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Denim Rebounds at Retail | WMI

Posted by Ann D'Adamo on May 16, 2016 8:30:00 AM

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There’s no denying that athleisure has become the darling of the apparel industry. Almost every brand, from Tory Burch to Topshop, has introduced an active wear line to tap into the phenomenon and analysts predict that consumer spending on athletic apparel will reach $83 billion by 2020. While it’s clear that women love their leggings, two new studies found that, for the first time in years, women are rekindling their romance with denim.

A Rebound at Retail

In a report tracking denim sales across 25 top retailers, analysts found that in the first quarter of 2016, new product arrivals increased 8.6% over the prior year—a 21% increase over 2014, and an impressive 78% increase from 2013. This steady growth indicates that retailers and buyers are more confident in the category and consumer demand for jeans is on an uptick.

Designs on Denim

For several years, skinny jeans have dominated the marketplace—and the Instagram feeds of trendsetting women—but new silhouettes including flares, wide cuts, and cropped are bringing consumers back into stores. Sales of flares and wide cuts are up over 7% and cropped denim is up almost 4% over last year. Likewise, sales of denim shorts, dresses, and jackets are giving the overall category a boost—shorts are up 3%, and dresses and jackets are up almost 13% over the prior year.  And, if the spring 2016 runways were any indication of what’s on the horizon, denim retailers may have something to look forward to this fall. Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander McQueen all dabbled in metallic foiled denim, embroidered jackets and jeans, patches, sequins, and laser-striped denim.

Teens Discover Denim

They grew up in leggings, but trend watchers found that teens are discovering denim. In a just–released study, researchers found that denim brands saw mindshare rise 14% (aggregated) among teen girls and denim showed up as a “top trend” for upper-income female teens for the first time since fall 2013.

While it’s unlikely that women will be giving up their yoga pants any time soon, it appears that new denim silhouettes and treatments are reinvigorating the category and engaging a new generation. It will be up to brands and retailers to inspire women to try these new looks, through all the media they use to discover the latest fashions. Contact us today to learn how Women’s Marketing can help your brand reach women when and where it matters most.  

Edited Insider Briefing Denim Is Not Dead, Not Even Close May 2016, Piper Jaffray Taking Stock With Teens 2015 & 2016, Clique Media Group GenZ Girls: Social, Shopping, & Celebs.

Filed Under: Fashion