Five of The World’s Best Denim Festivals
Trade shows have been a long standing tradition in the garment and fashion industry with brands, mills, and companies across the world gathering to show their latest collections and offerings. As more consumers express interest in interacting with brands and being more connected with the industry in general, there has been a rise not only in attendance to existing events but the creation of new consumer focused events around the world.
As we look back to the different events we’ve gone to and prepare for more in the coming years, we put together a list of some of the best festivals we’ve enjoyed attending.
Amsterdam Denim Days
In only its second year, Amsterdam Denim days is a very new festival but also one of the more elaborate and longer ones on our list. Spanning 6 days in April, it is split in two parts with the first half, named Kingpins, being invite-only for industry professionals and the latter half, named Blueprint, being open to the public to interact with brands, mills, and to purchase goods.
Started by James Veenhoff of House of Denim, Marietta Hoitink of HTNK, and Lucel Van Den Hoeven of Modefabriek, Amsterdam Denim Days features a wide variety of brands across different fashion genres as well as music, food, and indigo and denim related activities. What is particularly unique is that the program is not only within the festival grounds but also includes many parts of the city where shops and brands hold their own special events throughout the 6 week.
Held in the San Francisco Bay Area over the course of 3 days in August, Denim Bruin is definitely one of the smallest denim events but its grassroots beginnings and focus on creating a community gives it a very different vibe than many events.
Rather than acting an avenue for many brands to showcase new products, the organizers, who are also the guys behind the web forum Denim Bro, select a small group of makers, brands, and shops to put on theme specific events on each of the days and often times, brands will bring out very limited run collections for Denim Bruin.
The exhibits and topics change each year but normally they’re presented by the selected denim brands, stores and vintage collectors in collaboration with the organizers. Past participants include Blue Blanket, W.H. Ranch, Whitefeather Mfg Co., Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Hollows Leather, and Roy.
Founded by Rin Tanaka of My Freedamn, Inspiration LA just closed out its 7th annual event with a rather huge attendance of about 3,000 people this February. The show was created as a vintage and Americana focused event featuring hundreds of brands and collectors from all over the world and it draws one of the largest groups of vintage fashion enthusiasts.
Each year there is a central theme in which the event loosely revolves around and the brands uses this time to showcase their upcoming new products while collectors and vintage dealers bring out their rarest collections for people to admire and purchase. As expected, other aspects of vintage collecting and Americana culture are embraced with vintage cars, machines, and art displayed throughout the two day event. Past events have featured brands like The Real McCoy’s, YKK, Good Art HLYWD, Heller’s Cafe, Railcar Fine Goods, Hayabusa Kat Klother, and Hollywood Trading Co.
Pronto Denim Carnival
Pronto Denim Carnival does its name justice with its hyper focus and embrace of all things denim. Held in Bangkok, Thailand, Pronto Denim Carnival wrapped up its 4th year this year with a really impressive lineup of denim brands.
As the name implies, the event is very denim focused with brands like Iron Heart, Imperial, The Flat Head, Nudie, Naked & Famous, Full Count, and Pure Blue Japan not only showcasing their products but many of the brands also create special edition Pronto collaboration jeans that are only available at Pronto Denim Carnival. There generally is a central theme that the decor is based on and like many of the other festivals there are activities, exhibits, and presentations that occur throughout the day.
Organized by the well known Lightning Magazine, Inazuma Fest is normally held on the outskirts of Tokyo each year and hosts over 100 vendors selling their old season stock and one offs for cheaper prices and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Set up like a Americana/Denim/Vintage Fashion swap meet not unlike the ones you’d find in the US, the brands, which include not only denim brands but also vintage vendors, jewelry brands, and leather brands, set up shop in tents and it’s off to the races with the customers. Like many of these events, people also use this opportunity to show off their denim styles and connect with others who share the same fashion sense.