Denim Jeans Market

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Denim Jeans Market: Categories

Based on price, the United States jeans market is segmented as super-premium ($250+), premium ($75-$250), standard (roughly $50-$75), and economy (mostly under $40). 7 For All Mankind and True Religion are examples of super-premium brands; Forever 21 and H&M are examples of economy brands. While the super-premium and premium segments have been contracting, the economy and standard segments have been growing because of fit and fabric innovations that have improved quality.

Segmentation

  • Euromonitor divides the United States denim market into four price segments: super-premium, premium, standard, and economy.
  • The market can also be segmented based on end-user and age group.

Super-premium

  • Super-premium jeans are priced $250+.
  • 7 For All Mankind and True Religion are super-premium brands.
  • According to Bernstein's research, over 70% of super-premium jeans are purchased by women.

Premium

Standard

Economy

  • Forever 21 and H&M are economy (or value) brands.
  • The majority of Forever 21 and H&M jeans are priced at $20-$40.

Trends & Share

  • The sales of super-premium and premium jeans have been slowing for some years and saw a sharp decline in 2018, although lesser than in 2017. On the other hand, the sales of economy and standard brands have grown.
  • Economy and standard brands are innovating with denim's fit and fabric, which has reduced the difference in quality between super-premium and premium brands and economy and standard brands significantly.

Research Strategy

Reports by Euromonitor and Deadal Research on the United States denim/ jeans industry segment the market into four categories: super-premium, premium, standard, and economy. A report by Zion Market Research classifies the global market similarly. Edited categorizes the United Kingdom market as luxury, premium, mass, and value. It also makes cross-country comparisons of the mass and luxury segments in the United States and United Kingdom. We gather that super-premium, premium, standard, and economy categories mean the same as luxury, premium, mass, and value, correspondingly. Forever21 is a value brand in the UK. It is priced lower in the US than in the UK. Therefore, we have assumed that it is an economy brand in the US too.

Part
02
of four
Part
02

Denim Trends

Introduction

Denim in the US represents a sizable portion of the fashion industry, with sales double compared to other categories such as blouses, coats, or leggings. 59% of US consumers note they "love or enjoy wearing denim", and on average, consumers in the US purchase four pairs of denim jeans per year. There is also a projected growth rate of 3.9% for the denim industry worldwide. Trends in the US impacting the market include an increased demand for sustainable production practices, interest in upcycled or second hand denim, the leisure focus in the apparel market, the variable demand between genders, and the overall price increase per denim item. Consumers in the US still purchase most denim in-store, vs. non-store/online.

Demand for Sustainable Production

Upcycling & Second Hand

  • Similar to the demand for sustainability, environmental values are increasing the demand for upcycled denim items as well as second hand and vintage denim.
  • Jeans that have been redesigned from existing products, such as two-toned or fabric patched items are creative options the industry has incorporated to meet this demand.
  • Nostalgic styles are also mirroring the current desire to buy vintage denim from consignment shops and re-sale websites.
  • Companies are also using a chemical process to dissolve old jeans at a cellular level and use it in production, as well as partnering with non-profits to purchase used clothing to be upcycled into denim products.
  • It's projected that the 4 Rs, "repair, recycle, reuse and reduce" will continue to increase as a consumer trend in the denim space.

Leisure Focus

  • During the peak of athleisure wear, around 2015-2016, denim sales declined, as fitness related pants became more popular casual wear items.
  • However, jeans are currently re-emerging in popularity for casual wear, with jeans being the most popular type of bottomswear for running errands
  • The denim industry is meeting this demand by understanding the new consumer desire for comfortable and authentically casual looking items, vs. factory-washed looks.
  • Similarly, jeans that mirror vintage distressed jeans are most popular, as these have a casual look that mirrors the in demand leisure styles over less in demand formal styles.

Price Climb

  • The price US consumers are willing to pay for a single denim item has increased in the past several years.
  • The price of men's jeans increased 28% in last quarter of 2019, to $210.86 per pair, and women's increased 10% to $165.44 per pair.

