By Angie Argabrite, Thursday, March 29, 2012, at 9:01 am.
Everyone loves their blue jeans, even the fashion elite. During the fall-winter 2012 showings at New York Fashion Week, dungarees from Levi Strauss, Hudson Jeans, 7 for All Mankind, Raleigh Denim and Rock & Republic held their own alongside the couture-clad. Levi’s hadn’t shown at New York Fashion Week since its 2007 collaboration with Damien Hirst, and the legendary denim brand smartly used its turn in the spotlight to roll out fresh messaging and a hip new look, sending one of its models down the runway on a bicycle. The brand was among other “mall brands” like J. Crew and Bebe to show at Fashion Week, which welcomed an unprecedented high-low mix. Hudson Jeans shredded denim traditions with its “phosphorescent invasion” of the meatpacking district, an ode to its new tuxedo-inspired jean with a racing stripe seam that glows under black light. And 7 for All Mankind, while not showing a collection, leveraged the timing virtually by introducing a new advertising campaign and YouTube channel. One man who’s just written a book about the global ubiquity of denim says we love our blue jeans as much for cultural reasons as for their comfort and construction. Speaking to denim’s durability, the oldest surviving jeans—a pair of Levi’s—dates back to 1879. If those don’t put your mama’s frayed bell-bottoms to shame, we don’t know what will.