It’s the trend that keeps on giving, even though industry insiders predicted it would be long gone by now. The legging is gaining importance at retail and transitioning from a basic black accessory popularized in the Eighties to a fashionable part of a contemporary wardrobe.
Sensing a desire from consumers for versatility and comfort, contemporary and high-end designers are branching out with novelty styles and luxurious materials, such as cashmere and Italian leather. The new legging is a far cry from the cotton or spandex staple of yesteryear, and consumers are willing to pay the price.
“Women today are investing in pieces that take them through seasons, and our leggings definitely do that,” said Lori Kaufthal, vice president of sales at Helmut Lang, whose leather and suede pairs retail for up to $875. “Women can wear them under a dress or a great shirt or a boyfriend blazer, and it makes sense. Women want clothes that make sense in their wardrobe.”
Kate Ciepluch, fashion director at Shopbop.com, cited Helmut Lang leggings as top sellers, as well as ripped pairs by fledgling brand Leyendecker, which at a $125 price tag has seen almost 100 percent sell-through. Additional trends within the category include sequins, floral patterns and denim.
“This season, leggings have definitely gone more fashion-forward and our business is really strong,” said Ciepluch. “More people who thought they could never wear them are turning to them. They’re more comfortable than pants, and some jeans can’t give you that skinny, narrow leg.”
Ciepluch also noted leggings with special details, such as studding or equestrian stirrup bottoms, have seen little to no price resistance among consumers.
Jessica Moss, president and co-designer of Leyendecker, said her leggings have become a “cult hit” among trend-driven shoppers.
“We like to keep it special,” Moss said. “If you want basic leggings, you can get them from people who do basic leggings. We offer something fun and special. They are more expensive, but, to be fair, they are made in the U.S. and hand-ripped.”
Luxury firms such as Stella McCartney, Rick Owens, Alexander McQueen and Ports 1961 have also added leggings to their retail offerings. McCartney’s top out at $1,495 for a sequined pair, while Ports offers a cashmere style at $525.
“Our leggings are a piece of affordable luxury and a great way to layer,” said Elizabeth Colletta, vice president of sales at Ports 1961. “They are faring strongly at retail, and we’d certainly like to keep it going for as long as customers are reacting to it. Between the response at wholesale and retail, it’s definitely something we plan to continue.”
Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet added more details to her classic legging, such as leather panels and suede. In a troubled economy, women are buying sexier items and those with added value, she said.
Ann Watson, vice president and fashion director at Henri Bendel, picked up the brand’s $728 leather leggings for fall, as well as leather styles by Elise Øverland and knit pieces by Diane von Furstenberg and Missoni.
“There are very few items that can hit this sweet spot of fashion meets function and are accessible to most body shapes,” Watson said. “Those are the items that become ‘must have,’ and they are key items you can run with.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)