LOS ANGELES — Best-selling categories at the juniors-focused Majors Market here included casual jersey dresses, zip-up hoodies and dressy tops. But it was wide-leg jeans — in trouser and five-pocket models — that many vendors and buyers predicted would be most in demand this fall.
The event from April 10 to 13 at the California Market Center drew retail buyers from major department stores and junior chains such as Macy';s West, Nordstrom, Goody';s, Von Maur and Wet Seal who shopped for immediate deliveries and back-to-school fashion.
Tifani Wilt, women';s fashion director for Macy';s West, said the company';s buying team zeroed in on wide-leg silhouettes for fall — often with a high waist — in dark navy and gray washes.
"I call it the Mackenzie Phillips jean," Wilt said, referring to the actress who helped popularize the style in the Seventies. "Seven For All Mankind continues to do some really great versions….Citizens of Humanity did a cute black velvet version. Joe';s did one that';s an indigo denim but has sparkle in the denim fabric, which I thought was really interesting and new."
Wide-leg styles for all three brands retail for about $180 a pair.
Los Angeles denim brand Paris Blues showed styles in dark washes with 22- to 24-inch leg openings. "Trousers with wide legs have been a key trend for us," said sales representative Sharon Nocero.
"A wider leg is definitely exciting right now," said Jamie Gluck, vice president of brand marketing for Hot Kiss, based in Los Angeles. Still, Gluck acknowledged that the company was pushing nondenim merchandise, such as plaid Bermuda shorts, more than its denim pieces because of a glut in the denim market that began around the advent of the skinny-leg jean last year.
"The denim market is so saturated right now," Gluck said. "[Retailers] are coming to us, saying, ‘What';s next?';….We';re not backing away from denim at all, but we';re offering alternatives."
Top sellers for the brand include evening tops with metal chain details that retail for $34, and short day and evening dresses in metallic fabrications, retailing for $39 to $69.
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