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.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye