SOUTHERN CHARM: Visually interesting accessories took center stage at the recent Spring 2009 Market in Atlanta. Among the strong items for spring were citrus colors, shorter tunic jackets and many, many dresses.
Buying, however, was significantly below expectations, and one exhibitor commented that “The economy is no longer just affecting the Wal-Mart shopper. Wealthy consumers are not buying.” Despite the financial squeeze, however, orders were still being written, especially for jewelry and accessories. Overall, the consensus was that the market was “good.”
One retailer said she is cultivating customers who are still buying, specifically professional career women. She said she is working harder with events, trunk shows for executives, and networking parties.
Another retailer who caters to an older female customer, specifically 45 years and up, said, “The economy hasn’t had as large an effect on our customer. They can’t find our type of merchandise anywhere else in the area.”
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FABULOUS CALVIN: Brilliant sunset colors of red, orange and yellow in sportswear, dresses, and accessories enlivened the latest Calvin Klein fashion exposition for Spring. Vintage and distressed denims were hot, as were tie-dyed tops, graphic-print gowns, and minimal, sexy frocks. A master designer, Klein used plenty of nickel hardware and top stitching in his latest collection, all of which dazzled with typical CK-sophistication.
- A rich assortment of accessories added to the show’s vitality. You can get the CK look by centering on medium-sized red patent leather clutch bags, and small gold-metallic bags; interesting gold-band rings (wear them, CK-style, on the middle finger); and white leather banded watches (worn again, CK-style, half-way up the forearm). Look for shoes that are metallic and shiny, and don’t forget the ever-present big dark sunglasses!
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MILAN IN BEIJING: Donatella Versace was her usual exuberant self at her recent charity fashion show in Beijing. Recreating her Milan runway show in the Chinese capital, Versace raised over $100,000 for earthquake victims in the muddy, remote mountains in Sichuan Province.
The Beijing Show had the same black and white set as in Milan, but used only Chinese models resulting in a uniquely Asian look. Dresses were western: mini skirts, minimal little sheaths with interesting embroideries and other applications.
- Accessories included a small Judith Leiber-like gold wallet-bag, deep golden cuffs, and those Hollywood inspired big black sunglasses everyone so adores.
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NEW DIRECTIVES: Look to new fiber and yarn introductions for an idea of where the apparel and accessories markets are headed! At the latest Filo Fair in Milan, organic, recyclable and novelty yarns played a high note. Metallic yarns in matte shades were very important.
- Look for metallic fabrics and metallic jewelry and accessories to further the look!
Sales Manager Massimo Colombo of Filatura di Pollone said that purple is the dominating color for spring, “with added filaments to give the yarns a brighter effect.”
He also noted that seasonless yarns are in strong demand. “Anything heavy, chunky or coarse is not popular,” he declared. Buyers are looking for cashmere and cotton mixes that can be worn in summer or winter.
- Seasonless fashion is unquestionably the wave of the future. Look for clothing and accessories that can bridge the seasons with ease; they will surely be the biggest sellers! You might refer to them as the new “basics.” What are we talking about? Patent leather handbags, that used to be summer-oriented only, now go comfortably into all the months of the year. Sunglasses are likewise red hot and year-round popular.
Among the significant new collections at Filo was a yarn grouping called Ecotech. This is a certified organic yarn composed of recycled cotton and new fibers such as acrylic, bamboo, and cotton. Health-harming substances are eliminated during processing.