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Denim retailers backing flared styles for autumn

Retailers and buyers are hailing the revival of the kick-flare jean but slim is still in, bringing a sales boost and a season of two cuts.

The 1970s-inspired flare style is set to be autumn's key young fashion item, which will carry over to spring, according to a Drapers poll. However, the look is unlikely to outstrip sales of the slim or skinny silhouette, despite endorsement from celebrities such as Kate Moss, who has been pictured in J Brand's Lovestory style. J Brand's 61 accounts in England and Ireland have sold a total of 2,330 pairs of the Lovestory style since May.

Adam Jagger, head of retail at York-based indie Sarah Coggles, said: "We only had our first drop of wide-leg jeans two weeks ago so it is too early to tell regarding sales, but skinny jeans have been dying for the past six months."

New Look trend director Barbara Horspool said the chain has embraced the wide-leg look for autumn and will back it wholeheartedly for spring. "Rather than kick-flare, we are feeling a gradual flare and are embracing the trend. Even though skinnies with smock tops have made retailers a lot of money, we are looking for the next big thing."

However, Lesley Torson, co-founder of London-based denim emporium Trilogy, said flares will be a city-centric trend. "Although I doubt we will sell as many skinnys as last year, it is not the death of the style because autumn clothing trends work so well with that shape. However, the cut of the kick-flare jean is very flattering," she said.

However, Andy Hunter owner of online denim retailer denimology.co.uk, said shoppers now want a variety of styles. "Anything goes at the moment - high waist, wide leg, coloured denim, bootcut. All these looks have their fans, but I don't see anything ready to replace the skinny jean."

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