by Elise Diamantini

“Innovation will always help drive denim business. Brands need to push the envelope on washes, finishes and the start of a more relaxed fit (as seen on the streets in Tokyo) yet tweaked through the lens of current trends. Personalization is another aspect of newness that could be expanded upon.”—Durand Guion, Macy’s

“There is a void in the mid-tier price point between $98 to $145.”—Charlie Groom, South Moon Under

“It would be great to see more brands using sustainable manufacturing processes, such as recycling water or using less energy, in an effort to be more environmentally friendly.”—Stephanie Seely, Atrium

“Basic programs are key. Some brands do a great job of keeping their basics updated and in stock. But with others, it seems like I’m fishing for info on updated basics line sheets because they want to focus on seasonal styles. We’ve found it beneficial to focus on basics, updating them every year by moving on from some older styles and sprinkling in a small amount of fashion styles each season. It makes for a healthy regular price business, while keeping sizes stocked in best-sellers. It’s important to our customers who want a quick and easy shopping experience.”—Joey Mendez, Halls

“Price point has been a more relevant topic recently than it’s been in the past. There has been an increase in promotional activity and that has made it more difficult to sell at regular price. There also has been more hesitation than in the past when it comes to $200 denim. You have to be aware, as does the vendor to make sure you aren’t isolating yourself. It’s all about finding the right balance on your floor among all price points.”—Kristen Anderson, Von Maur

And check out some of our favorite denim looks we spied at the New York trade shows MRket, Project, Liberty and Man last month:

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