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A look inside of Kingpins Show & Why by Kingpins

By Vivian Hendriksz

27 Oct 2016


Amsterdam - “We only have three requests”, said Andrew Olah, founder of boutique denim trade fair Kingpins Show at the start of the event’s new trend initiative, led by denim expert Amy Leverton. “The first request is that if you don’t like something you is that you tell us, so we can get better because it is the first time that we are doing this…we are open to suggestions and compliments if you have those, that’s the second one. And the third thing is, we are not really into pictures, so no photos please. We have very few rules at Kingpins but that’s one, so hopefully everyone understands.”

Founded in 2004 by Olah in the United States, Kingpins remains one of the more intimate sourcing events, but works hard to ensure that each new event, whether it be its show in Amsterdam or New York, offers both its visitors and exhibitors something innovative. Last season saw Kingpins debut its branding-only sister trade show Why by Kingpins in Amsterdam, which focuses on branding and accessories in the denim industry, and this season saw the event launch its new trend project, which includes a trend presentation and installation. Thankfully, Olah’s photo rule was limited to Kingpins trend seminars, as Kingpins Amsterdam opened its doors to a busy start on Wednesday morning.

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Over 45 denim mills, weavers and laundries from all across the global come to show their latest innovations and designs at Kingpins Amsterdam each season, such as leading sustainability mills Candiani Denim and Royo Denim, as well as ITV Denim and Calik Denim. Even though it was only the first time Kingpins introduced its trend project, after its first presentation it was already well received. “I know [Amy] was talking about us when mentioning the silver yarns,” said Barbara Gnutti, Export Manager for Italian mill ITV Denim to FashionUnited. “I wasn’t there, but I’ve had three people come up to me and say that Amy was talking about us, which is great.” Metallic yarns and high-shine denim was just one of the many trends mentioned by the denim trend forecaster.

Some visitors noticed it felt busier at Kingpins this season than usual, but word on the show floor was that this in part was due to the timing of Denim Premiere Vision clashing with the holidays next week in Paris. Nevertheless, Kingpins was off to a strong start, with many mills visiting with current clients and potentially new clients as per usual. “We’ve seen interest in our new product beyond what I thought,” revealed Alberto de Conti, Chief Marketing Officer at Garmon Chemicals to FashionUnited. “Brands and manufacturers alike have been approaching us all day to learn more, which makes us very happy.”

Hover over the image with your mouse to learn more about KingpinsShow

A look inside of Kingpins Show & Why by Kingpins

Over in Why by Kingpins, denim accessories, labels and tag exhibitors were also pleased with the outcome for this season. “Although it is only our first time here, we are really happy so far,” said Sylvia Zielinska, Business Development Director for Lowatag. “I really like the open layout, as it creates a very open atmosphere, making it easy to approach every stand. Everyone here has been very friendly to us as well. But what I liked the most was seeing all the young designers coming in - they are the future of fashion, so it was great seeing them here and hearing what think.”

The trend installation, which features designs from a number of mills, also garnered a lot of attention from buyers and visitors alike, who enjoyed the additional trend supplement as an added bonus as pressure to stand out from the competition continues inside of the denim industry. “I feel like we are going through a bad moment in the denim industry,” said Adrianna Morimando, Marketing Manager at Berto Industry Tesstile, who cities buyers constant search for the lowest price, a lack of awareness concerning sustainability and increasing competition in a small market as some of the issues.

"On one hand you have premium denim, which is made by high-end denim weavers. On the other hand you have the denim mills which try to produce denim as cheaply as possible. Which in turn is destorying the denim market. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in the denim industry. But I think we are also heading towards a moment of change, which I hope will see the denim market improve.”

Scroll down to see FashionUnited virtual tours of Kingpins and Why by Kingpins to get a feel of what it was like on the show floor.

30-second virtual tour of Kingpins

Virtual tour of Why by Kingpins

Read also the Kingpins timeline: Timeline: Kingpins Show success in Amsterdam

During the month of October, which sees Denim trade fair Kingpins and the Global Denim Awards taking place, FashionUnited focuses on Denim. For all our articles on Denim, click here.

Photos: Kingpins Show, Facebook and FashionUnited

andrew blah
Kingpins Show
why by kingpins