Despite reports of a denim revival, a third of women still struggle to find the perfect fitting pair of jeans.
Trend forecasting house, WSGN has reported that despite a ‘comfort first approach’ that initially challenged the sales of denim during on/off lockdowns, the resilience of denim will see bounce-back now the world is getting back to work and socialising.
A boost in denim sales would be good news for brands like Levis, as in 2020 the brand announced significant job cuts and entered rent negotiations with landlords whilst two of it’s competitors – Lucky Brand and G-Star Raw (US) filed for Chapter 11 (a form of bankruptcy that involves a reorganization of debtor’s business affairs, debts, and assets).
Yet there seems to be a customer segment desperate for denim and dissatisfied with the options available to her.
Recent research from Kaleidoscope.co.uk part of the Freemans Group, shows that just under a fifth of over 45 women struggle to find clothes to help them to feel confident, with denim being one of the most difficult items to buy.
The report found that 82% of all women also feel there is a stigma in society that pressures women of a certain age to dress a certain way.
“Since the lifting of lockdown, denim is witnessing a resurgence in popularity across all customer age groups. Customers have been telling us that finding a great pair of jeans that not only fitted but flattered was their main frustration. So, we decided to do something about it” said Linda Quinn, chief merchandising officer, Freemans.
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The brand has launched a comprehensive denim offer that sees the introduction of a new own label range claiming to be one of the most size inclusive offers in the UK
Part of the challenge also seems to be around visibility in media with 85% of women surveyed as part of the research saying they didn’t fully feel represented on the catwalk, nor across fashion brands (85%).
Rachel Peru describes herself as a ‘silver haired curve model’, body confidence activist, and influencer – and is one of a growing number of over-45 models wanting to change the way women in midlife are represented in mainstream media and advertising.
Starting a new career in modelling aged 46, Rachel champions women and inspires others to step out of their comfort zone to become more confident.
With fellow ‘silver’ model Annie Stirk, the two ladies from Yorkshire, UK will present the silver fashion show this month. Rachel explains that it is time to start “flying the flag for grey, silver and white-haired women.”
‘I am pro-active in knocking down ageist stereotypes in the industry and really feel that as I have turned 50, I’m only just getting started. I am a size 14/16, I’ve been through the menopause and my body shape has changed – I am a size 34G bra and it is so hard to find clothes on the high street that are a uniform size.’ explains Rachel.
Having enjoyed success as a professional model in national advertising campaigns, Rachel admits to having her own ‘hit list’ of brands who she feels are missing the mark. “I’ve always worn denim and I don’t intend to stop wearing now it that I’ve turned 50. I think there’s still a stigma attached to older women wearing denim which isn’t helped by the high street continuing to target the younger market whilst ignoring the older generation’s spending power. I am happy to invest in good quality, well fitted denim jeans and dresses, which show off my curves making me feel stylish and confident . Denim style has no age”