Denim Première Vision show records high turnout in Milan
After Berlin in May, Denim Première Vision has stopped over in Milan this season. On November 23-24, the trade show specialised in the denim sector was staged at the extensive Superstudio Più venue in via Tortona, in the southern part of the city, with sustainability more than ever under the spotlight. As evidenced by the many slogans adopted by exhibitors that focused on the word ‘waste’, like “denim is never a waste.”
At the end of the afternoon on closing day, Thursday, the show’s aisles were still lively, the stands still busy, and exhibitors were clearly satisfied. “The first day especially was exceptional, in terms of quality and quantity, with plenty of international visitors, notably from Germany, France and the UK,” said the show’s director Fabio Adami Dalla Val, who has been in charge of Denim PV for six years, talking to FashionNetwork.com. Buyers from many luxury labels travelled out to Milan, among them Hermès, Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Armani, Alexander McQueen, Kering and Zegna, alongside labels like Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Beaumanoir, Diesel and Guess, as well as mass-market giants like Asos and Zara.
Exhibitors too have grown markedly in numbers, from 47 at last year’s Milanese edition in October, to 67 this year. Denim PV is not yet back to its pre-Covid participation, when the Milan edition hosted 94 exhibitors, but is not far from it. In addition to a strong presence of Italian and Turkish exhibitors, companies from China and Japan were back this year, while there were fewer manufacturers from Pakistan and Bangladesh, both countries facing a significant slump in their export volumes.
In addition to its 67 industry exhibitors, the event hosted 14 jeans brands and designers, exhibiting for the first time in a dedicated section right at the show’s entrance, called “Denim Fashion District”. None of the major denim labels were present, but the section did feature brands recognised for their quality and creativity, like Blue of a Kind from Milan, Denzilpatrick from the UK, Fade Out Label from Germany, and French upcycling platform Revibe, with its Resap brand.
“The [“Denim Fashion District”] section was the show’s main novelty. In Berlin, there were only 10 of these brands, scattered randomly around the show. The denim industry has always been tightly knit and cohesive. The idea is to promote synergy and contacts, so we began to invite retailers and showrooms too,” said Adami Dalla Val. “We are still in the exploration phase, but this is a seam we’d like to invest in,” he added. The “Denim Fashion District” brands complemented Denim PV’s usual range of exhibitors, which included representatives of the entire supply chain, from yarn spinners to weavers, garment makers (including launderers and finishers), components and accessories producers, technology developers and machine-tool makers, like Spanish company Jeanologia.
Denim PV also demonstrated how the industry is adopting a radically different approach to sustainability. “In the past, sustainability was mostly a marketing ploy. Nowadays, greenwashing no longer makes sense. Producers have become more effective in developing innovative solutions,” said Adami Dalla Val. Innovation is rife in every sector of the industry. Italian flock producer Casati Flock, exhibiting at Denim PV for the first time, has for example developed a system to transform denim offcuts and by-products into a flocking powder that can be used to manufacture new types of materials, like denim paper.
The fully biodegradable B210 denim fabric launched by Turkish producer Calik Denim was an innovation that attracted huge interest. Thanks to a non-toxic substance applied to the fibre and fabric during finishing, B210 denim, once it has reached the end of its useful life, dissolves in 210 days from the time when it is no longer in contact with oxygen.
Turkish manufacturer Isko presented an equally revolutionary new product, the Ctrl+Z fabric, entirely made from recycled cotton and polyester yarns and regenerated cellulose fibres. Isko has developed a new technology that separates and recovers blended fibres deriving from post-industrial waste, in other words, from discarded fabrics and unsold garment stocks.
This focus on sustainability was also evident in the special stands of four exhibitors that were not strictly speaking part of the denim industry, but brought inspiring new content to the show. Like Tessitura La Colombina, which aroused genuine interest by exhibiting one of its old manual looms, dating back to 1860, on which visitors tried their hand at weaving with amused curiosity. Another was the stand of Sicilian organic cotton farmer Cotone Organico Sicilia, which has reintroduced cotton farming in Italy, alongside other farmers from the south of the country.
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