Denim Demand Varies by Gender

  • Women currently buy more jeans than men in the US.
  • This is contributed to an increased variance in styles by denim brands, who are stretching stylistically in order to find a place with athleisure consumers and compete with other fabrics.
  • Men tend to have a different demand, preferring rugged wear and durable but casual denim items.
  • The male denim segment is projected to grow by 4.77% in the next year.

In Store Preference

  • Store-based purchases of jeans continue to be more of the market than online or non-store based purchases.
  • This is contributed to the demand for personalized experiences and desire to interact with physical items.
  • However, the non-store-based denim segment is projected to grow by 5.3% in the US in the next year.

Research Strategy

In order to determine consumer-driven trends currently impacting the denim jeans market in the United States, we examined market reports, fashion and denim industry reports, and PR reports from various companies in the denim space. For each trend, we used relevant media sources to provide an overview of the trend, its impact on the market, reasons for the trend being embraced, and any other impacts of the trend on the denim space as a whole, with a focus on the US market.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Denim Style Trends

Style and fashion trends in women's denim jeans in 2020 in the US include skinny jeans, distressed and ripped jeans, vintage denim jeans, boot-cut jeans, jeans with front seams/ribbing/pleats, shorter-length jeans, and non-blue colored denim jeans.

Skinny Jeans Trend

  • The skinny jeans silhouette is here to stay according to the fashion show runways. The 2020 skinny jeans trend includes belts with highwaisted skinny jeans.
  • Two examples of brands selling the skinny jeans trend are (1) Re/Done Originals Ultra High-Rise Ankle Crop Skinny Jeans ($239), and (2) NYDJ Ami Stretch Skinny Jeans ($109).
  • Two more examples of brands selling the skinny jeans trend are (3) Urban Outfitters BDG Vanya High-Waisted… $69, and (4) Urban Outfitters BDG Twig High-Waisted… $59.
  • How people can wear the skinny jeans trend with other clothing was suggested by stylecaster.com. "Wear your favorite pair with a turtleneck and statement duster jacket in the winter and flow-y crop top in the spring."

Distressed and Ripped Jeans Trend

  • Ripped and distressed jeans will be popular in 2020.
  • Two examples of brands selling the ripped/distressed jeans trend are (1) Edwin Cai Classic Straight Jeans ($208), and (2) Levi's Wedgie Jeans ($33).
  • Two more examples of brands selling the ripped/distressed jeans trend are (3) Urban Outfitters BDG Vanya High-Waisted… $69, and (4) Urban Outfitters BDG Wilco Destroyed… $69.
  • Stylecaster.com suggested clothing to wear with ripped and distressed jeans would be "a sophisticated high-neck blouse or a polished blazer...."

Vintage Denim Trend

  • Fashion trend writers saw an "emphasis on vintage-looking denim on the S/S 20 runways."
  • Two examples of brands selling the vintage look in denim were (1) Citizens of Humanity Premium Vintage Campbell Relaxed High Rise Jeans ($308), and (2) Bldwn Vintage Straight Jeans ($238).
  • Suggestions of clothing to wear with the vintage denim look included 1970s fashion items such as aviator glasses, fur vests, blouses with gathered sleeves, blouses with ruffled necklines, crochet tops, suede jackets, and wide brimmed hats.

Boot-Cut Jeans Trend

  • Fashion writers affirmed that boot-cut jeans are once again in style. Designers that showed boot-cut jeans at the runway shows included Celine, Marc Jacobs, and Gucci. The "leg-lengthening, flared denim silhouette" will be widely available.
  • Two examples of brands selling the boot-cut jeans silhouette are (1)Re/Done High Break Flared Jeans ($250) and (2) Agolde Vintage Flare Jeans ($188).
  • Two more examples of brands selling boot-cut jeans were (3) Citizens of Humanity Georgia Jean $148, and (4) Wrangler Exaggerated Bootcut Jean $119.
  • A suggestion for how to wear the boot-cut jeans was made by Stylecaster.com: "[G]row your hair long and grab a poncho...."

Front Seams, Ribbing, and Pleats Trend

  • The return of jeans with front seams, ribbing, and/or pleats was noticed by fashion writers who studied the S/S 20 runways. Visible seams are a trend for 2020.
  • Two examples of brands selling jeans with front seams, ribbing, and or pleats were (1) Mother Superior the Springy Ankle Jeans ($258), and (2) Alice & Olivia Jalisa Trouser Jeans ($275).
  • Two more examples of brands selling jeans with front seams, ribbing, and/or pleats were (3) Mother Superior The Pleated Popular Peg… $238, and (4) One Teaspoon '80s High-Waisted Jean $148.
  • Suggestions for how to wear this style of denim included tucked-in chic blouses, graphic tees, and belts.

Short-length Jeans Trend

Different Color Trends for Denim

  • Some designers used non-blue colored denim in head-to-toe monochromatic looks. Balmain's collection of denim included yellow, pink, cobalt blue and Kelly green in S/S 20 jeans.
  • Other designers who used non-blue colored denim for 2020 include (1) Isabel Marant with orange denim puffed sleeved blouse, matching jeans, and green denim cut-off shorts; (2) Chanel with red jeans; and (3) Alberta Ferretti with red and orange in tie-dyed denim overalls and boyfriend jeans.
Research Strategy
The client request for fashion and style trends included several caveats to the researcher to define what was desired in the response. The researcher was instructed to include only fashion and style trends that related to fit, wash, how people wear them, or what they wear them with. The researcher was expressly instructed NOT to include trends that related to sustainability, certain generations, certain genders, price considerations, particular niche markets, or sources earlier than 2019. Thus, we searched for trends that were applicable to women who would buy jeans in 2020. We consulted fashion magazines and fashion blogs written by individuals who had attended the fashion shows in New York and/or in Paris where next year's trends are presented on the runways. We chose four descriptions of the 2020 trends on which to base our response.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

Denim Purchasing Decisions

Denim Purchasing Decisions

Price is not the main factor influencing the purchasing decision of denim jeans consumers. For these consumers, fit and comfort are very important, as well as the durability of the jeans. They are least likely to be influenced by celebrities and millennial consumers are most likely to research the company before buying.

1. Price is not the main factor

  • Price is not the main factor in the denim jeans purchase decision of consumers. This is true even among Gen Z shoppers who are a generation that spends the least on denim.
  • According to Cotton Incorporated's Lifestyle Monitor Survey in 2013, only 58% of consumers say that price is an important factor in their denim purchases.

2. Fit and comfort are very important

  • The 2013 Lifestyle Monitor Survey also reports that 75% of consumers say the fit is very important to their denim jean purchases while 68% of consumers say that comfort is very important. Consumers value fit and comfort over price.
  • While in the 2019 Monitor Survey, it's revealed that it's now 98% of denim jeans consumers that say fit and comfort are important in their denim purchase decision.

3. Consumers value durability

4. Celebrities have the least influence

  • According to a study conducted in 2013, celebrities have the least influence on teens and college students' purchasing decisions. But 34% of these consumers are influenced by the opinion of their friends while 15% are influenced by the opinion of their family.

5. Millennials consider the company behind the product

  • Millennials don't simply look at the product without considering the values of the company behind it. Millennials value substance in such that they consider the product not in isolation to the motivations of the company.


Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "The growth in luxury is less pronounced in the US, but the mass market there has lifted steadily over the last four years, while the UK is recovering from a quiet 2017. "
  • "Tracking US pricing on jeans shows the average price point has climbed considerably since 2014. Men’s jeans are up 28% to $210.86 this quarter, and women’s have grown 10% to $165.44 – demonstrating it’s the more competitive market."
Quotes
  • "The $16.4 billion U.S. jeans market grew sales 5 percent in the year ending July 2018 over same period last year, reports NPD."
Quotes
  • "Consumers are buying less “premium” and “super premium” denim than mid- and lower-priced jeans, according to Bernstein research. While Levi sells in a broad price range, most of its merchandise falls below what is considered premium price points."
  • "Around two-thirds of premium denim — and more than 70 percent of super premium denim — are purchased by women according to Bernstein’s research."
Quotes
  • "On the basis of price range, the market can be segmented into economy, standard, premium and super premium."
Quotes
  • "Continuing a years-long sales slump, premium and super premium jeans faced sharp declines in both the men’s and women’s segments in 2018; albeit at a slower rate than in 2017. As the producers of economy and standard jeans invested in fit and fabric innovations in recent years, the difference in quality between premium and super premium jeans and economy and standard jeans in the US market reduced dramatically."
  • "Economy and standard jeans benefited from the continued popularity of fast fashion retailers such as Forever 21 and The Gap Inc’s Old Navy in the US, as well as the bargain-hunting mentality amongst many consumers, which boosted sales at discount department stores such TJ Maxx and Ross Stores."
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "The S/S 20 runways were rife with exciting trends for us to look forward to next year. "
  • "There was a major emphasis on vintage-looking denim on the S/S 20 runways. Jeans exuded an upcycled, lived-in vibe. If they look like they could have been pulled straight out of a thrift store, then you've nailed the trend. Citizens of Humanity Premium Vintage Campbell Relaxed High Rise Jeans ($308) . Bldwn Vintage Straight Jeans ($238) "
  • "Boot-cut jeans are back. Thanks to designers such as Celine, Marc Jacobs, and Gucci, the leg-lengthening, flared denim silhouette is set to be huge next year. Opt for a high-waisted pair cinched at the waist with a narrow belt. Re/Done High Break Flared Jeans ($250) , Agolde Vintage Flare Jeans ($188) "
  • "Love them or hate them, there's no denying ripped and distressed jeans will be in the limelight in 2020. Balance the casual, undone look with a sophisticated high-neck blouse or a polished blazer as seen at Givenchy. Edwin Cai Classic Straight Jeans ($208) Levi's Wedgie Jeans ($33)"
  • "Whether they were Bermuda-style long shorts, culottes, or cropped wide-leg styles, shorter hemlines were all over the runways. Wear them with knee-high boots, mules, or strappy sandals when the weather warms up. Celine Culotte B4 Rigid Indigo Denim ($890) BDG Denim High-Rise Bermuda Short ( $54) $30 "
  • "Skinny jean lovers, rejoice! The silhouette is here to stay—so say the runways. Wear yours belted with barely there sandals for a leg-lengthening effect. High-waisted skinny jeans. Re/Done Originals Ultra High-Rise Ankle Crop Skinny Jeans ($239) NYDJ Ami Stretch Skinny Jeans ($109) "
  • "Front seams and ribbing (and pleats, for that matter) were pervasive on the S/S 20 runways, adding interest and an elongating effect. Wear them in a variety of silhouettes, from paper-bag to skinny styles. Mother Superior the Springy Ankle Jeans ($258) Alice & Olivia Jalisa Trouser Jeans ($275) "
Quotes
  • "The runways and streets were filled with 2020 denim trends we can wait to wear in the new decade. "
  • "ripped and distressed denim is on-trend for 2020. Pair these hole-filled wonders with a graphic tee and and an oversized blazer or an effortlessly chic wrap top. Urban Outfitters BDG Wilco Destroyed… $69 BDG High-Waisted Mom Jean $69"
  • "because boot-cut jeans are in for 2020. This style is very ’70s mixed with a little bit of the early aughts, so go ahead and grow your hair long and grab a poncho to achieve the full look. Citizens of Humanity Georgia Jean $148. Wrangler Exaggerated Bootcut Jean $119"
  • " High-rise wide-leg jeans are here for 2020, and I’m pretty happy about it. Whether you like your wide-leg denim to hit the floor or prefer it cropped, as long as it’s high-waisted, you’re good to go. This style of denim is perfect for pairing with feminine blouses or cropped sweaters. Levi's Ribcage Wide Leg Jean $98. Citizens of Humanity Annina Trouser $238"
