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Denim Sales Drop 6%; Is This End Of America’s Love Affair With Blue Jeans?

Stephanie DeLay

Everyone loves blue jeans – right?  Maybe not.  It appears that sales of denim in the United States fell 6% last year – a number that has many fashion insiders questioning what the future holds for the “all-American fabric”.

Even Levi Strauss & Co, a name synonymous with jeans, is struggling, with second-quarter revenue dropping 2 percent from last year and net profit falling a whopping 76 percent because of falling sales in the U.S. It also cut 800 jobs — 20 percent of its non-retail and non-factory positions — as part of a plan to save up to $200 million a year.

So what’s causing the backlash against blue jeans?  Changing trends and styles.

A growing trend in casual wear is all about comfort, and denim is struggling to find its place. Retail and fashion experts alike are not afraid to admit the new look, coined “athleisure,” is all the rage from teens turning to leggings instead of jeans and moms sporting their yoga-wear everywhere and all day long.

“There isn’t an ‘it’ item for back-to-school like we had two years ago,” said Dana Telsey, CEO and chief research officer at Telsey Advisory Group. “What there are, there are certainly dusters and dresses, there’s these crop tops that seem to be working and anything with the athletic bent. Athletic and activewear are certainly the new everyday wear and that’s happening no matter what age people are.”

Experts say that declaring the demise of denim is probably a little harsh.  They point out that trends are often cyclical and that the fabric could easily see an upswing in the years to come.

Read more here.

 

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