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Denim rides high, skinnies wane as silhouettes loosen up says Lyst

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today Jul 15, 2019
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As fashion becomes increasingly casual, the denim trend is showing no signs of loosening its grip on consumers globally with the market still extremely buoyant, a new report from London-based luxury search engine Lyst shows.


Denim remains a key purchase for consumers globally



Jeans see an average of 13 searches every second and are the top most searched individual fashion items globally. Lyst said that on average, denim shoppers spend 22% more on denim jackets than they do on a pair of jeans and that men are spending 31% more than women on a pair of jeans. 

And these next two points may please some people but scare others as “skinny jeans, which have dominated the market for a decade, are now being overtaken by demand for more relaxed-fit styles,” while “low-rise jeans are making a comeback. There has been an increase in searches for ‘low cut’ and ‘hipster’ jeans in the last six months.”

Overall, the data shows a 30% increase in denim sales over the past year, as shoppers are buying more denim than ever before across all price points. And 8,000 denim items are uploaded onto the Lyst platform every day meaning that there has been a 59% annual increase in denim drops. 

And consumers are being adventurous. Demand for denim swimwear even rose 27% in April and two-tone denim searches are up 25% this year.

IN AND OUT OF FAVOUR

While denim is still riding high, as mentioned, some styles that have been dominant in recent years are starting to fade and it seems that skinny jeans could be falling from favour, at least at the high end.

A casual observation of the people around you might not reflect this as the millions of pairs of skinny jeans (often with slashed knees) being worn shows that consumers are still getting plenty of wear out of the jeans in their wardrobes.

But Lyst said that its global analysis of more than 60 million jeans-related searches showed that consumers are now favouring looser styes.

Straight jeans and 90s-look ‘mom’ jeans have been gaining favour at the higher end for some time and straight-leg jeans are now the most popular individual search term. While mom jeans might not be as popular, they're gaining traction and Lyst sees over 200,000+ shoppers searching for them every month.

The strength of straight jeans is perhaps no surprise as designers who show on the runway have been offering up more straight styles than skinnies for several seasons and this has a direct influence on consumers who shop at the upper end of the market.

Whether they’re quite so influential for the value end of the mass-market remains to be seen, however, as high-street denim sales are often less affected by catwalk collections. Figures from Kantar show that half of all jeans bought in the UK are still skinnies.

BAGGIER CUTS AND PASTEL JEANS

As well as straight styles, leg silhouettes have been widening generally in recent years with flares also proving more popular alongside boyfriend styles and cropped jeans.

Lyst also called out a 68% increase in high-rise, wide-leg jeans, especially in Paris and especially from Jacquemus.

Also currently popular are baggy jeans and ripped styles with searches having doubled in just the last month. And consumers are also looking for more allover denim with boilersuit searches rising 120% and Topshop’s white short-sleeve denim one-piece proving strong. Co-ords are also up as much as 250%. Co-ords are especially popular in London and Monki’s pink tie-dye denim is the hero product.


Acne Studios



That also underlines the fact that not all of the jeans being sold are traditional blue. Pastel searches are up 103%, with Acne’s pink straight leg jeans proving popular. 

Sustainable denim is also key with keyword searches for ‘environmentally sustainable denim’ and ‘organic cotton’ rising. Additionally, brands known for eco denim such as Weekday, Re / done, Citizens of Humanity and Nudie have seen their searches rising.

The ubiquitous nature of denim can also be seen from the fact that maternity jeans sell out faster than any other denim item and consumers with specialist size requirements now expect to have their needs met, with a two-fold rise in searches for petite jeans in the past two years.

All of this adds up to a denim market that's extremely strong. In the UK for instance, sales are expected to reach almost £1.6 billion this year with 87 million pairs sold at an average price of around £18. But sales strength can be a mixed blessing as we heard from M&S last week when its CEO said that the company had been unable to meet demand for some top sellers and missed out on many potential sales as a result.

And in the US, NPD said that women are making more room in their closets for jeans. A total of 364 million pairs of women’s jeans were bought in the US in the 12 months ending February, an almost-22 million unit increase.

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