  • "the high-waisted skinny jean isn’t going anywhere in 2020. Wear your favorite pair with a turtleneck and statement duster jacket in the winter and flow-y crop top in the spring. Urban Outfitters BDG Vanya High-Waisted… $69. Urban Outfitters BDG Twig High-Waisted… $59"
  • "Long jeans are in for 2020, so go ahead and forego shaving your legs. This style of denim is perfectly paired with crop tops to add a little bit of contrast in lengths. Wear your tiniest blouse with these long jeans in the summer or cop a fuzzy cropped sweater in the fall. 3x1 Maya Skinny Flare Jeans $70. Jordache High Rise Boot Cut Jeans $98"
  • " pleat-front jeans are also set to make as place in the new year. This style of denim is basically made for tucking in chic blouses or graphic tees and cinching that waist of yours with a belt. Vintage vibes all day. MOTHER Superior The Pleated Popular Peg… $238.One Teaspoon '80s High-Waisted Jean $148"
  • "While long jeans are in for 2020, so are short jeans. Whether it be jean cut-offs, denim capris or (Don’t hate me for this.) denim bermuda shorts, you can re-purpose any old pair to become trendy for 2020. RE/DONE '60s Wide Leg $192. Wrangler High Rise Utility Crop Jean $50"
Quotes
  • "Here’s a look at 20 trends that will move fashion into new directions in 2020."
  • "With the ’70s serving as a baseline for most 2020 trends....At Celine, which may go down as the most influential collection for Spring/Sumer 2020, Slimane made denim a central focus, serving strong ’70s references with bleached flare jeans, embroidered denim shorts and slim jean jackets. The denim was refined and classic—a foundation for bolder ’70s statements. Aviator glasses, fur vests and blouses—punched up with gathered sleeves, ruffled necklines and pussy bows—smacked of ’70s glamour, while crochet tops, suede jackets and wide brim hats added a bohemian feeling."
  • "Color continues to draw millennial consumers and color denim is one of the most commercial ways for designers to approach the trend. And they’re approaching color with head-to-toe monochromatic looks. Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing injected bold pops of yellow, pink, cobalt blue and Kelly green into his assortment of S/S 20 jeans and cropped and belted jean jackets."
  • "upcycled denim will likely enter the fray across all tiers of fashion. The approach is both creative and sustainable, as brands like Re/Done and Cie Denim have proven over the years with their contrasted denim designs."
  • "And shorts are a go-to for denim brands. Isabel Marant and Givenchy presented frayed cut-offs, while Rag & Bone kept the look more collegiate-ready, pairing denim short shorts with a navy blazer on its runway."
  • "ecru denim. Beige, off-white and ecru denim has been a side note in the industry’s movement toward utility, workwear and genderless garments. However, the au naturel color trend also sends a strong message about sustainability, which is only going to grow louder in 2020."
  • "jeans with front yoke details offer women a new way to wear high-waisted jeans. Mavi is getting into the trend for S/S 20. And Pull & Bear is already offering it in its holiday denim collection. Expect to see this detail translated for shorts and denim mini-skirts in the summer."
Quotes
  • "From the subtle boot cut to the full-on flare, wide-leg jeans are still alive and well in in 2020, thank heavens. My personal faves are the flowy, relaxed fit I spotted on the below model at the Gucci Spring/Summer 2020 fashion show, but until I have Gucci-level coin, the AE Wide Leg Jean ($37, originally $50, American Eagle) will do the trick."
  • "If Stella McCartney and Chanel say visible seams are cool, then I believe them. While jeans traditionally feature subtle seams on the sides of the legs, ribbing and seaming placed smack-dab in the center is the new trend to try, as seen on the Stella McCartney Spring/Summer 2020 model below. Blank NYC's The Rivington Jeans ($128, Blank NYC) boast a cool notched waistband, an ultra-light rinse, and visible seams running up both legs. "
  • "I never thought I'd see the day when skinny jeans came back in style, but according to looks shown at Brandon Maxwell's Spring/Summer 2020 show, said day has come. TBH, I'm sort of relieved, since knee-high boots are also trending, and I've been struggling to squish my mom jeans into them. If you're ready to re-introduce some skinnies into your wardrobe, try the Banana Republic High-Rise Skinny Button-Fly Jean ($70, originally $110, Banana Republic) for a perfect, comfortable fit and a stylish button-up waist."
  • "There's no denying that ripped jeans will always be cool, but in 2020, slightly more tailored styles will take over, and the pretty pleats spotted on the Chanel Spring/Summer 2020 runway have my heart. A pleated waist and a super-dark wash is a combo that can make jeans look even more formal than your usual office slacks. If you're ready to try this lady-like look, I suggest snagging the Levi’s Ribcage Pleated Crop Jeans ($98, Free People)."