A New ‘Denim Cycle’? After a Decade, Jeans Move From Skinny to Loose

The trend isn’t just limited to Levi’s, which claims to invent blue jeans in 1873. Madewell, the popular J. Crew Group retail chain, has also shown a craze for loose-fitting jeans and balloon bottoms among skinny jeans acolytes, which is seen as a turning point for fit.

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April 16, 2021, 1:30 p.m. ET

“The people who held onto Skinnies for a really long time said, ‘Oh, OK, I’ll crawl over to the other side and do something,” said Anne Crisafulli, Madewell’s senior vice president of merchandising.

Madewell, known for its jeans, has created styles that make it easier for customers to transition to the loose fit to provide “training wheels for people with thin skin,” said Ms. Crisafulli. Customers seem to want a “looser and more comfortable” denim going forward, she added.

Mr Bergh noted that weight gain caused by pandemics could spark interest in the jeans as some people try to update their closets.

San Francisco-based Levi’s sales fell 23 percent to $ 4.45 billion in 2020. Many retailers saw sales decline as stores temporarily closed and customer habits changed. Sales also fell in the first quarter, which ends in February, but Mr. Bergh noted that it did so in a “big way” even before vaccines were launched in the US. He said he was optimistic about a denim resurgence.

“When people think about going out again, they think about how it looks now and they go to our website, they go to other websites, look at fashion magazines and see that looser, dredging fits are the new trend” Said Mr. Bergh. “The fact that people are liberated and can finally go out for dinner with their family, girlfriend or boyfriend – it gives them the opportunity to upgrade their wardrobe, update the look and pamper themselves a little, and I think that’s what we see. “

And even if looser denim is the 2020s look, it doesn’t mean the skinny jeans are disappearing.

“I don’t think skinny jeans will ever go away completely,” said Bergh. “People mix it up, and women in particular have multiple options.”

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