Cotton Incorporated’s STORM DENIM™ technology, which provides water-repellency, protection from the cold and damp, and breathability, is a garment-form application that merges fashion with function. Its fashionability and functionality are evident by two diverse adopters, fashion designer Alexander Wang, and Canadian workwear retailer Mark’s Work Wearhouse.
Introduced two years ago, the STORM DENIM finish from Cotton Incorporated was created with a very functional goal. “We wanted to offer a high degree of water repellency for use in rainwear and outerwear, while maintaining the comfort and breathability of cotton,” states William A. Rearick, Cotton Incorporated Director, Textile Chemistry Research.
Then there is the fashion angle. “In the jeans segment, it’s always about the next new thing,” says David Earley, Cotton Incorporated Associate Director Strategic Initiatives, Global Product Supply Chain. “The industry has seen water-repellant denim finishes before, but they are usually applied in fabric form. This has been a limitation since most jeans are garment processed in some way to apply styling effects such as whiskering, localized abrasion or decoloration processes. Applying in garment-form means that the finish is applied as the last step, following any styling effects that are applied to the garments; creating more consumer benefits, more marketability for specific end uses and with that, more sales.”
The technology was the next new thing that two diverse denim labels wanted for their lines. The first adopter of the finish was Alexander Wang, the award-winning fashion designer whose work is a consistent best-seller at Barney’s New York. Wang featured jeans treated with the STORM DENIM technology in his runway show during New York Fashion Week, and gave a brief demonstration of their water-repellency in a Nylon Magazine video segment currently on YouTube. Wang’s jeans with the STORM DENIM technology will be sold at Barney’s in the fall of 2008.
From the fashion runway to everyday, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, a popular Canadian apparel retailer with 300 stores across the country, has also adopted the STORM DENIM finish for its Dakota line of work jeans. This adoption makes even more practical use of the technology, since the STORM DENIM finish compares well to synthetics in terms of water repellency, and bests these products in breathability. The finish also provides an additional level of performance in durability. The Dakota line of jeans with the STORM DENIM finish will be available at Mark’s Work Wearhouse stores and via their website (marks.com) later this spring.
The denim segment continues to evolve and remain fresh through design and technical innovations like the STORM DENIM finish. It is easy to imagine the broad range of consumers who would appreciate a jean that can stand up to a variety of activities in wet and cold conditions, without sacrificing the inherent fashionability of blue jeans.
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The Program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.