Changing silhouettes, new materials and unfamiliar approaches in denim are leading up to what Panos Sofianos, new business manager for Bluezone and Keyhouse, describes an as “eventful Summer 2018.” The new looks and ideas will be presented at the forthcoming Bluezone and Keyhouse in Munich on Jan. 31-Feb.1.

“The principle of classic seasonal thinking is put to the test,” Sofianos said. The denim industry veteran sees a collision of tradition and technology affecting all aspects of business, from fabric innovation to small manufacturers finding a broader customer base online. As a result, Sofianos said the industry will introduce familiar themes in new and surprising ways.

Versatile weaving patterns, 3D textures, minimal urban prints and modern jacquards are part of the dynamic season. “Exciting here is the combination of ultra-lightweight materials with extremely heavy denims. These are complemented by indigo-colored cord,” he said.

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In terms of color, Sofianos sees a trend toward dark blue tones and graduated neutral grey shades. Novel cotton blends, hemp, linen and viscose add interest to materials, while figure-hugging stretch fabrications contrast with loose-fit silhouettes detailed with gathers, pleats, and lacing. Sofianos expects hand-painted details and a Japanese batik slant to turn garments into “little artworks.”

As Munich Fabric Start’s dedicated show for denim, Bluezone will house over 100 international companies exhibiting their latest developments in denim and sportswear. Alongside washes and finishes, Bluezone spotlights denim-related products such as flat wovens, cords and dyed fabrics. New exhibitors like Soorty, Kurabo, Firemount and Denim Studio help diversify the discoveries. At Catalyzer, 25 mills focused on heritage and sustainability will present their S/S 18 collections.

Further discussions on sustainability will take place in Keyhouse, the show’s center for smart textiles, future fabrics and new technology. “Tomorrow’s fashion goes hand in hand with recycling, business and technology,” Sofianos said.

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Keyhouse attendees can take part in workshops, panel discussions and trend seminars on sustainability, technology, finishing and research.

“The focus here is on forward-looking case studies, latest technologies and sustainable developments with a high degree of integration in textile products and high fashion,” Sofianos said.

The innovations at Keyhouse amplify the denim industry’s need for greater sustainability and transparency. Sofianos believes the denim industry needs to strive for the highest degree of transparency in sourcing, processes, and manufacturing.

“Sustainability only exists when end users are able and allowed to track and trace this chronological path from the source all the way to the final product,” he said.


Munich Fabric Start will take place Jan. 31-Feb.1 at the MOC Munich Order Center. Bluezone and Keyhouse runs Jan. 31-Feb. 1.

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