It's no secret that business is, well, tough. Of course, luxury customers aren't as susceptible to downturns in the economy as other shoppers, but they have to fill their Mercedes SUV gas tanks, too.
If there's one thing that jump-starts buying, it's new silhouettes that make whatever's in a woman's closet look so last year. It's no surprise, then, that retailers are dreaming about change in bold, living color. They want to see structured dresses, pencil skirts and fuller pants, the yin to yesterday's yang of baby-doll dresses, balloon-hem skirts and skinny jeans.
Clearly, stores will be writing orders with extra sharp pencils this season. Bergdorf Goodman fashion director Linda Fargo said she'll be looking for "trends compelling enough to inspire us to shop even in a tightening economy," while Julie Gilhart, vice president of fashion merchandising at Barneys New York, said she'll only be buying "great merchandise" and "the best of the best."
"It's a really hard economy," said Nevena Borissova, owner of the Curve boutiques in Los Angeles and New York. But Lori Hirshleifer, vice president of Hirshleifer's at the Americana Manhasset in Manhasset, N.Y., will not let the grim economy get her down: "I'm optimistic. I refuse to allow myself to feel like this."
Jeffrey Kalinsky, executive vice president of designer merchandising, Nordstrom:
I hope to see: Things that I'm not expecting to see. I want to be surprised. I'm feeling that there will be more sportswear and more separates, and pants will be getting fuller. With fuller pants, I like them skinny at the top and fuller from the knee down. Skirts are going to be more important, but we'll see more pencil skirts, fewer bubble skirts. There will be lots of knitwear with blazers being more knit than structured. The dress is going to be important, but in the pre-collection market, it didn't seem to be as predominant a trend as it had been. Looking forward to: The big buzz this week is going to surround Halston; Jonathan Saunders showing in New York, and Rodarte. Rodarte has become a global strength. They're young designers and deserve everyone's support. We're also supporting Chris Benz. Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director, Neiman Marcus:
I expect to see: The continuation of color and print; more body-conscious shapes, especially in dresses, and jackets with shoulder interest such as strong and sharp or rounded shoulders. Skirts will be important. Transitional weight fabrics are important to the Neiman Marcus customer and we are focused on fabrics and weights that speak to her lifestyle.
Looking forward to: The reintroduction of Halston, and welcoming Jonathan Saunders to the New York catwalks.
Julie Gilhart, vice president of fashion merchandising at Barneys New York:
I hope to see: Total creativity and great design. I would like to see designers not play it safe, but push the envelope in terms of presentation and the clothes. It could be a moment of great change, so I hope to see it begin to happen in New York.
Looking forward to: Shipley & Halmos' first presentation and Edun's Nocturne presentation. Narciso Rodriguez, Proenza Schouler and Rodarte had standout collections last [season]. I think we will see that trend being repeated.
People are buzzing about: Cute girl designers, such as Cate Holstein, are showing for the first time. Also, Lyell, Wayne and Liz McLean. Also, Alexander Wang's and Loden Dager's growing energy and L'Wren Scott's Purple Haze collection.
Go away: Marc Jacobs being late. I am channeling support to him to be on time.
Open-to-buy: Our open-to-buy is to only buy great merchandise. It's a time to really focus on what is necessary. To have a lot of everything is not cool, but to have only the best of the best is modern. Michael Fink, vice president and women's fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue:
I hope to see: A lot of 'snap', some pizzazz, emotion! If we go through another gray-black season, I'm going to scream.
I expect to see: Tailoring that is more relaxed than last fall's polished look, but still put together. I'm obsessed with all of the chunkier knit stitches in lightweight yarns that I've been seeing — great layering options. Fearless, individual style with prints, luscious fabrics and bold jewelry layers.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)