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Fall/Winter 2022: These are the four denim trends

By Huw Hughes

Jun 16, 2021


Image: Belstaff x Blackhorse Lane

Amy Leverton, the founder of trend forecasting company Denim Dudes, was back attending the online edition of denim trade fair Kingpins in April to share four upcoming trends for the AW22 season. FashionUnited attended the event and in this articles shares a summary of some of the key takeaways.


Lockdowns over the past year have forced many of us to slow down and appreciate the things that really matter to us. The first trend, Worn-Core (when norm-core meets vintage), is inspired by that change of pace. Perhaps the “most commercial” of the trends, Worn-Core is inspired by core wardrobe pieces that can be worn again and again as we consider what we ‘need’ instead of what we ‘want’.

Circular design and alternative creation methods play a big role in this as the industry looks at ways to increase the lifecycle of clothing and create pieces with a deeper meaning. It’s about “quality over price, old over new, imperfection over mass production,” Leverton says. Outdoor elements and vintage looks are key, with pieces including five-pocket jeans, practical parkas and crew neck t-shirts. The colours are often warm, natural and organic.

Image: Diesel pre-fall 2021


Elevate is a bit more fashion-forward. The pandemic has forced us to move away from the experience economy as we turn our attention instead to beautifully designed products. “While this trend is still grounded in the principles of the classic denim wardrobe, we see a slew of emerging brands challenging silhouettes, details and processes to create lively new denim icons,” Leverton says.

The trend features really unique pieces and collectable items that show a great level of craftsmanship. This includes elevated essentials and understated luxury. We also see a lot of elite upcycling, where thoughtfully reused pieces add even further to this idea of collectability. The trend includes slick designs with a lot of layering and distorted jeanswear. The colour palette is very blue, with dark deep shades such as royal blues and purples as well as a few pops.

Image: Tory Burch Autumn/Winter 2021
Image: Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2022


As the name would suggest, Purposeful is inspired by the fashion industry’s growing focus on sustainability, social responsibility and mindful consumerism. This also goes further than design, with brands looking at ways to tell more purposeful stories and educate consumers about what they’re buying.

The trend features a lot of gender-neutral looks and raw, natural designs as we look to nature for inspiration for how to create more sustainable pieces with more meaning. The trend includes big, warm protective pieces that act as a cocoon, and also focuses on reusing materials to avoid waste, so you’ll see a lot of patches, humble handmade pieces and ‘miss-matched mends’. The colour palettes is also inspired by nature, so expect optimistic colours and soothing natural earthy tones, as well as indigos and tie-die.

Image: Dr Collectors
Image: Ksenia Schnaider Autumn/Winter 2021

00s Reclamation

This fun, youth-driven trend looking at the late 90s and early 00s but is reimagined through a Gen-Z lense. The trend breaks away from gender norm constructs for a genderless reimagining of the early internet age.

This trend also bridges the gap between the physical and digital worlds with a focus on the fast-growing market of digital fashion and NFTs (non-fungible tokens). This results in a very unique mashup of old and new as retro vintage looks meet futuristic, digital influences - or “retro-futurism”.

This trend features a broad mix of inspiration which range from ironic to political. Expect chunky aesthetics, utility pockets, bold prints and a polarised colour palette including digital neons.

Image: Diesel pre-fall 2021
Image: Vetements Autumn/Winter 2021