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Benzak
12th March 2008, 13:19
In our lovely world of denim there are 4 markets that can be identified as the big 4: Japan, California (US), Scandinavia & Italy. Each market is situated in a different part of the world, and therefore they all function differently. Each market has their own characteristics, eg: the Japanese in general are very focussed on copy+improve (which also counts for their denim).

I'm working on my final thesis, to finish my education (Fashion Management). The subject above will be part of it. I'd like to start a discussion on this subject, to see how everyone here thinks about it, since we have so many people from different parts of the world at this forum.

Things that can be discussed are:
-what is the history of each market regarding to denim?
-how does the market in each region function in general?
-what are the main trends within each region?
-what are the leading denim brands, and what makes them leaders?
-is there any production left, and if so, at what level are they?
-what flaws can be seen in each market?
-how are import and export of denim related?
-what is role of upcoming denim regions like Turkey?
etc etc

I'm not looking for straight answers or anything, because I think there are no right answers, it's just a matter of taste and opinion.

All contributions are welcome and I hope that I can use this as a part of my final thesis!

cameland
12th March 2008, 22:52
I actually sat here for a while thinking about this and I really don't have that much industry knowledge. But I do agree with your "big 4" Japan seems quite traditional whilst europe seems more out there in their designs. Can't say much about the other two. Sorry benzak!

Cross-Hatch
13th March 2008, 00:00
Wow, your questions are pretty intense, Benzak. Those are straight up *research* questions. Keep in mind that most of us are simply consumers. For instance, "how does the market in each region function in general?"...I wouldn't assume that the average consumer could answer this question, let alone even understand it. Then again, perhaps I'm just projecting. I know that I have no answer for that one.

Nudzorz
13th March 2008, 01:53
-what are the leading denim brands, and what makes them leaders?

Well, I live just across the bay from San Francisco and the leader is Levis. I think it was because a while ago the introduced the Levi Strauss $14.99 jeans that are sold at walmart which opened up there sales to a lot more people. They're also know by EVERYONE and even have somewhat of a fan base..

I think the number 2 is gap, also because they made some cheap jeans, but I think they're falling behind..



I don't know anything else about any of those questions. :-|

Cross-Hatch
13th March 2008, 02:00
Well, I live just across the bay from San Francisco and...


Nudzorz,

Where are you located? I'm just curious to see how many bay area people we have here. I'm in Alameda.

Nudzorz
13th March 2008, 02:02
I used to live in Alameda.

I'm in Oakland.

nudieformytummy
13th March 2008, 02:20
In US market, most of them care more on the brands than the qualities. You can name the US brand like true religion, rock &republic, seven, bla3x

I used to buy those brands before I know selvedge denim... hihihihihi:p

Now.... you see my signature...
not all of my denim are included in my signature

Conifurious
13th March 2008, 02:32
I'll just choose one for the time being.

"What are the leading denim brands and why?"

From my experience, the leading denim brands for the American market would most likely be, as Nudzorz said, Levi's and Gap. Though again, no key demographic was ever specified and that would certainly change the results.

For the 12 to "almost" 20 category (possibly even older) for instance, the most current trend would certainly be American Eagle jeans. I have become very familiar with their rear-pocket emblem and wash patterns. The reason? Cheap jeans with modern(ish) cuts, affordable by everyone, worn by everyone. The average price dips a bit lower that Gap's and can compete with Levi's mid-range models. Keep in mind that the premium denim profits only make up a fragment of the American Denim market. Doubly so for those of us interested in raw denim.

However, Levi's are arguably the most overall successful in my opinion. They are credited with the invention of the article itself, and a deep rooted sense of wholesome traditional "Americana" is often associated with the brand. I wore Levi's, as did my father, as did his father, etc. American industries, more than any other I feel, are fueled by this sense of nostalgia and lingering traditionalism. This is especially true with aesthetic expenditures like clothing. Though Levi's financial progression is somewhat in question, their undeniable cultural impact certainly places them in a distinctly influential category.

In order to win the denim market over, I feel there are three basic requirements which must be satisfied specifically regarding the article itself. The article must be functional, comfortable and fashionable. Obvious enough, but what is less obvious is the distribution of these elements within the designs of the brand based on the tastes of the target consumer. Whether we like it or not, moms will continue buying "mom jeans" at large. Dads, "dad jeans" respectively. Function over fashion. On the other hand, the younger generations seek to gratify aesthetic objectives and consequently, lean towards modern incarnations of the original garment (Antik, True Religion, Diesel, Levi's Capital E, etc). The objective of the successful brand is to properly juggle these three characteristics for their contrasting demographics, a difficult task needless to say, given that it is very hard for companies to project completely different images of their product while maintaining a faithful, loyal customer base.

If I were to declare a single label as being the most successful and long standing in this sense, nothing but Levi's comes to mind.

This is fun (and largely subjective, just my feelings based on my experiences). I'd like to look at those other questions later. PM or AIM me if you want to chat about it sometime.

Benzak
13th March 2008, 08:18
thank you for all of your imput already!

regarding the intensitiy of the questions: they are meant for a research (which I will be doing), but the questions are more like a guideline for discussion. i'm fully aware of the fact that most people here are consumers and that questions regarding the functionality of the market cannot be answered, the can't even be answered in one post reply by people who are educated in this kind of research. but most fashion (which include all textile) starts by demand of the market (which we all are), not supply. therefore all contributions are welcome, even own experiences. as a matter of fact, experiences are just as important for me at this point, since it's the experience (by consumer) of a brand that makes a brand, eg, a brand can have big filosofy and all, but if it doesn't reach the consumer, it doesn't really matter.

all imput is welcome, even if it doesn't answers any of the questions

(I also started this thread on sufu: http://supertalk.superfuture.com/showthread.php?p=953199&posted=1#post953199 maybe it'll inspire you for a reply here at mynudies)

Bobbejaan
13th March 2008, 14:16
Here in the nethelands we have a magazine about the biggest brands in denim. But to understand these markets you need to get in touch with LVC. I think this is the biggest player and active in the big 4. And i'm sure they have lots of information on your first 3 questions.

