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Colour me denim

The future for coloured denim after a hugely successful SS11

SS11 marked a turning point for denim; after (too) many seasons at the top, super skinny jeans have finally fallen from their reign as the only style to own. That’s not to say of course that skinny jeans aren’t selling, only that finally, other styles are rising in popularity to join them.
Wide leg styles were the most notable of cuts to attract attention in 2011, with cuts ranging from slight flare to super-wide styles. The style witnessed a steady rise in buzz within social media from September 2010, which peaked around February of this year and has since fallen gradually and now plateaued.

The true denim style champion for 2011 however, was very definitely coloured denim, and the leader of the pack were certainly J Brand. Their successful designs even sparked an interview with the brand’s founder Jeff Rudes in The New York Times. The styles pulled inspiration from the SS11 catwalks – which Rudes sited that his competitors had been slow off the mark to do. We tracked the success of his strategy from when the jeans landed in store in a blog post in June. But since then, have the bright hues still been racing off the shelves?

In the past month, coloured denim has continued to land in store, and within bright hues, primary colours have been the most prevalent, but there is now an obvious shift towards more autumnal shades from deep reds to rich cinnamon.


J Brand has a designated darker hued collection for the chillier months, which has recently started to drop into retailers. Interestingly, the brand are not just hedging their bets on the twill fabric used for SS11, but have expanded into a range of corduroy too.

High street brands have already caught on with similar styles and colours including ASOS who created this video just last week, featuring both summer and winter shades.



Topshop’s Raspberry version sold out in half of the 18 sizes (and lengths) available so far. The same garment in petite sizes sold out in five sizes within two days and is now out of stock across the range. The deep red jeans have been heavily promoted by the retailer, featuring in it’s Edited collection for July 20, and following that, in two separate marketing emails.

So for AW11/12 we certainly see a variation of the trend sticking around, but what about beyond that? Taking cues from our visits to Bread & Butter Berlin and Première Vision, we don’t see coloured denim going much further than AW11/12.  Actually, we predict that on a whole, the denim world will be back to blue before we know it.