LAS VEGAS — Men’s streetwear vendors emphasized cleaner styles, basics programs and denim, which continues to be a strong seller.
Those trends were apparent at Company 81, the collegiate-oriented brand owned by Oved Apparel, which was also showing its Modern Culture and Mecca lines at MAGIC.
“The economy has impacted us in a lot of ways — it’s definitely not business as usual,” said Rob Perry, vice president of Company 81, which sells to major stores such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, Bon-Ton, Belk and Stage Stores. “It’s a challenge to even ship orders to some accounts, as factors have become much more cautious about approving credit.”
To boost business, the young men’s brand is emphasizing key items that can be sold at attractively low prices, including denim, T-shirts and fleece. “Denim is our most important category for fall,” Perry said. “We have a replenishment program with two fits and 10 washes, with jeans wholesaling for $13.75 and out the door at $24.99 to $29.99. We’ve had to adjust our business model to fit with the times. Everyone has to understand that department stores are going to be more promotional.”
The company has worked with its factories in Asia to manage costs and minimize the impact on its own margins, he said.
Denim was also the most important category at Artful Dodger, and the brand increased its jeans assortment for fall. “It’s been the most stable category for us,” said Fred Mazza, president of the brand, which is produced under license by Signature Apparel and sold to accounts including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Karmaloop.com and Downtown Locker Room.
In sportswear, Artful Dodger emphasized cleaner designs. “Some regions are still looking for embellished, such as certain sections of the Southeast and Midwest, but overall the trend is cleaned up — things that can be worn for more than one season and appeal to a larger customer base,” Mazza said.
Even the more fashion-forward streetwear brands in the S.LA.T.E. section were emphasizing cleaner, less flamboyant designs. “We’re trying to appeal to the contemporary market as well as the streetwear market,” said Emeka Obi, head of marketing at Brooklyn-based 10 Deep. “It expands our customer base and maybe some of the European buyers will trickle over.”
Dickies was one brand upbeat about the year. “Our brand has an inherent value and heritage that consumers are seeking in this economy,” said Tad Uchtman, senior vice president of marketing and merchandising at the Fort Worth-based company. “Specifically, we’re seeing a lot of interest in our slim-fit, low-rise pant, and our spring shorts bookings are up more than 200 percent over last year.”
At Stüssy, the watchwords are inventory management and customer service. “We’ve always had a cautious approach to our business in terms of not overordering and managing inventory closely,” said Scott Terpstra, chief operating officer and sales director at the Irvine, Calif.-based brand.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)