ICYMI: A Wrap on Kingpins24 + Revolutionary Overalls

Hi Friends,
How is everyone doing?

We’re on a sleep-deprived post-Kingpins24 high, so we’re feeling (oddly) pretty good.

The news cycle is still as relentless as ever with COVID-19 and industry updates that stop our heart. BUT we got such an incredible dose of community love via Kingpins24 that our spirits have been lifted and our outlook feels more hopeful.

Our exhibitors, industry partners and thought leaders, who are all isolated and stuck at home and dealing with their own crises, rallied to make content to share with our audience in a matter of days. Then, THOUSANDS of our peers, colleagues, clients and friends joined in – some waking up in the dead of night to watch our livestream, others using the magic of AppleTV to push hours of our livestream and on-demand content to their TVs (How did you watch Netflix, my dudes?!).

The sheer magnitude of the participation is humbling. Which isn’t to say Kingpins24 was perfect. We had our share of cock-ups and things we want to do differently next time, but we learned what we were hoping to learn: that this industry is hungry for connection; that we all still want to learn and communicate and debate; that we all want to see a new and better denim industry emerge from this moment. Also, that given a good enough wifi signal, we can count on our Kingpins family to meet us just about anywhere. 

Kingpins24 wrapped up yesterday, but thanks to the level of interest and because we worked so hard on it, we’ll be leaving the site up for a few more days so anyone who missed it can poke around and catch up.

And, now that we’ve made our big debut as the first-ever online denim event, we’ve got more online events in the works. You can be the first to know our next step by signing up for the Kingpins24 mailing list HERE.

To everyone who joined us in any capacity: THANK YOU. We’re honored.

Stay safe out there.

-The Kingpins Team

p.s. We made this short playlist for Kingpins24, in case you want to hear some cool music while you bake sourdough.

Links to keep you informed and inspired:

What’s Our Role In Times of Crisis?

“Fashion is one of the most creative industries, so let’s see how creative we can be in solving these issues,” Céline Semaan says. “Let’s see how avant-garde we can be in addressing the climate.” 
Semaan issues a call to arms and offers a resource for designers and consumers wanting to learn more about sustainability in fashion.

Read More: Fashion Creates Culture, and Culture Creates Action”: Céline Semaan on the Industry’s Role in Times of Crisis

New Genetic Study Proves Cotton is Basically Like Your One Uncle That Behaves Himself at Thanksgiving: Stable, Old

We’re sure there is part of our industry that will be thoroughly unimpressed by our facile interpretation of this news, and to them we apologize.
The gist: Scientists have used science to sequence and assembled the genomes of the five major cotton lineages. This new information about the cotton genomes gives breeders insights on how to improve crops at a genetic level.
What caught our eye: The study identified unique genes related to fiber and seed traits in the two domesticated species. Unique genes were also identified in the three wild cotton species. “We thought, ‘In all of these wild tetraploids, there will be many disease resistance genes that we can make use of,'” said one of the lead scientists. “But it turns out there isn’t really that kind of diversity in the wild in cotton. And this is amazing to me for a species that was so widely distributed.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Read More: Analysis reveals cotton genome stability across global lineages
Read More: Tying Up Loose Threads in Cotton Genomics

“How did you get your cotton? Where was it grown? Who farmed it? In a supply chain, none of those questions are asked or answered.”

Kingpins is a supply chain show, so these sort of questions consume us. We’ve even instituted some unprecedented changes to require our exhibitors to be more responsible and transparent. We agree with Brendan McCarthy, co-director for the undergraduate fashion design program at Parsons School of Design in New York, who said: “It’s crucial to think about fashion as a process, rather than an “outcome.” 

Read More:
One clothing maker’s solution to helping the environment: ask more questions

Department Stores Are “Toast” 😩

“The department stores, which have been failing slowly for a very long time, really don’t get over this,” Mark A. Cohen, the director of retail studies at Columbia University’s Business School told the New York Times. “The genre is toast, and looking at the other side of this, there are very few who are likely to survive.”
From a story in this week’s New York Times: “The sales of clothing and accessories fell by more than half in March, a trend that is expected to only get worse in April. The entire executive team at Lord & Taylor was let go this month. Nordstrom has canceled orders and put off paying its vendors. The Neiman Marcus Group, the most glittering of the American department store chains, is expected to declare bankruptcy in the coming days, the first major retailer felled during the current crisis.”
The takeaway: “No one doubts that the upheaval caused by the pandemic will permanently alter both the retail landscape and the relationships of brands with the stores that sell them.”

Read More:
The Death of the Department Store: ‘Very Few Are Likely to Survive’

From The Archives: Overall Clubs

Did you know that in 1920 inflation hit consumer goods hard? The price of clothing was too damn high. And that to protest, people started wearing denim overalls? All. The. Time? It’s a cool story. People got really into it:
Students at Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut, were required to wear either overalls or old clothes at all times unless they were “entertaining a young lady on campus.” Violators wearing suits were tossed into a swimming pool. Our question is this: what if it was an old suit? Still not cool? Seems a bit harsh.
Related: Vogue just said the denim overall is “making a big comeback.”

Read More:
Overall Clubs
In 1920, denim overalls were a symbol of protest
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