ICYMI: COVID-19 Won This Round, But…

“It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)”   —REM, It’s The End of The World 

(sorry sorry sorry)

Hi friends,
It’s been quite the week, month… year, amiright?! Hoping you and your family and colleagues are all safe and sound and taking good care.

As you may have heard, in response to the travel and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Kingpins has had to cancel our Hong Kong and Amsterdam shows, which isn’t the way we were hoping the S/S 2021 season would go.

BUT we’re working on a thing that hopefully we can announce soon that will take some of the sting out of not seeing all the denim community in person. Hint: we’re coming to you, in a manner of speaking. To stay in the loop, please register here or watch this space (your inbox) every Friday for the latest news.

We know we’re not the only ones trying to figure out how to do business and live life in this new (albeit temporary) reality. We have heard from a lot of our denim industry colleagues and friends about the challenges and hardships that the coronavirus has caused both personally and professionally. The good news is we’re seeing the innovation and creative problem-solving that we’ve come to associate with our blue-blooded community.

Kingpins likes to think of itself as a hub for the denim industry and we’re looking for ways to help keep us all connected, informed and inspired.

Key to achieving that goal is the new Kingpins website, which will debut (FINALLY!!!) on March 30. It will include industry news, show news, podcasts, trend content from Denim Dudes, street style galleries, store profiles, videos – the whole enchilada. Plus, every Friday we’ll be publishing a newsletter just like this one with a mix of must-see news and some fun stuff to help you start your weekend right.

Thanks and hang in there,

The Kingpins Team

But enough about us.
Here’s a grab-bag of denim-related news and articles that we wanted to put on your radar.
Keeping it short and sweet, because honestly, it’s been a long week:

The COVID-19 pandemic is crushing the global economy. The New York Times did a round-up of the S&P 500 sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, and how far they’ve fallen in the past 30 days. Down by 27 percent, discretionary spending — the broad sector that “covers everything from the sale of a Big Mac, a Barbie doll, Gap jeans or a Disneyland vacation — is taking a beating as people cancel trips, avoid the mall or shut in.” Some retailers, like Starbucks, are considering going drive-through only or limiting the number of people that can enter a store. Still, it could be worse. The energy sector saw a drop of 47 percent.
Read More: A Look at Some of the Hardest Hit Sectors in the S&P 500
China is such a huge player in the global supply chain that even companies that have shifted production to other countries aren’t insulated from the effects of COVID-19 in China. According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, although China’s share of global clothing exports has begun to decline, its share of global textile exports has been increasing. And the bad news doesn’t end there: “Supply chains could become even more snarled as the disease spreads in South Korea and Japan, which are both major suppliers of textiles in Asia, said Sheng Lu, a fashion and apparel studies professor at the University of Delaware.”
Read More: Companies That Got Out of China Before Coronavirus Are Still Tangled in Its Supply Chains
Jeans are a big part of pop culture and there is no greater compliment than an artist taking our humble medium as part of his/her own visual language and subversive message. South African artist Cinga Samson will have his first solo show this month in New York and denim features prominently on his canvases. From a profile by The New York Times: “But while the figures in the paintings are intended to evoke people “from another realm,” Samson says, rather than resorting to clichéd depictions of ancestors (wizened elders draped in skins, for example), he renders them as youthful visitors who wear jeans and play with inflatable pool toys.”
Read More: An Artist Who Doesn’t Want to Feed Western Fantasies About Africa
Our denim dream girl and long-time collaborator is part of a Lee campaign focusing on West Coast (best coast?) entrepreneurs. Ever the inspiration, she says “I am trying to see it as my personal mission to shine more light on females in the denim industry because there are some amazing women out there.” True denim dudette. In case you missed it:
Watch the video
Buy the book
Our very own Erin Barajas was featured in a shopping profile on Sourcing Journal. Photos were taken, vintage jeans were ogled, things were said. In case you’re interested in where Erin scores her jeans in her hometown of Los Angeles … click on through.
Read More: Kingpins’ Erin Barajas Tours Her Favorite Denim LA Hideaways
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