Denim has temporarily fallen out of favor as consumers continue to stay home amid COVID-19. Even before the pandemic, comfortable loungewear had become a staple in people’s wardrobes, presenting legacy denim brands with a new set of challenges to overcome.
Despite the current retail climate, the denim industry will prevail, thanks to its versatility and value. Figures from Grand View Research expect the denim industry to surpass $79.3 billion by the end of 2025. Jeans, particularly affordable fast fashion offerings, have consumed much of the industry. Compared to this time last year, off-price, fast fashion, and specialty/DTC retailers and/or brands have increased their assortment levels of denim, while contemporary and luxury have scaled back.
As consumers embrace their new work-from-home lifestyle, retailers will continue to release styles that prioritize comfort. Relaxed styles continue to gain momentum with searches for dad jeans and baggy jeans up +135% and +165% to LY, respectively. In an effort to combine their love of denim with their newfound passion for comfortable workwear, consumers have found the perfect balance: denim joggers. The style is experiencing accelerated growth and is forecasted to grow through the fall with 90% confidence. Yet, with offices and restaurants reopening, some consumers are anticipating the day they’ll be able to wear their favorite denim once more. A new favorite, ribcage jeans (+170% to LY), are the super high-waisted look that has taken over the timeline. The aptly named style is the highest rise Levi’s available, at 12 1/8 inches.
The environmental impact of traditional denim production combined with pressure from consumers to make change has led to heightened demand for sustainable denim. Google searches and social posts for denim are -1% and -55% to LY, respectively, while searches for sustainable jeans are +75% to LY. When it comes to sustainable denim, the top associated brands include Levi’s, Mango, ASOS, and DL1961. This sustainable sentiment is also visible in the growing DIY movement, which has permeated the denim industry as tie dye, bleached, and patchwork styles show accelerated growth. Spotted at Tom Ford and Koche, patchwork denim was a key trend on the FW20 runway. The repurposed feel of patchwork denim presents brands and consumers with the opportunity to get creative with salvaged materials in an attempt to minimize waste.
Whether introducing new styles like ribcage jeans or focusing on sustainable classics, it’s never been more important to make your assortment stand out amongst your competitors. Using signals from Google search, social media, and e-comm, we spotlight which denim trends are here to stay — and which ones consumers are leaving behind.
Trends to Watch
These trends are exhibiting emerging behavior and are likely to grow in the next few months
Prints and Patterns
Shapes and Silhouettes
On It’s Way Out
These trends are a year past their peak
For the full report or to learn more about trends that are growing — and dying, please contact email@example.com.