denim.
In July we witnessed Blue, the NYC trade show dedicated to premium denim and contemporary fashion. Given the massive amount of denim showcased there I've decided it may be a good idea to give those who missed it the scoop. First, a backgrounder: Blue is the successful project of ENK, the team that brings us shows like the Collective, Coterie, and Accessorie Circuit. Held in what was once a train tunnel, this compact format allows designers to showcase their work, particularly in denim, in a relaxed atmosphere that buyers can appreciate. The experience is much like shopping at one giant boutique, complete with shop assistants to explain the almost 100 brands available. Since lounging with a mug of beer is standard at these places I apologize in advance for any blurry pictures.
Speaking of working drunk I would like to take this time to question the sobriety of the Levi's personnel responsible for this madness: $110 selvedge jeans. For toddlers. Dimensions: 1.5 x 1'. Pick 'em up while you can at the Levi's Store on Broadway in NYC's SoHo.
But speaking of selvedge fever let's get back to Blue.
If this cutting edge tradeshow is any indication of where premium denim is headed then it's clear that designers will be trying to turn selvedge into the next fashion trend. Eventually even brands with little understanding of and reason to use selvedge denim fabric will be cuffing and turning inside out their jeans to flash the goods. All this in hopes of exploiting a characteristic of vintage-style denim commonly mistaken to be a fool-proof indicator of quality. If you need a quick primer on selvage here is Wikipedia's take.
Here's a quick walk-through.
If you're addicted to selvedge denim then Blue Star can provide the overdose. We're talking about a company whose entire value proposition (so far) is based on the fact that the jeans are "Handcrafted with genuine Cone Mills White Oak Selvage Denim."
Tired of just having the outseam selvedge? How would you like it on the coin pocket and back patch? The nifty hidden inside pocket gets it too.
Jackets get it too.
Agave Goldenstate went as far as flipping their jeans inside out, which would be silly if it was just to show you the selvage line. Hence the printed pocketing.
And their whole life story.
The look actually grew on me and I began to think I would rock it inside out. Indoors. Just to flash that selvage.
But I was quickly captivated by some non-selvage wares from the good folks at Denim Design Lab. They showed some unique t-shirts that showcase one-of-a-kind art done on denim.
And who can forget Marc Jacobs for Wrangler?
There were many more jeans repeating this same theme but you get the idea.
And despite the fun-poking Blue is amazingly informative, useful, and great for networking.
Bottom line: go to the next Blue show running January 21-23, 2007. My prediction is the selvage fever will be as widespread as ever. See you there.