It's hard to imagine how better to wear jeans than Rihanna could be a person. While the pop star is virtually celebrated in fashion circles for the endless variety of her wardrobe, one item she almost always dresses herself in is denim. Her collection contains any possible permutation of pants, But it also includes denim jackets, denim dresses, denim shorts, denim skirts, denim thigh-high boots, and a carpet-dusting denim train on at least one occasion.

Rihanna is one of the most photographed people alive, so her appreciation for denim has made her an abundance of walking billboards for the fabric. Regular paparazzi pictures of her airports entering or leaving hotels have shown that virtually any form of clothing can now be made of denim at any price. Jeans have never been more varied themselves Skinny, big, straight, clipped, clean, dark, distressed, stunning.

Rihanna's favor years couldn't be more timely for denim suppliers. The American denim market had been shrinking for half a decade before 2018. Consumers turned to stretchy pants and leggings, spurring several anxious rumors about the extinction of denim in the fashion industryNow, it's obvious, thanks to a combination of reasons, that denim's death was largely exaggerated. Not only is America getting a little bored with its black leggings, but jeans are back and larger — and larger, skinnier, shorter, and more varied — than ever in many ways.

The range of jeans is now as limitless as the Internet itself. Fast-fashion retailers are constantly updating their ranges, ensuring that almost every denim style is available at the same time. The big thing right now might be mom jeans, depending on who you ask. It could be tailored denim with wide legs. But skinny jeans have become easier to wear because fashion technology has come up with ways to make stretchier denim feel more like the real thing. Cheung says that only Levi expects the market to break, right down to individual preference. The company launched a program called Future Finish earlier this year that allows online shoppers to customize the specifications with lasers on their jeans.

Jeans companies have a keen interest in selling their own destiny story, but that doesn't mean they're incorrect. The cool past of Jeans, at least for the foreseeable future, will seem to protect denim from new trends. People are obsessed with stories, as Cheung notes. "We are meaning-loving creatures," he says. The stories we tell ourselves are just too good to pass up when it comes to denim, even for the pleasures of stretchy pants.