The youth market is the latest golden territory for accessories. Youth-oriented brands, from activewear to denim specialists, are bulking up their offers and even sprouting accessories-only shops. A recent report by London tracking firm Mintel International that studied spending on accessories in 2005 says younger consumers are the most likely age group to buy accessories frequently. According to the report, almost a third of consumers ages 15 to 24 purchase accessories once a month. No wonder makers and merchants are lining up to meet the demand.
The PPR-owned Paris sportswear emporium Citadium last month unveiled a new ground-floor concept entirely dedicated to accessories. On top of traditional sports brands such as Nike and Puma, wide-ranging brands rub shoulders on the floor, from beach and surf names such as Quiksilver, Roxy and Havaianas to fashion and urban wear labels like Morgan, Energie, Paul Frank and Diesel.
There is a focus on bags and footwear, and the store’s eyewear selection incorporates luxury players Chloé, Gucci, Prada and Dior. “We completely repositioned our offer in response to robust demand for urban fashion coming from 15- to 25-year-olds,” says Luc Bierme, head buyer for the department. According to Bierme, youngsters gobble up entry-level and rare, highly sophisticated goods, whereas the midrange products don’t garner interest. “Ultimately, youngsters are after standout goods regardless of the price,” says Bierme. One corner situated at the store’s entrance, the “Black Rainbow,” has been set up to cater to that niche, housing limited edition lines and cutting-edge product imported from Japan and America. “It’s important to have goods that correspond with a young shopper’s universe, which means references to music, graphics and street life,” says Bierme.
Meanwhile, a number of denim and high street brands have hatched accessories boutiques. Mango, which opened its first accessories-only boutique, Mango Touch, in Madrid in 2005, is snaking its way into France. This year, the brand, which attributes 12 percent of its sales to accessories, already has opened two stores in Cannes and Toulouse and is eyeing Paris. Mango also unveiled its first take on a middle-range bag in March, priced at $200. The Californian denim brand Guess recently opened its first shoe store on the Rue François in Paris. More openings are slated in the near future, including in the U.S. over the next six months. Accessories sales for the brand last year totaled $90 million and are expected to rise to $130 million this year.
Another denim brand aggressively carving out its identity on the accessories market is Diesel, which opened its first and as yet only accessories store, Diesel Accessoires, in 2005. The store is located at the heart of Paris’ hip denim hub on Rue Etienne Marcel. “For us, the accessories market has enormous potential…and represents a high profit margin,” says a Diesel spokesman, explaining that the firm has been brushing up its savoir faire in an entirely other ball game.
Producing an authentic line that reflects the essence of Diesel’s core product is key. “We’ve been experimenting a lot with various leather treatments as it’s the uniqueness and quality of products that drives a sale, not the price,” he says. Its most expensive bag rings in at around $1,400, and he said young customers are not holding back on spending.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)