And when you talk about leaders there are just a few on the market. I would look at western europe as one market. But you need to be more specific. Because if you look at volume. I know that a lot of cheap brands sell a lot more. The 15,95 at Zeeman kind. You need to set a boundary for this analasis. Do you count all the jeans or just the premium brands.

USA - Wrangler, LVC, LEE
Why leaders: Best known brandname, Copied alot,

Italy- Diesel,
Great worldwide distribution/ Design/ No focus on Quality

Scandivania - Nudies, Julian Red,
Design,

Japan - Evisu, Edwin, Bigjohn
With the premium jeans they have a focus on quality. And i think we here just don't know enough about cheap non selvage prewashed japanese jeans.


You are talking about Turkey. But what about china. They are making some quality fake selvage LVC. They make the No3 Evisu. So its just a matter of time untill some chinese will start his own denim label. And i think most of the jeans available in europe and the USA are made in china/india

My best guess is to try and get in touch with LVC. They are a proud company and i hope that they will help you.

(Benzak is dit je eindscriptie voor amfi ?)

Benzak
13th March 2008, 15:36
Yeah, contacting the vintage experts at Levi's might be a good idea. It's worth the try at least. I know that on sufu are some, hopefully I get some reaction from them there at least.


And when you talk about leaders there are just a few on the market. I would look at western europe as one market. But you need to be more specific. Because if you look at volume. I know that a lot of cheap brands sell a lot more. The 15,95 at Zeeman kind. You need to set a boundary for this analasis Do you count all the jeans or just the premium brands.

Yes, funny you mention it. This morning (while in the shower, you get the best ideas there haha) I thought about that I should be more specific about the market. What I want to do is focus on fashion labels and quality denim (like premium brands like you mention). So not Zeeman, or K-mart for instance.
At first I wanted to look at Scandinavia apart from Europe and Italy as the rest. Scandinavia is market that has its own twist (rock n roll inspired), but Italy is to small to look at a market alone since lots of brands coming from other EU countries are very comparable to the ones from Italy. What I'll do is combine Italy with other European countries like the Netherlands, France and Germany.


You are talking about Turkey. But what about china. They are making some quality fake selvage LVC. They make the No3 Evisu. So its just a matter of time untill some chinese will start his own denim label. And i think most of the jeans available in europe and the USA are made in china/india

I didn't forget China, but Turkey was just an example. Denim production in Turkey is nowadays on a very high level. Look at the huge mill ISKO (I believe they are the owners of Cone now, can someone confirm this?), they produce (quality) denim for so many labels.

Gmo is Back
13th March 2008, 17:38
i think confurious was spot on in the sense that it is the large market brands (GAP, AE) that are truly the power players in the US. Of course Levis is on their too, but not for their LVC stuff... its for the stuff they sell in major chain stores like Target.

I think it is geographically difficult to answer this because I would imagine that every country had its brands that are cheap to get your hands on.

As far as flaws, I would say that in your research design you would have to define whether or not you are studying "premium" denim or not because they are two VERY different categories and two very different consumers. Then from their you will have to discuss the type of consumer that spends $150+ on a pair of jeans and how companies in different parts of the world meet the different manifestations of the same demand: awesome jeans (geographically defined)

Benzak
14th March 2008, 13:22
your absolutely right. I need to determine the exact target group but I would say $100+ (+ brands like cheap monday, who have the same consumer as the $100+ consumer)

I really appreciate all the imput, it really helps! thanks already, please keep m coming!

beatle
15th March 2008, 19:16
What's the actual purpose/goal of your thesis ?

resueno
16th March 2008, 07:56
I've spent the last four years in San Luis Obispo, CA. It's a rather wealthy little town smacked up against an agricultural community and there are two very distinct denim markets.

On the one side of the fence we have the crowd (mostly girls it seems) who don't wear the same pair of True Religion jeans twice in a month and break out the J Brand on the weekends, and some guys (like my roommates) who think Diesel jeans are the pinnacle of fashion. Then there are the John Deere groupies who wear Wal-Mart Wranglers 7 days a week. The odd thing is that the two groups often seem to pair up... I don't know how man times I've been walking around downtown and I see a girl in a pair of $300 jeans with her arm around a guy in a pair of $10 denim.

I've never seen another person in Nudie, APC, or anything dry. Most of the time, if conversation turns to denim the most common topic is "I got these jeans at Target for only $15!". :cry:

Conifurious
16th March 2008, 08:33
The odd thing is that the two groups often seem to pair up... I don't know how man times I've been walking around downtown and I see a girl in a pair of $300 jeans with her arm around a guy in a pair of $10 denim.

Not for anything, but the day that some sort of hierarchal denim preference presides over mating ritualism, is the day I lose what little hope I have left for the human race and willingly off myself with a fork to the jugular.

Benzak
16th March 2008, 13:25
What's the actual purpose/goal of your thesis ?

My idea is to create an overall market research for premium/quality/fashion denim which can be used as a guide for (starting) brands.