PRICE PLAYED A MAJOR PART in determining what was bought and what was offered for sale at the latest bevy of fashion industry trade shows in Las Vegas, including WWDMagic, Project, ENK Vegas, Moda, AccessoriesTheShow and Pool. Retailers looked for the greatest value for price, while suppliers offered remarkable goods representing smart manufacturing for the lowest possible price. Many absorbed the rising cost of materials or took lower margins.
Nobody wanted prices to rise, even minimally. At the same time, Ira Spiegel, sales director for New York based juniors brand Dollhouse, noted what a number of other Industry executives felt, saying, “There is going to be an uptick at retail, probably within the next year or so.”
The effect of a tight budget consciousness was evident everywhere. Manufacturers presented goods that looked terrific, but which were created with a savvy eye on materials, labor and energy costs.
Retailers were somewhat slow to buy, and looked for new trends while showing a marked tendency to stay safe with tested, reliable brands. It was a little bit like a harness race, with hold back on one hand, and still exciting winners on the other.
Many vendors said this year was better than last. Even those whose sales were sluggish expressed restrained optimism about where the market was going. As one retailer from Chicago said, “Last year was very bad. This year, sales are definitely picking up.”
Another dealer from the East Coast said his first quarter sales were “excellent.”
LEADING THE PRODUCT PICKS FOR SPRING SALES WAS INTERESTING DESIGN FEATURES. HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:
- Shield shaped earrings remind of the warrior class, and further promote sales with a major reliable label that reads “Best Brand.”
- Chain belt with rhinestones brings attention to the waist – beautifully!
New and Exciting
MONEY MATTERS FAILED to keep newness at bay. Innovative and exciting trends were everywhere, giving a real boost to the markets. There was also a changed attitude toward various materials. Silk, for example, was no longer that much more expensive than cotton, causing many retailers to opt for it and its obvious value. Silk was often combined with jersey, making a great material for the new, flowing designs on the market.
Slouchy fits were big at the markets. Relaxed silhouettes were the look of the day. Flowing fabrics that fit close to the body were hot. Oversized ponchos and drop-waist tank dresses were also important. A combination of Military and Feminine looks was uptrending and handsome. For example, New York based JouJou featured jackets with military accents and ruffles. Loose exaggerated armholes were strong, new design features.
Feminine accents were big. Standouts were lace, crochet, bows, and floral prints. Whimsical products picked up interest if they were new looking. Yummy You from California was a good example, with cupcake and sushi scarves.
Lego pendants and Lego brooches by Yummy You, were real winners. Crop tops and cargo pants were dynamite for Spring. Functional accessories were strong.
Environmentally friendly materials were appreciated. Wood and silver came through as particularly valued accessory materials. Charm bracelets were strong at AccessoriesTheShow, along with floral and tribal looks. Clean, sleek, unembellished designs indicated a new direction for handbags!
The Color Palette
SPRING WAS THE GOING-FORWARD sales season, and manufacturers presented a sophisticated color palette for 20ll, with neutral, classic colors leading the way. Taupe, gray, navy and olive green mimicked the military design drive, adding to its power. Coral, peach, and blue were also strong. A soft color palette was featured by a number of vendors, resting on colors such as jade, rose, and tobacco brown.
PICKING UP ON SOME OF THE HOTTEST TRENDS OF THE NEW YEAR ARE MANY PRODUCTS SEEN HERE. DON’T MISS THESE SPECIALS:
- Dog charm bracelet – a pet lover’s dream!
- Crystal brooch in elegant vintage design boosts the environmentally friendly drive with imprint stating “lead compliant.”