Are good ol' blue jeans going out of style for good?

Christina Drill
August 15, 2014

Cowboys! The T-Birds! Bruce Springsteen! Denim has been a part of American culture since the 1800s, and for the first time since, the industry is faced with a problem never encountered before in history-- the scary fact that denim is just not selling the way that it used to.

Domestic sales were down six percent last year, and the drop directly correlate to the recent rise in "athleisure"-wear. The athleisure trend is exactly what you think it is-- yoga pants, sweatpants, leggings, basketball shorts, and anything else you can think of that is objectively more comfortable than jeans.

VF Corp, who handle sales for denim companies like Wrangler and Lee, have hired a think tank to figure out how to reinvent denim to push its sales beyond those of its "athleisure" competitors.

It almost sounds fake, but coming soon from VF Corp is a "Global denim innovation center," or a think tank to save the denim industry, but there is no further information out about it at this moment.

Changes are being made slowly in the denim industry. Joe's Jeans is introducing "alternative fabrication" which will introduce non-denim bottoms as part of their for the fall '14 collection, including but not limited to leggings made with "innovative" fabrics. In July, the CEO of Joe's Jeans was quoted saying that leggings was the most important fashion trend of the past two years.

Other brands, on the other hand, have anticipated this, acquiring athletic brands in order to keep sales fluid. For example: Gap owns sportswear retailer Athleta, and is one of the few domestic denim companies that have not felt the burn of the athleisure trend thanks to good ol' foresight.

Seriously, though. What is happening in this country? This is just another bad omen. Buy jeans, guys. Support #Americana. If we turn into a Yoga Pants kind of country, things are only going to get worse from there.

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