[dropcap size=small]F[/dropcap]rom exotic-skin sneakers to cashmere sweatpants, yesterday’s basics have become today’s statement pieces. In a new economy where more people are working beyond the confines – literal and figurative – of the traditional office, designer labels are not just expanding their casual offerings, but also taking them to the next level.

The latest item to affirm that the lines between easy and elaborate dressing have been blurred? Golden jeans, courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

Featuring a hand-sprayed gold finish, the glitzy hue of these jeans is inspired by a vintage copper-covered Louis Vuitton trunk from 1903. These jeans are part of a five-piece Heritage capsule collection inspired by the brand’s archival trunks. Don’t fancy wearing denim with leather accents resembling vintage-trunk straps? No problem.

Along with these special editions, the brand has launched a new denim collection, comprising both permanent and seasonal pieces. Aside from being made from choice Japanese and European fabrics, the latest Louis Vuitton denims are also differentiated by fancy details such as logo-bearing metallic rivets and embossed leather patches.

Another brand that recently put its own spin on denim is Italian menswear label and fabric specialist Ermenegildo Zegna. Firstly, it added denim to its Casual Luxury made-to-measure programme, which gives customers an exacting fit even for supposedly laidback items like knitwear and leather jackets.

Flexing its technical knowhow, Zegna has also developed Trofeo wool denim, which is made entirely from high-quality, long-fibre wool. Its uniform, dark indigo finish gives it a dressy feel, which helps to explain why the fabric has been used to make tailored pieces such as a jacket, a vest and trousers.

According to the folks at Zegna, their wool-based variant offers all the positive qualities of cotton-twill denim (it’s tough and machine-washable), along with another key benefit: The fabric holds its form after wear – a plus for those whose jeans start sagging by midday.

Certainly, this is not the first time denim has received a high-fashion update. Over the years, the once-utilitarian material has been reimagined in numerous ways. Dior Homme’s Spring 2015 collection, for instance, featured casual suits made from denim – in faded blue, as well as crisp white. As designers get more serious about relaxed dressing, we expect even more fresh takes on the fabric to come our way.