2013 was a year of transition for DenimHunt. After stepping away for a year in 2012 to go overseas and leaving it in the extraordinarily capable hands of fashionisto Eben Nicastro, I came back in 2013 realizing that my fascination with denim had changed. Don't get me wrong. I still have a passion for jeans and own more pairs than I care to count, but my feelings about denim had shifted. This was most apparent when I visited showrooms after the Fall runway shows in February. I noticed that I no longer cared about the technical details. The weight in ounces of the denim used to make a pair of jeans was no longer important. I was only mildly curious if a pair of raw jeans were selvedge and my interest in where the denim was sourced from was just plain non-existant.
I came to realize that stepping away from the fashion industry for a year actually gave me more clarity and allowed me to view the industry from the outside in. When premium denim hit the scene everyone was concerned about the details of the jeans they were purchasing. Specs were placed on tags so aspiring connoisseurs could talk with some level of expertise about the jeans they were wearing. The price of jeans skyrocketed with no end in site, peaking in 2009 when rumors surfaced that Tom Ford was creating a $990 pair of jeans. I never followed up to see if they were actually produced, but later that year an obscure luxury brand did create a diamond-studded pair for $10,000. The power of premium denim was most evident during the Great Recession. While other forms of apparel were on the sale rack as soon as they hit the store, jeans were still a big seller and were used to push other products. This was because people viewed their jeans as an investment akin to a coveted Chanel bag and therefore were able to justify the cost…in their own minds.
Fast forward to the present and lower priced brands like Gap and American Eagle are able to produce premium quality jeans without the premium price tag. Premium denim is no longer the exclusive territory of the denimhead or the person who's bank account is large enough to afford them. Now anyone can find a good fitting pair of jeans at any price point. The long ago fear that the premium denim bubble would burst never materialized. What actually happened was instead of owning four pairs of jeans at $200 a piece, consumers now own those 4 pairs plus 10 other pairs that don't sacrifice fit for price.
This has been great for the the industry as more daring finishes and prints have become less of a novelty item and more of a trendy addition to the wardrobe. Specifically, the color and print explosion has been helped along by the lower price points as now you don't have to worry about spending an arm and a leg on something that will go out of style the following year (disclaimer: I'm not saying color and print are going out of style. I'm sure they will be around for a few more seasons). In some cases the printed jean is the focal point of the outfit. This contrasts directly with how jeans are traditionally worn, which is as a complimentary item that is meant to accentuate the figure without drawing attention away from everything else.
Jeans have truly become a full-fledged fashion item. It is no longer just a wardrobe completer. It's because of this change that DenimHunt has changed. I am a person that loves and appreciates fashion. I pour through Elle and Vogue, peruse WWD and sometimes poke around on Nylon and The Cut. Be that as it may, as much as I drool over conventional sartorial items, I live in my jeans. I wear jeans every single day; only taking a break now and then to put on a dress. Everything I buy centers around this fact whether it's a new pair of shoes or a new handbag. If I want to get good use out of anything I buy I have to make sure it goes with my jeans too.
So to reflect this change, for 2014 DenimHunt will no longer be the hub for denim purists. If you are a regular reader than you've probably noticed a subtle change in the direction of the site already. This doesn't mean that if you consider yourself a die-hard denimhead you won't find out about new brands and techniques here. Everything that was here before will continue to be here, but DenimHunt is undergoing an evolution. Instead of being "The community for denim purists seeking the latest in denim and the lifestyle that surrounds it" it will reflect my personal style motto "Loving fashion and Living in Jeans". I sincerely hope you enjoy this new direction and I look forward to sharing my passion with you for another year.
Happy New Year and Keep Reading!