The dark days of denim are coming; but the question is when?
Fall runways around the world showed flared, wide-legged and skinny jeans all in the sophisticated palette. In typical New Jersey fashion, designers here are interpreting this subdued trend in their own way: by also incorporating sustainable business practices and concern for the environment.
“Ripped up, distressed denim is taking a backseat in the fashion industry, allowing more clean, streamlined garments to be the main focus of the season,” says Angelina Rose Decker, the 20-year-old Roxbury native behind Rose & Wilde.
Decker translates the trend by reworking dark and light vintage denim into fresh pieces, using techniques such as color blocking and patchwork. “Consumers and companies are slowly starting to realize the impact that fast fashion has on the world,” she says.
Decker sources inventory from local nonprofit thrift stores, which then keeps money flowing back into the community. “Instead of creating more waste, reworking clothing or shopping secondhand is a great way to be sustainable,” Decker says.
In East Rutherford, Todd Shelton designs and manufactures his eponymous men’s and women’s lines for customers looking for something classic: a quality jean with a perfect fit.
“As far as dark washes and more sophisticated washes, I think that’s ahead of trend for women. That’s coming (to New Jersey), but I’m not sure it’s coming this fall,” he says.
His customer is aware of trends, but focused more on quality and the perfect sizing. The designer sends a “fit guide” to each customer before cutting the fabric, eliminating extraneous waste, and creating a made-to-measure jean.
“The inventory business model, which almost every brand operates under, is highly wasteful,” he says. “People are over-manufacturing in epidemic levels, knowing they can mark it down and get rid of it.”
Shelton takes pride in being sustainable, which is good for the environment and also for the state.
“We are a factory in New Jersey and what we are doing is really unique,” he says. “I’m not sure there’s anybody doing what we’re doing.”
Best Bet for Fall: Capes
Conjure up your inner superhero!
“It’s official. Capes have replaced the traditional trench coat for something a bit more romantic this fall,” says Lynette Lashawn, owner of Off the Hanger. A cape is a way to update your wardrobe. Throw one on and you’re instantly transformed for day or night — no phone booth required.
White cape ($129), available at Off the Hanger, 12 Linden St., Newark.